Must Love Dogs

If you head on over to Coffee. Tea. And Literary. you'll notice that I discuss #ZombieVirus2011.  It's brutal.  And PeeWee just missed out on becoming this:

Seriously, the virus that went around our office was No. Joke. While I was sick, PeeWee was such a sweetie.  He made sure to keep me company.  He even slept when I slept (see?):

And when I was too weak to read myself, PeeWee read to me.  And he has a new favorite book.  It's called A Dog's Way Home by Bobbie Pyron.

For anyone who is a dog owner, knows a dog owner, or just for anyone who loves dogs READ. THIS.  There may be a few tears (okay, maybe a lot of tears), but you will fall in love with Tam.  Tam is a Shetland who gets separated from his owner, a little girl named Abby, when their family gets into a car accident somewhere along the Blue Ridge mountains.  And everyone believes that they'll never see Tam again.  Everyone but Abby.  This story is their journey.  I won't say anything more because I don't want to ruin it!

When PeeWee and I were done reading, I made sure that Suzie read this one with her pups, too.  And now Tam has at least 5 fans from Confessions!  There will be more, I have no doubt :-)

So.  PeeWee, generous as he is, has decided to give up his precious copy of A Dog's Way Home to share with one of you. (He also threatened an ankle-biting if I don't buy him another copy when this is all over.)

The contest is simple.  Just share a dog story in the Comments below.  A funny one.  A touching one.  A sad one--whatever you want to share.  Me and PeeWee love to meet other dogs, so please introduce us!  That's ALL you need to do to enter.  The winner will get a copy of the book, and a shout out on the blog.

Entries will be accepted until February 22, 11:59pm EST.  This is the pub date for the book!
*US participants only*

As a side request (this is NOT a contest rule)--whether or not you enter the contest, I'd love to see pics of your pups!  Please send photos to PeeWee(at)nancycoffeyliterary(dot)com and we will post them when we announce the winner.  We'll need your name, your dog's name, and a photo.

Okay.  Back to prepping for the Super Bowl.  PeeWee's already dressed. As you can see, he's not a Steelers or a Packers fan.....

  Saints jersey courtesy of the lovely Erica O'Rourke

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Kitty Deschanel said...

LOL! Surely poor PeeWee would never become a devil dog :p

veela-valoom said...

A few years ago this adorable shaggy haired dog showed up in the front yard. We already had 4 dogs so of course we couldn't keep her. But Sandy (which quickly became the dogs name) laid in the yard, light as a feather and skinny as could be. My mother, the ultimate NO DOGS queen gave in and fed the poor thing.

Fast forward to a couple years later. Turns out Sandy is a crazy circus escapee, or at least that's the theory, a little dog-Houdini. This ragamuffin of a dog somehow manages to jump our six foot privacy fence. She did this for fun almost everyday. For me this is annoying and stressful (what if she gets hit by a car, what if she dies, AHHHH). My mom however says "She always comes home."

Of course I counter with, "One of these days she'll come home pregnant."

After one of her escapades I notice that her eating habits started to change. The dog who would eat anything, even dry food without scraps, suddenly stopped eating. Then I noticed she ate an awful lot of grass.

So I asked my dad. "Do you think dogs get morning sickness?"

"I don't want to talk about it," was his response. So we didn't. For months I watch Sandy grow fatter and fatter in silence. Nobody seemed to notice Sandy stopped jumping the fence because she was just too fat. Mom thought the problem was solved. I knew we had a bigger problem.

Time passes. Then one day I notice that Sandy is behaving strangely. In the garage she's found a little cubby hole underneath a shelf and built a nest with blankets. Now is the time to start talking about it. So I go to my dad. Guess we should have talked about it sooner.

Dad calls mom and tells her, "I have something to tell you and you're not going to like it."

Having four kids mom responds, "What did the kids do?"

Dad tells that our dog is pregnant. Then he tells her she's about to have the puppies. As you can imagine, I am the only one happy. Not only was I right but we were going to have puppies! Sandy spent the whole day in labor. That night she had EIGHT puppies. All eight puppies had different markings, coloring and hair length. Oh I guess I should mention she was only gone for an hour when she escaped and dog pregnant. Yes my dog got around.

Mama dog jumping fence proof:

Mama & Puppies

veela-valoom said...

PS those are links to pictures of the guilty dog.

Joanna said...

Veela-valoom: Woah. Now that's a talent! And 8 puppies--did you sell them or give them away?

veela-valoom said...

Since they were all mutts and we had NO CLUE at all to the fathers we gave them away. Even though my mom is very anti-dog I think she cried almost every time we gave a puppy away. A lady from my moms company adopted one and sends us pictures--it's a spoiled dog. My best friend who lives in another state adopted another and she's planning to bring it to visit this spring.

Apparently we made an impression on the people we gave them to. Three were given back to us rather than being taken to the pound because they said "they knew we were good people who loved them" and we found homes for 2 a second time (and kept one).

At the moment we have 6 dogs, all well loved and spoiled.

Anonymous said...

Oh! PeeWee looks so cute in his little jersey! Glad he took such good care of you guys when you were sick.

My parents got their dog when they lived in Taiwan, before I was born, and after I came along, she would sit under my crib and growl at anyone other than my parents who dared approach me. Later, we got a cat who would sit on the table by the front door and wait for the dog to return from her walk. When she came in, the cat would jump on her back and ride her around the house like a circus act. Damn, I miss that dog.

Kelley York said...

D'aww, what a cutie.

My dog story:
Some-odd years ago, around the tender and obnoxious age of 12, I took a trip with my family down to visit relatives in Fresno, CA. Which happens to involve a lot of long highway stretches without much to look at.

Except, as we're driving along, 12-year-old me starts pointing and shrieking, "DON'T HIT THE PUPPY! PULL OVER, PULL OVER!"

I'm fortunate my family loves animals as much as I do, so both cars pulled into the only two establishments for a number of miles: a gas station and a Burger King.

Family headed inside to grab a bite to eat, and I wandered around after the weird-looking dog we'd nearly hit crossing the freeway. She would come near to me, but not close enough for me to grab her.

Eventually I had a seat outside of the BK and just watched her. She ventured close a few times, checking me out, and ran off again. Finally, finally, after thirty minutes of this coming-and-going, she came close enough and let me reach out to pet her.

At which point I, you know, snatched her up before she could run away again. Wrapped her up in my jacket while she shook like a leaf. My step-dad brought out a huge burger from BK, which she devoured in three bites or less.

According to the employees of the gas station, she'd been out there for about a week, but no one had called looking for her. No one had come to find her. "She was probably dumped," someone said. "It happens out here sometimes."

I looked at Mom. She looked at me. Didn't say much even as I got into the car with the dog, knowing perfectly well she would never tell me to let her run loose again. I named her Kaffi, because she was so wired like she was always caffeinated, and I thought Caffi looked stupid. (I don't know. Made sense when I was 12.)

And even as Mom said, "We'll find her a new home," I knew we would keep her.

And I did. She was (according to the vet) around 4 when we got her. 14 years later, she was still with me. Older, feeble, but still with me. About 8 months ago, I finally had to make the hard decision to have her put down as she lost too much weight, had difficulty walking, and was rapidly losing her eyesight.

But 14 years? Not a bad length of time to get to spend with a pet, no matter how hard it was to let her go.

Kaffi was the oddest looking dog. She was part Chihuahua, we knew that much. Otherwise, we guessed perhaps half Italian Greyhound or Whippet due to the curved tail, mini-Greyhound shaped body and the impossibly long legs. Pictures!

And the last picture I took, about an hour before I lost her:

Joanna said...

Erica-your dog knew he had precious cargo to protect! And another circus act--love it! (see Veela-valoom's circus dog story)

Kelly--Kaffi is ADORABLE! I definitely see the chihuahua in her. Gorgeous. For whatever reason though, the only pic that opened was the second one (jpg 3341). Thanks for sharing! Kaffi was really lucky that your family rolled through that BK.

Kelley York said...

Thank you! I've sent them along (including the two that weren't wanting to work) to PeeWee's address. :) Thanks for the post, and thanks to everyone else sharing their stories!

Unknown said...

Where I live, we have owls that make their nests in the ground (and they are a protected species). My luck, I happen to live across the street from several owl burrows. At night the birds swarm my front yard and perch either in my tree or on my mailbox. During mating season, they can get very territorial, which makes me a little nervous to go outside after dark, but my dogs have to go out on their pre-bedtime walk, so I suck it up and go outside.
A few months back, I was walking Samson and Scooter and we were within sight of my house. Perched on my mailbox were THREE owls, all staring unblinkingly at me, like they were sizing up their next prey. At the same moment, a tiny little bunny came hopping out from behind my neighbors house. (fyi: i'd been feeding this rabbit for months. so it usually came right to least when i didn't have my dogs with me) Being that my dogs are solid black and this was at night, the rabbit hopped right over to where i was. it stopped a few yard away when it not only saw my dogs, but the owls. now it was trapped. it froze, not knowing which way to escape.
at the same time that one of the owls took flight, scooter jumped forward, scooped the bunny up in his mouth and took off running...until the retractable leash reached its end. when it jerked him to a halt, he dropped the bunny and it skittered away, with only a slight amount slobber on its coat. meanwhile, Samson had bounded after the owls, scattering them off in the other direction. it all happened so fast, that i didn't know what had happened until after it was over, but im convinced my puppies were working together to rescue the bunny :)

Monica Mansfield said...

At four I wanted one thing. A Barbie Power Wheels Jammin’ Jeep. It was my heart’s desire. Of course, I got one. One day I was cruising around my grandparents’ backyard, talking to Barbie. Yeah, the Jeep came with a car phone. I was the coolest kid in Jersey. Barbie said something along the lines of, “Hey, let’s go to the Mall.”

The adults were occupied with my three sisters and food on the grill. I also suspect they were a little drunk. Barbie and I headed to the Mall unnoticed. In reality I was headed down the horseshoe driveway to Highway 77. I can recall the bumpy ride as the little Jeep motored over gravel and I remember thinking that I could drive with the big cars now. My grandmother pulled herself from her gin and tonic haze to take note of my absence.

“Where’s Monica?” she shouted.

Before anyone could respond Moses, their dog, took off down the driveway. He stopped in front of my hot pink Power Wheels and barked. After that, Moe’s claim to fame was saving my life and I would climb under the dining room table to lie with him. I remember the smell of his neck fur where I would rest my head and fall asleep.

Three years ago I went to the shelter and saw Moses. Or I thought I did. I had to do a double take. Moe passed away when I was 12. But Cody, a sweet Chow-Shepherd mix, had Moe’s eyes, coloring and demeanor. I took him home without a second thought. I know it is inadvisable to get a dog based on appearance, but this was beyond looks. Cody is like Moses right down to the way his neck fur smells and how he puts his paw on your lap when you stop petting him. I am beyond in love.

A picture of Cody:

TirzahLaughs said...

Ah..BlackDog, where does one start? She was an crotchety old Pom who had most of her teeth, a bad heart and one wonky leg. BlackDog arrived at my house at the age of 10 a very bad mood and not housebroken. She also snarled, bit, foamed at the mouth and was basically eveything people hate in a small dog.

A few years ago, my little town got a unexpected icy snowstorm. The streets were covered in a foot of freezing, icy white stuff. A normal teeth-chattering winter morning.

I take the dogs out to pee and then bring them in and shut the door. I jump in the shower to warm up. I'm under the near boiling water, enjoying the heat when I hear a banging noise.

I ignore it.

Then, I hear barking.

I sigh and climb out of the shower. I take a second to throw on granny panties, a robe, and wrap my hair in a towel, basically what's left in the drier and run down the hall. The front door's wide open. My white dogs are huddled together on the heated dog bed.

The evil BlackDog is gone. Again!

I call her name as a chilly breeze billows up my robe to caress bare legs. No little black dog. Nothing but piles of white snow and icy black streets. Yikes. You see, BlackDog suffers from congestive heart disease and bad hips. A hike in the snow is a bad idea.

I stuff my feet into tennis shoes and run out to search for her. Yes, I'm staggering up and down the street in my robe, a towel and shoes, screaming "Dog"..."Dog"..."You little bitch".

The neighbors love me.

No answer. No little black dog. Twenty minutes later, I'm still looking for her. I can't feel anything below my knees. My fingers are numb.

Then I see her. She's on the neighbor's porch, chowing down on kitty chow. The kitty the chow belonged to was hissing at dog. She ignored the kitty and me. I tromped up the stairs, bend over the bowl to grab BlackDog just as she darts down the stairs and hides behind a bush.

However, right that second, the front door opens...the kitty's owner stares down at me. I'm hunched over the mostly empty cat bowl with her cat hissing at me. What am I suppose to do? Tell her I didn't eat the kibble?

All you can do is what I did.

I smile and wave as I back away slowly and pray they don't call the cops.

BlackDog is missing again. The white snow streets are empty. Little bitch.

Then I spot her fuzzy body sitting on my welcome mat back at my front door. I take off running, robe flapping around my chubby thighs. Just as I get to my car, I hit a patch of ice and fall.

I try to catch myself, arms windmilling, and instead roll down the hood of my snow encrusted car and land on the ground in full view of the neighbors. My robe is open, my tits are out, my granny panties are showing. Snow slides down the inside of my panties.

I'm a bit dazed.

Several of my neighbors, male and female, stare down at me.

The skinny middle aged man married to woman next door asks, "Are you all right?"

How do I answer that?

I dunno.

Damn BlackDog.

By the way, one of the neighbors let her in the house while I was trying to get up. She peed on my floor. Forty minutes outside and she waited until she came back in the house.

Nells said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
R said...

A few years ago -- the year Uno the beagle won the Westminster dog show and made hound history -- our beagle, Molly, had a routine tooth-cleaning/nail trimming and got very sick. I'll spare you those details.

She was only a year and a half old, and they weren't sure what was wrong with her at first -- they thought she might have lymphoma because her glands were swollen -- and we thought we were going to have to say goodbye to our little girl!

Twenty four hundred dollars later (we always say she is the most expensive $75 beagle -- that's how much we bought her for -- there is!), she was wagging her tail and we were breathing easy. It turned out she had had an allergic reaction to the anesthesia.

The good news for Molly Moo: no more teeth cleanings!

And Uno won best in show, so it was a happy time for beagles once again. :)

Ricki Schultz said...

I don't know why it just saved that as "R." Sorry!

Marilyn Hilton said...

When I was growing up in a suburb southeast of Boston, MA, we had a sweet little Yorkshire mix named Rags. I was working away from home the summer that Rags was lost and then found, and I didn't hear the story (which my dad called a miracle) until it was all over. One day that summer my dad had to drive to Logan airport in Boston to pick up a package for his business. Because Rags loved to ride, he took her along. To keep her cool, he parked in the shade and lowered the windows. Dad was gone only a few minutes, but when he returned to the parking lot, Rags was gone. He assumed she'd jumped out to follow him and then gotten lost, and he was both heartsick and guilt-ridden over what had happened, and searched the parking lot for hours. The thought of that little dog lost in the middle of the city tore him up inside. This was years ago, before the internet and Twitter and other ways of finding a lost animal, so the next day he placed ads in the classified sections of the Boston Globe and a few suburban newspapers, but he had little hope that we'd ever see Rags again. However, two weeks later, my parents got a call from a woman in a town 20 miles north of Boston. She'd found a little Yorkie mix huddled by the railroad tracks near her house. And then she saw my dad's ad--small, nearly obscure--at the bottom of the classified section of her newspaper. We never knew how Rags got from Logan airport to a suburb 20 miles away, but we were all very grateful that she was unharmed, and very grateful to the woman who'd found her on the railroad tracks and read the paper that day!

Jessica said...

When I was eight and home sick, my mom took me to the pet store to look at dogs because we were thinking of getting one and that was their day for having puppies. The rule: under no circumstances could we get one. Yeah, right. The first thing I did was run to the puppies and pick one of the lab-beagle mixes up. The first (solid black)slept the whole time, as did the second golden one. However, their brother, a black, white and brown fluffball, was playful and sweet and both of us fell in love. Needless to say, Max was soon on his way home to stay with us.
There were two things wrong with Max and one was our fault. First: he wasn't part Beagle, he was part Great Dane and hound (only a minor difference in size....). Second, because we (and the vet)didn't know this, we fed him puppy food which led to his back legs being crippled.
He couldn't go for long walks or chase the ball more than three times, but he could follow directions like "left" or "right" on walks and find whomever in the house was missing. He slept in my little brother's room so that he wouldn't clack around the house during his nightly patrols. Even when we didn't have a fence, the dog refused to run away. Dad would beg him to (mostly jokingly) because of his unexpected size, but the hound refused. He also slept with his head on the corner of hard surfaces... no one said he was normal.
We had to put Max down last winter because he became so crippled he could hardly stand, but I know that dog was meant for our family!

Kerri Cuev said...

Pee Wee is the CUTEST!!! I miss having a little lap dog.

We have two Shepherds. They never complain, they never judge me, they don't look at me funny when I go on a rant, and they keep my feet warm when writing. A girls best friend :)

Kara said...

My dog Izzy is a Chihuahua too! In true Chihuahua fashion, he likes to steal clothes and run around the house with them in his mouth. Lucky me, the first time I brought my boyfriend to my house, Izzy was waiting by the door with one of my ugly old bras.

Chuck said...

My wife first brought home our poodle mix dog on a Sunday. That Thursday, on the way to Chipotle for dinner, I told my wife that I hated the dog and begged her to take it back. As far as I was concerned, she could have anything—*anything*—she wanted as long as the dog went bye-bye and life returned to “normal.” Despite the fact that she could have asked for the moon and likely gotten it, my wife just looked at me like I was crazy, shook her head no, then headed inside for a vegetarian burrito.

For months, things did not improve. I disliked the dog and the dog knew it. The dog disliked me and I knew it. Thus was life. Which brings me to the day all that changed. I awoke for work and got bundled up to take the dog on his quick morning walk alone—a daily ritual I did not enjoy. Sometimes, when we stepped out the front door, the dog would take off running and I would run behind him down the block with the leash to let him burn off some energy. On this particular day, the dog took off down the block at full speed.

I ran behind the dog down our suburban block when the tip of my shoe caught an uneven patch of sidewalk. I fell hard onto concrete. My hands were scraped up from trying to stop my fall—but much worse: the dog was gone. He was running down the block, fast as four fluffy paws would take him, dragging his leash behind. There was no way I could catch him. I went to call his name, but hesitated a moment. He didn’t like me; he never came when I called him before. But if I could call to him sounding like I was in trouble, it might register. So from the ground, I called out “Graham!!” and let my voice crack as I yelled his name. Down the block, Graham stopped and looked back at me. He glanced forward again, almost as if to weigh the decision between his freedom and his father, then looked back and started to trot toward me. He came to me on the ground and we shared our first tender moment together. That was three months into his life with us. Now we’re at three years two months, and he absolutely lights up our lives. He is a wonderful gift, and I couldn’t imagine life without him greeting me at the door every day.


Anonymous said...

A year into our marriage I convinced my husband of our need for a dog with one statement...

"Baby clothes are starting to look really appealing."

I had a puppy in my arms less than a month later :)

Cooper was an Australian Shepard/Border Collie Mix, adopted from a shelter, and by far one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever encountered.

He snuck out of our camping tent while we were asleep just to wander through the forest, would open the sliding glass door to let himself out when we didn’t move fast enough, and once even kept would-be burglars at bay until the cops could arrive.

And, he was the first one at the bathroom door when my water broke with my twins. My husband was sleeping, and I sent Cooper in to retrieve him. Later, my hubby would say he was woken up with urgent whining and a sloppy tongue on his cheek.

Fast forward to 2009...

On Christmas Day, 2009, our eight-year-old beloved dog grew ill, weak, and just not himself. By the next morning, we knew something was very wrong. A trip to the animal emergency vet revealed Cooper's spleen had ruptured, due to cancer or a tumor, and there was nothing we could do. He was bleeding internally and would be gone within 24 hours.

With very heavy hearts, we had to put him down.

As if watching him take his last breath on the day after Christmas wasn’t hard enough, we then had to return to our home and tell our worried four-year old twins that Cooper wouldn’t be returning.

Our house, and our hearts, were quiet and sad.

But, not for long.

Our new puppy, a Border Collie, keeps us on our toes and reminds us each day just how special sharing your life with a dog can be.

Lindsay Cummings author said...

I remember when Hurley, my german shepherd, used to try to chew on my surfboard. it drove me crazy...until i realized what she wanted: to be a surfer like her mommy!

so i decided to teach her to surf. My boyfriend and I bought a blow-up pool and put it in the backyard. Then we taught her to stand up on the board and balance herself!
Now Hurley can't wait to go to the ocean to surf some real waves. =]

I emailed you pictures of her first surf!

Sarah Nicolas said...

Jasper is my 50 lb boxer-mix who thinks he's a chihuahua and he's featured on my website's FAQ section ( I adopted him when he was about a year old and he has some strange behaviors that I only assume are a result of his earlier life.

For one, he's ridiculously afraid of water, even the tiniest drop. He walks AROUND puddles, gives water fountains a wide berth, stares at me from the door of the bathroom when I'm in there, and if he does happen to get wet, he will lick the offending area for at least 10 minutes.

One time he was playing with my friend's boxer. They were wrestling and boxing like the breed tends to do. All of a sudden, Jasper just stops and sort of limps toward my sister. He looks and acts like he's severely injured and my sis checks him all over for blood or wounds. She says, "Eww, he's got slobber all over him." That's when we realized he was acting so strange because he's WET, the worst thing ever. She towelled him off and he went on his merry way again.

so silly

Unknown said...

I wanted a dog almost as badly as I wanted a horse, and when I was in first grade, my parents relented...on the dog, anyway. We needed a dog that wouldn't shed, so we drove out to the Poodle Rescue Society - the house of two elderly women who kept ten poorly housetrained dogs inside and could smoke four cigarettes during a ten-minute conversation.

Their favorite dog was a two-year-old miniature poodle that they'd named Vanna White. She'd been found on the side of the road, one of her front legs broken in multiple places. She had to have a steel plate put in, and when they discovered that she barked constantly, they had her voicebox removed as well, so she could never do much more than whine.

We took her home, and no question about it, she was My Dog. She didn't like men, and if my father started to speak sharply to me (even if I richly deserved it), she would run at him, howling as best she could, and even snap at his feet. Eventually, we found two sisters for her, a big silly retriever/shepherd mix and an even smaller, yappier poodle. Only Vanna was allowed to sleep in my bed, though.

Around my senior year of high school, she had something like a stroke; I found her struggling in circles, unable to walk. We nursed her for days, and though she couldn't sleep in my bed anymore (we worried she'd fall), she was able to walk again, albeit not in a straight line.

Eventually, both her heart and kidneys began to fail, and we had to let her go in my sophomore year of college. She was almost sixteen years old - and she still wouldn't obey anyone but me.

Here we are, maybe eighteen months after she came to live with us.

Jus Accardo said...

About six years ago, a woman who worked with my mom mentioned her mother in law had a dog that needed a home. She'd been watching the dog for someone, and the person just never came back.

My mom thought of me. They brought her to meet my husband and I and it was love at first sight. She was a beautiful German Shepard with the sweetest disposition I'd ever seen.

Most people would have said no as soon as they saw her. It was obvious right away she was older than they told us and you could see she was already having an a tough time with her hips. Plus it was easy to see she'd been abused.

It didn't matter. I fell in love with her and that was it. Amber was with us for 5 years. A year after we'd gotten her, the vet diagnosed her with DM (Degenerative myelopathy) They told us we'd have to put her down in under a month. She proved them wrong. She stayed with me for an additional 4 years.

My husband carried her everywhere. He held her up to go to the bathroom when we walked her. We had a special wheel chair made so she could move around when she wanted. Honestly though, she'd always been a lump and was most happy just chilling where ever I was.

People still look at us like we're nuts. If a dog is that much work, you put them down, they say. She wasn't in pain and she was happy. Would we put our blood related family down if they got sick?

Holly VanDyne said...

My fiance and I closed on our house and got a cute little lab puppy the same day.

My parents stopped over that night to see the house and the puppy.

When she disappeared we didn't think anything of it, until she ran down the stairs and dropped a pair of my fiance's dirty underwear in my moms lap.

I've been married to him for 10 years now and he has NEVER forgotten to put them in the hamper since. :)

Tony Montana said...

This is for all you writers out there, probably my family's favorite dog story.....

But you have to see it:

Holly Bodger said...

When I was little, we had a black lab named Duchess. I'm not sure how long we had her, but one day, my dad told us that he decided to give Duchess to a farmer who had more room for her. Although I was sad, I was also happy for Duchess. What dog wouldn't want to live on a farm?

Fast forward 30 years. I'm talking to someone whose dog has just died. She doesn't want to tell her kids so she says she is going to say the dog moved to a farm. I tell her this is a great idea. After all, it could have happened. My dog Duchess…



Anonymous said...

Yesterday was our household’s Happy Gotcha Day. In animal rescue circles, it’s the anniversary of the day that a foster, homeless, or shelter dog finds their forever home.

Ten years ago, Tasha graced our lives and stole our hearts. She’s much older now. Her muzzle is a bit grayer, her eyes a bit more tired, and there’s a slight hesitation in her step at times. She’s reached the age where there are more vet bills and a few medications to take. She’s still sweeter than sugar from heaven and her fur is still as soft as an angel’s wings. At nearly twelve, which is the top of most Akita’s life span, we’ve been fortunate enough to have her angelic paws here on earth and not in heaven with her canine soul mate, Jack. Although she’s doing well right now, I have a feeling they’ll be reunited soon enough.

Not once in 10 years have I ever been foolish enough to believe that we rescued her. Tasha rescued us.

Her full story of how a rescue dog forgives everything for a forever home on my site.

Sheila JG said...

When I was growing up we had a black lab/German shepherd mix we named Freya after the Norse Goddess of Fertility (not to worry, we had her fixed). Despite being part lab, Freya was terrified of water. When we swam in a pool, Freya would run around the edge barking at us, warning us that we were in terrible danger.

One of my older sister’s boyfriends, a football-playing senior, used to torture Freya by playing fetch with her and then throwing the ball into the deep end. He’d laugh as the conflict played out on Freya’s face: I need to get the ball! But water bad! But ball in water! Bark!

Once he got tired of the barking and picked up Freya and threw her into the pool. I screamed when Freya slipped beneath the surface of the pool, but she popped right up and started to dog paddle. The only problem was that she dog-paddled in a vertical orientation, slapping the water while she remained in one place. I was able to swim over to her and lift her butt, but she was so panicked it didn’t help and eventually my sister and I swam her to the side and lifted her out.

And that is how Freya saved my sister from what I’m sure would have turned out to be an abusive relationship, because she dumped the football player after that.

Alas, Freya is no longer with us, but I think of her whenever I see a dog swimming.