Friday, November 29, 2013

Life is good if you have a dog living with you.

I confess I am an absolute lover of all things DOG. When I was a child I desperately wanted a dog but was told that my brother was "allergic" so we didn't have dogs in our house.  My friend, Nancy, who lived up the street got a dog she named Tippy and Tippy became my substitute dog. Tippy and a friend roamed the neighborhood streets and the two were always around for pats, hugs and play whenever I was outside and called them.  Oh sure, we had parakeets for pets and I loved them a lot but they weren't dogs.  It was only many, many years later that I found out that my mom had been attacked by a German Shepard when she was little and was extremely afraid of dogs.  The "allergic" story was not true.

When my husband and I moved to California, after settling in at Edwards Air Force Base for several months, I came home one day with a bird, a bronze-winged Beebee, kind of a cross between a parrot and a parakeet.  It was adorable and VERY loud.  We taught her to eat grapes and cherries.  She'd peel the skins off and throw them against the wall.  She walked around the house rather than fly.  She was the queen of the house. She was a lot of fun, sounding like a machine gun when she opened her mouth.  But, she wasn't a dog.  We had Bubee the Beebee for a long time.

One day someone told us about a litter of puppies in the neighborhood and we "casually" strolled over to see them. By the time we got there, one was left. It was a black long-haired cross between a short-haired brown dachshund (the mom) and a high fence jumper!  He was just adorable and he came home with us. We gave him a name beginning with the letter S (which I won't divulge because it's so unusual) and S just entwined himself around my heart and never let go.  I loved that dog with such intensity from the moment I laid eyes on him to the moment he took his last breath and beyond.  He moved with us from California to Texas to Massachusetts to Virginia and finally to Connecticut.  He lived with us for 11 years and it just wasn't long enough. But he started my long love affair with these four-footed furry friends who have inhabited our homes ever since.

After S, came 5 other dogs, most were mutts (one was a Tibetan Terrier and a show dog during the first 2 years of her life) and all had names beginning with the letter S. It just worked out that way.  Every single one was different from all the others and each one captured our hearts so completely.  We had S#2 and S#3 together, one a schnauzer-pug and the other a poodle-schnauzer. Poodle died suddenly at the age of 9 and pug was never the same after that.  We lavished love on pug and he lived to be 18!

A year later our #4, a Tibetan Terrier named Sallie, (we changed that name) came into our lives.  We were her third household and she was 7 at the time.  She had the longest eyelashes I've ever seen and she was just gorgeous.  She followed me around everywhere.  We started to bring her to the office every day and soon our (law) office had dogs everywhere since we allowed everyone who worked there to bring their dogs in, too.  We could have answered our phones with "Law Office and Doggie Day Care!"

At the age of 12, "Sallie" became very sick and we spent the next several weeks running to an animal hospital in Providence and spending thousands of dollars trying to save her life. It was not to be.  She had contracted a very rare kind of cancer not usually found in animals.  We took her home on a Saturday and all her doggie friends were brought over to be with her during her last day.  We said goodbye that night near midnight with a very compassionate vet who came to our house.  We were devastated.

It was almost 2 years before we even started to think about getting another dog.  I did my search on  And that proved to be a good thing.  I had chosen a few but they were taken by the time my inquiry came in. And then one of the people who told me my choice was already taken included a photo of another that had just come in and hadn't been included on the site yet.  She was just so cute.  I was asked if I might be interested and I said "yes".  A few weeks later we were waiting in a Home Depot parking lot in Springfield, MA waiting.  A car drove up and parked along side ours.  I got out and a little head popped up from the back seat.  I just gasped at the little ball of cuteness. And Snuggles, our#5, a maltese/shi-tzu, came into our lives.  Wow, she is such a sweetheart and she captured the hearts of everyone in the office.  Four months later, we closed the office and the three of us were on our way to Arizona.  

Five months after moving to Arizona I was at it again.  I felt Snuggles should have a companion so I took to Petfinder again.  And moving in with us on my birthday was Sterling, an adorable and feisty bichon frise-poodle.  

Both Snuggles and Sterling are rescues.  And we couldn't be happier with these two.  We have dog toys and dog beds all over the house.  Our sofa is covered with a blanket for their sleeping comfort.  Their welfare comes first before we make any plans to do anything. They are lavished with love and it's returned ten-fold.

Our son finally gave in to his longing for a dog and he rescued a lab/shar-pei!  And we get to dog-sit for him a few times a week.

The love all our doggies have given us has been immeasurable. They make a house a home.  If we could, we'd fill the house with more rescues.  

Isn't your heart just melting now?

         Sterling and Snuggles with their favorite toys.

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