We have had six dogs in our 32 years of marriage and we still have two today, Grace and Mocha.
I’ve been a “dog person” as long as I can remember. We had a pair of Boston Terriers when I was young and I remember Mama allowing us to miss school so we’d be there for the puppy delivery. A miracle she didn’t want us to miss. While our dogs have always been thoroughbreds, I am inspired by friends and family who have habitually given a home to rescue dogs, saving them from who knows what. Here,
you will meet some of these pups I have had the privilege to cross paths with.
[pullquote]A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.”
― John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog[/pullquote]
One family who has repeatedly rescued dogs is my daughter’s new in-law parents, and this Spring Season is no exception. Recently, one of their beloved rescues, Maggie, died rather young leaving a big hole in their heart. After a little time had passed, they made the decision to provide a loving home for Rio. When Rio first came to them, he was a big mess. Sadly, Rio had spent most of his days in a puppy mill where his needs were met only when it was convenient for those running the mill. As you will see in the pictures above, there is hardly any comparison between Rio just after the rescue and a few weeks later after his first complete grooming. Rio is settling in nicely and already learning to trust his new parents.
Riley belongs to our daughter and son-in-law, and she has been thankful to be in a safe home since 2007. Riley still struggles sometimes with anxiety and getting along with other dogs, but that is all starting to change since a new sister was added to her home a few months ago. Dory, an English Cream Golden Retriever is now a great companion and comforter for Riley as the following pictures illustrate so well.
Some of my girlfriends who have taken in rescues, literally falling in love with them, include Mary, Debbie and Kathy. As you see the pictures below, you’ll see why it was love at first sight for all three of these friends.
An article cited in this past Sunday’s Marietta Daily Journal (page 7D) featured volunteer pilots who help doomed dogs land a new chance at life. Apparently, such states as GA, CA, and SC typically have too many dogs in shelters, while places like WA, OR, NY, NJ and FL need more abandoned dogs to satisfy the demand. To solve the conundrum, pilots fire up their engine. It’s been a real success. As fast as the pups are flown in, they are adopted.
No matter how attached we might become to these one of these fur-legged friends, chances are that they will make their way to doggie heaven before our time. A couple of good ways to remember our pets include making a big, poster sized picture collage or even designing a bottle of beer in memory of your special pup! Maggie’s “Dad” is a beer craftsman, and pictured here is a beer he made in honor of their Magpie.
Here is a picture collage that Leah and I made in memory of our first Riley,
a Golden Retriever born in 1984 who lived with us for 14 years.
I must admit that dogs can be a lot of trouble at times. They make messes that need to be cleaned up and tear up things that have to be replaced. Having a dog requires the owners to make vacation plans around them, take them to vet appointments, and make sure their food and treats are stocked up.
However, I have found that you get back ten-fold in pure love all that you give to a dog.
Both Gracie and Mochie are constant, loving companions, who rarely leave our side.
A rescue dog or not, there is just something special about having a four-legged canine friend around to spend time with.[pullquote]There is no greater feeling than hanging out with my dogs, or just walking around the land with our horses. My rescue ranch is where I feel the most at peace and where I am reminded of the simple things in life and let the chaos of my crazy work life fade away.” Kelly Clarkson[/pullquote]