My buddy Jack
16 years ago a woman I was dating begged me to take a young puppy from the shelter where she worked. She told the story of how he was to be euthanized because no one would take him. They couldn’t find a home for him because he ran from everyone, he would not let anyone close, and he was terrified of people. The rest of story was that someone had hurt him, badly. I thought I was doing him favor, I believed I was being of service. I bestowed the honor of naming him Jack, after a great man in my life who had passed on a few years earlier. Jack was allowed to be who he was, desperately wanting love and attention, crippled by fear. It took 2 solid years before he trusted me enough to allow his belly to be rubbed. Throughout his life he never lost his fear, he did grow to trust that he was safe with me, and that I was not going to hurt him. Every single interaction we had through his life, I would patiently let him go through his ritual of shaking with fear, and barking until he felt comfortable enough for me to touch him. I thought it was I who was being of service to him Today I am 10 years sober. The math points out Jack was with me 6 years before my current sobriety date. The darkest period of my life. Jack loved me unconditionally when I wasn’t very lovable. My faithful companion throughout. I now have a better idea of who was being of service to whom. Today perhaps I was of service. Jack was tired, life had become hard, and painful for the old man. When the vet administered the sedative, Jack relaxed. Maybe truly relaxed, without fear, for the only time in his long life. Rest in Peace my sweet companion. There is a very special place waiting for you.
My Aerial Bomber
We finally had a house, 2 cats in the yard, as the song goes… and it was finally time to add a puppy to the mix. Enter Aerial Bomber who turned into one of those best-dogs-in-the-world kind of dog. Stressful days at work called for a lunch trip to our local nursery to look at flowers. One day instead fate intervened and pulled me to our local humane society. And there was this tiny ball of gold and white fluff, a cut paw, no tail and looking very lost. She had been brought in as a 6 week old stray puppy. I wasn’t sure what type of breed she was but knew in my heart she was exactly the right one for me. Being a stray I had to wait a few days for the hold in case someone claimed her. Adopting her wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought. That night a forest fire was creeping close to the humane society and a call went out to come and rescue the animals. I tried to get there as quick as I could but the road was already closed. To save the building they called in an aerial bomber to fight the fires! Two days later the road was open and the stray hold was lifted. Arriving bright and early so I could be first in line to adopt her, she was gone. I was heartbroken. Slowly that day rescuers trickled back in, returning the animals they had saved from the fire. Staff said they would call if she was returned and many anxious hours later we received that call. The person who had rescued her during the fires wanted to know if we still wanted her. Of course we did! After all that, it was only fitting to name her Aerial Bomber. Aerial lived up to her name. An Aussie or Border collie mix, she loved to fly through the air catching Frisbees, and ran like the wind. She learned tricks in minutes. Understood every word I said. I had to change the word for squirrel at least 5 times because she learned every name I used and her mission was to keep them from our yard. She loved everyone and every dog she met, and made me smile every day. Aerial will always live in my heart, and truly was the best dog in the world.
My husband and I used to take our karate class to the ocean beach during the summer for beach training. One year, with the car back seat full of coolers and food supplies, and my husband in front with his Peke dog, we saw a dog straddling the double yellow line of the 2-lane highway, looking completely panicked. I recalled a friend living in the southwest telling me how she’d picked up strays by the side of the highway, and I realized I could not let this dog go. I pulled over to the side of the road, to the concern of my husband and the dog, and beckoned the dog to come over. She looked at me with the expression on her face saying – really? Really?? I told her to come, and she bounded over and jumped in the back seat. With the help of one of our students, we bathed and fed her, and I tried to find her home nearby, but nothing. I’m pretty sure she’d had puppies a while back and either jumped from the back of a truck or was abandoned. This started one of the greatest love affairs of my life. I named her Ocean for her husky-blue eyes and where I found her. She was my first dog, and taught me more than I can ever repay. She got along with everyone, dogs, cats, people – her heart was pure and all love. She died over 3 years ago, but she still lives fully in my heart.
In June of 2016, I heard a chirping sound outside beneath my bedroom window. I didn’t think much of it at first; I assumed it was a bird, but after it was still going on a hour later I went outside to see why. Inside my window well, there was a tiny, mostly white kitten all alone. It was getting dark, so I emptied a box, put a towel and the kitten inside the box and headed to the nearest grocery store for kitten formula and a tiny bottle. I looked up “infant kittens” on my phone to see what to do. The kitten appeared to be about 2 weeks old, so it needed bottlefed every 3 hours and stimulation to potty. My two 2 year old male/female littermates took over potty duty like the kitten was their own while I continued to bottlefeed. Originally I believed the kitten was male; and it was mostly white with a reddish goatee, so I named it Albus James (After Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter) and called it Alby. A few days later, I realized that Alby was a female. I kept the nickname, but changed her name to Albreanna Jamesyn. (Dumbledore’s full name was Albus Percival Wulfrich Brian Dumbledore) Now, 3 years later, she still goes by Alby sometimes, but she’s usually called Bee. (Dumbledore is an ancient term for Bumblebee.) She is the sweetest, most loving cat ever. She still adores my 2 older (now 5 year old) cats, and will cuddle with them just like they did when she was a baby.
Life on a log chain
Ollie’s a maltizhu! Such a loving boy. Approx 9 now. He was on a log chain year-round in a grandmothers backyard in Mt. Carmel, IL. If the woman had any leftovers she threw them out to him. If not, he got nothing. One of our girls who delivered her prescriptions tried for months to get her to let her have him so she could find him a good home. Finally after about a year, on the day the old woman was going to take him to be euthanized, she was delivering her meds. The girl took him home and cleaned him up and brought him to the grocery store that my husband was the manager of to see if anyone would want him. He saw my husband coming down an isle and took off after him. Hence, guess who he came home with!!! You could tell he’d been kicked around cause he has bad hips. Pestered by kids on bikes etc. He has been the best little guy. We already had a maltese, but he was so good with her as she had health problems. When we had to let her go 4 years ago, it was so hard on him. About 6 months later we adopted a shihtzu senior and they’ve been best friends. She has scarring on her eyes real bad so he’s been her protector. He’s had Cushings Disease for at least a year now and December 2017 he had to have surgery for 2 discs in his neck. The doctor at Purdue University felt it was caused by being on a log chain when he was little. His recovery was awesome! However, the Cushings is breaking down the tissue in his hips and knees. But he remains the most loving baby. He’s on meds 6 times a day and he’s the best taking it. When we got Ollie from the hospital after his neck surgery it was Dec. 23rd!!! We were broke and he was our Christmas present and is still a gift!!!! Imagine a small white puppy with thin hair left outside year round on a log chain. I don’t look back as it angers me so. I look at the life we’ve given him and see this loving, happy baby. And yes, he’s a baby…..our baby!!!
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