When we’re ready to adopt an animal, we ask the universe to send us someone who needs help and that someone else may not want. Peaches came to us after one of those requests 11-1/2 years ago. She was ~5 years old, completely deaf, epileptic, and not house-trained. But what a terrific dog she was! Thanks to our trainer, we all learned hand signals, and we learned how to house train her. She got along with our cats and our other dog, and she let us hold and cuddle her.
And she was an intrepid beach dog. Every day, no matter what the weather, she would trot down the beach behind us with her fluffy tail up and wagging, keeping us in her sights – full sun, rain, strong winds, blowing sand, whatever – she just trotted along. She wasn’t very interactive with other dogs or humans, but she totally charmed everyone with her quiet, hopeful, “Are you going to give me a treat now?” look, friends and strangers alike. Her treat look often included tilting her head and lifting one ear straight up and giving a hint of a Mona Lisa smile.
She was an excellent negotiator (some would say extortionist). Over time, she established a whole list of definitive dog cookie rules for the beach, and we (and everyone else) always complied. The “get out of the car and reach the path” rule. The “you were carrying me and now you put me back down” rule. The “turn-around at the fence” rule. The “crossing the bridge” rule. The “wow, it’s so good to see you” rule (no matter how many times she’d already seen you that morning). The best one (for me) was, “I will sit quietly here and not wander off while you talk with your friends forever or take ten pictures or pick up endless trash – but when you’re done, you owe me a cookie for sure” rule.
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She never, ever wandered off – which was a good thing, since she was deaf, and you couldn’t call her back to you. Sometimes she would get distracted, but her Australian shepherd siblings learned how to get her attention, and then you could catch her eye and signal to her, and she would come running (which of course required another cookie).
She was smart and funny and sweet and content – whether she was in your arms on the couch or the beach or in her doggie front-pack or in the back seat of the car or in the kitchen watching you cook. We had to say goodbye to her a month ago, and we can’t begin to say how much we miss her. But we hope she’s trotting along on a beach right now somewhere with her brother Romeo, another superb beach dog who left us four years ago.
Story submitted by Judy and Glenna from San Francisco, California.
Peaches’ story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!
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