Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dogs, Living and Dead, and Cared For---Tuesday Journal

Many thanks to loyal readers who encouraged me with comments on my personal piece from yesterday. And welcome, new readers, or shy ones...I hope to hear from many of you soon.........

I continue with my pipeline of short posts on various topics....Tonight, being Tuesday, and my day at the Buddy Foundation, this post is dedicated to "i miei cani" dogs....
(I have sort of begun to think in Italian....)
An evening of heartbreak and humor at the shelter tonight:
--Howard is a puppy, supposedly a beagle.  I suspect, given the shape of his head, and the fact that his ears bend at the tips and don't flop straight down, that he is a mix with a boxer or a pit bull.  Four months old, found abandoned but in good shape, he enjoys chewing stuffed animals, rope toys, and the unprotected ears of yours truly, with equal enthusiasm and aplomb. He wiggled into my arms and sat there quietly while I carried him. 
--Gorgeous George, a beautiful 7-month old collie-shepherd, had baby-soft piles of fur on his head, firm and very large paws, and a sleek face that blended both breeds perfectly.  My first dog, Bonnie, when I was about five, was a collie-shepherd, a tiny puppy who went blind.  At that time, it was considered cruel to allow a dog to live blind, so we had to put her to sleep. George, however, is healthy as can be, and should find a home soon.
--WHY?  Duchess, a black pit bull, was brought in, with ligature marks on all 4 legs where she had been tied up, and the tip of her tail cut off, reportedly with a butter knife.  She looked like she might have had puppies recently. This dog was as gentle as could be. If she had shoulders, she might shrug them and say, "I don't KNOW what I did wrong...I just want you to be kind...."

Good Bye Mocha....
a 14-year-old Mutt that I used to care for when her family was away.  Arthritic, and having difficulty eating, she passed away.  She was a senile and exuberant old girl....she knew I was somewhere close but could not always tell exactly where, so she would run past me crookedly, wagging her tail and barking joyously, looking all over for me, until I approached her and let her know where I was.  I will miss her.  She is survived by her caregivers, a kind and generous Persian couple; and her canine sisters: Summer, a 10-year-old Golden Retriever who has her own couch; and Madison, a Cavalier King Charles who can't walk, and must be carried outside and fed by hand.  I will be back to care for these two in a few weeks.

I had the privilege of caring for two special dogs belonging to a high-profile member of our College while he attended a conference.

Sammy is all mutt, with a lot of Golden in him, and, I would guess, a good amount of Hound.  He's a quiet, patient dog, whose sole vice is to sleep with me in bed at night.  I gave in almost immediately.  Look at the kindness in his face....

Cissy is a Shepherd-Black Lab puppy of about four months, who is a shining example of perpetual motion.  She loves to terrorize Sammy by chewing his tail, running rings around him, and stealing his bone.  She shredded her dog bed,  too, but redeemed herself by fetching the paper every morning.

A handful were these two, but I loved them, and look forward to our next play-time together.


  1. It always amazes me what some people, like Duchess former owner, are capable of.

    When me an my ex first adopted our two dogs (Chips and Salsa, now residing with him) they were both petrified of any contact with other dogs and humans, running into corners and shaking with fear when in new situations. It took a huge amount of love and patience for them to trust us. Including a lot of time sat in orners with them until they had the confidence to join us in the middle of rooms.

    Chips - now a vibrant beautiful (maybe a little demanding) Jack Russell - had lost most of the fur on her eyes due to stress and abuse from other dogs.

    I only wish that all dogs had the loving homes that they deserve.

  2. Ben-- You did a kind thing by taking in these two---Chips and Salsa--and helping them through their fears.
    Do you have a dog of your own?

  3. I just love these wonderful stories you write about the animals you care for at home and at the shelter. No one else could put into words as well as you the stories they tell with their eyes or describe their individual personalities. Love the photos too! Great post, Tom!

  4. Tom: Thank you for visiting. Your kind comments are always encouraging. Dogs give me great material, and I do my best to honor their spirit, and their playfulness.

  5. Each dog and cat has their own lives and stories to tell just like Humans. What they have gone through and how they survive. Thanks Tom for all their stories and all the kind work you do.
    I and my partner rescued a pound puppy and she was the most loving dog I ever had.
    We also found a calico kitten in a dumpster in Alabama who also lived a long life as well.
    Both as well as my partner are all gone now, I miss them and I think about the happy times we had together.

  6. Stan,
    I grieve for your losses. They can never be replaced. I hope my stories make you smile, and remember some happy moments.....I so appreciate your visits, and comments!

  7. Hi Tom,

    I'm afraid no replacements for me for now. Maybe one day.