Saturday, July 3, 2010

Dog Stories: Four Short Takes--A Saturday Journal

Tonight is a good night to catch up some canine stories, past and present: 

--I am dog-sitting, and thinking a lot about animals today.  My heart still breaks for the injured and dead pelicans and other animals in the Gulf, and for the rescuers there who try their hardest, yet still cannot save all of the creatures who are crying out for help.  In the midst of somber reflection, I am comforted by thoughts of animals in my life, past and present, who have provided meaning in an often absurd world; and by thoughts of heroes who care for the world's creatures....from those who have washed an oiled bird, to those who've donated time or treasure to an animal organization, and (especially) to those who perform the simple kindnesses of feeding, petting, and loving a cat or dog...

--On this Saturday night, I find myself in the quiet company of Shayna, a Border Collie for whom I have provided care for many years while the family has travelled.  Shayna is a rascal--playful, intelligent, wily, and affectionate.  Now, she's slowing down. I noticed her halting gait and lack of energy, where normally she would be jumping with excitement, when I arrived early this morning.  Her tail, though slower than usual, still waved in constant rhythm, and she expressed her love by cleaning my face as pictured here.  We took a walk.  I kept her pace, which was a crawl, until a young squirrel caught her eye--and then, the old Shayna was back, briefly, to attempt a chase.  She didn't eat when we got home, another unusual behavior; and she found quiet and remote corners for her nap...just as Maggie did for a time, as she approached her sunset..... 

--What a wonderful story I saw Friday on the Today show!  Zak Anderegg, of Utah, rescued an 8-month-old puppy from certain death at the bottom of a deep canyon near the Arizona-Utah border.  Zak is a recreational canyoneer, and happened upon this little guy (they named "Puppy") at the bottom of a crevice over 350 feet deep. With conviction,  and sacrificing the rest of his vacation, Zak fed and watered this unfortunate animal; and when told by the local Fire and Police departments that they had no resources to help, Zak secured a cat carrier from a local vet, and went in again to save the dog.   Like many who commented on this story, I was overwhelmed by the happy outcome....although I tried to avoid thinking about the mentality of one who would place an animal as sweet as this at the bottom of a canyon (the dog showed no injuries associated with having fallen in.) 

For the complete story and Today Show Interview with Zak, wife Michelle, and Puppy, (and I think you'll really like this one) click on the video below:

--Last Tuesday I fell in love twice at the Buddy Foundation:

Sadie is an 8-month-old combination of two of my favorite breeds: Dachshund and beagle.  After a walk, and treats, and holding her so she would stop her puppy whining, I hated to walk away.  She will no doubt find a home quickly.

Berta is a puppy too, a big, sloppy friendly St. Bernard.  She is still growing, so I was glad she displayed the characteristic gentility I had come to know from my own St. Bernards growing up.  Operating strictly by instinct, I opened her cage up and went right in, with absolutely no fear, where she sat and enjoyed my  petting, and drooled happily.
Soon, I will share with you the story of Tippy, my own St. many dog stories, it is funny, warm, and ultimately heartbreaking...fair warning!

Tomorrow: Toy Story 3.


  1. OMG Sadie is aDORable! If my gf and I lived in the area, she would def have a new home, and pronto!

  2. Walter...sorry for delaying my respnse to you. I am happy to report that both dogs have been adopted. The Saint Bernard, in fact, is now living in a home with a Bassett Hound!