I’m not sure how it is in your neighborhood but in ours, it seems like there is one dog for every person who lives here! We have two, Elsa and Zorra, and not long ago we had 3, before we lost our stinky, naughty but well loved basset hound, Ole. Before Elsa and Zorra, we had our BEST dog ever Oscar (along with Ole, they were best buddies with Ole running the show), a golden retriever, who was truly our best friend. And long before Ole and Oscar were Raijah and Akitah, our husky mixes.
In addition to our dogs, I also have/had a couple furry nieces and nephews, George (who passed recently) and little Lulu (still very much alive and kicking and barking). And we have a very special addition to the family, his name is Levi and you will learn about him shortly.
Dogs are amazing creatures, who are truly the happiest “people” to see us day after day, minute after minute. I step outside to the garage or yard for a bit without them and enter the house again, and it’s like Christmas for them as they jump and prance around me. After being gone to work for a whole day, it is usually meltdown city when I enter the door as they BOTH feel the need to jump around me barking to tell me about their day. Elsa is also always sure to bring me a random shoe (not necessarily mine) as a token of her love for me. Bruce has said more than once that after I leave for work, Zorra will lay at the door for some time until she figures out I’m not coming right back (which always makes me think of this scene from The Secret Life of Pets).
Animals but especially dogs, have long ago stopped being, well….just animals. Today, our pets often fill a void that sometimes, nothing else can. For people that have never had children, their pets truly become their children. For some elderly, pets are their true confidant and best friend. For people with disabilities, such as sight or hearing loss, their pets are truly their eyes or their ears.
Often when I drive to work (I work at the same time everyday) I see a gentleman who is sight impaired walking with his seeing eye dog (a black lab), and it gives me goose bumps each time. This dog knows when to go, when to stop and truly are this man’s eyes. It is incredible to watch as this amazing, smart creature gives this man the independence that he would maybe not have otherwise.
A dog is a symbol of love and devotion that we do not often see in today’s world. They give love, without asking for it to be returned. We often look to our dogs to find the love and strength within us. And honestly, by looking at our dog, we can learn how to be true friends and loving members of a family, they are a great example of that.
Dogs are heroes! So many stories of police and military dogs that continually protect their master’s from dangers, and often lay their lives down for them.
Dog’s are amazing healers! They bring a smile to sick children and adults the world over. Service dogs are sometimes the only “good” visit someone who is ill receives in a day. I work in a hospital and we have service dogs that come and sit on the waiting area to distract kiddos as they wait for surgery. They are truly amazing creatures!
So often, I see a homeless person with a dog. I always wonder how they can take care of them but I have witnessed more than once a homeless person receiving food, and giving it to his dog first. I get choked up every time.
I’m am saddened beyond belief when I watch the ASPCA videos! How can people do this?
And this truly happens! My son’s girlfriend, Kayeson lives in California and for so long was wanting to rescue a golden retriever. Finally after much persistence she found a couple at a local shelter. She went immediately and was introduced to them, a male and female. They were left in a box, in the squelching heat, in the middle of the desert! Unfortunately, as we know via the ASPCA videos, this story isn’t unique. There are so many abused and neglected animals. Someone found them and brought them to the shelter (thank God!). Kayeson was able to adopt the male, who she named Levi ⇓, who now gets all the love and attention he deserves!
Meet our golden, his name was Oscar. Seriously the best dog we ever had as far as training and temperament. The kids could literally climb all over him, pull his hair and take his toys from his mouth and he would never growl or throw a fuss.We surprised the boys with him. Here is Darien right after I set Oscar in his lap for the very first time!
I will never forget the day we brought Ole home, Oscar was about a year old. This was Oscar’s look, it was definitely a “you gotta be kidding me mom!” look if there ever was one!
But they became fast friends, with Oscar being a saint and taking a backseat to our little bully basset named, Ole!
Ole was a character and he definitely got his way (even having little Madi, who weighed less them him at the time, give him a ride in her wagon!). Oscar was always the patient saint that just went with the flow. Here he is as he jumped in the jeep ready to go with Darien (his best human friend ever!), even though he couldn’t go with him. It took a lot of coaxing to get him back out, he loved his ginger human “brother” mucho! The last picture is of Darek and Ole. Often Darek would lay down like this just wherever (this happens to be right in the middle of my kitchen!), and Ole would lay his head on Darek and do his little hound whimper to get all the attention he could!
This was our last picture with Oscar. He had cancer and we had to put him to sleep. One of the worst things a person ever has to do is to hold your dog as they take their last breath.
Dogs have such short little lives and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home to them. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives so consistently. I know that I have witnessed amazing things even with my own dogs. After we lost Oscar, Ole went from door to door for hours whining. I tried to put him outside thinking that was why he was whining but he was inconsolable. I realized after a while that he was looking for Oscar. After a while he just laid at the door, a low, quiet whine escaping his lips. My heart hurt for him and for our loss of Oscar.
We got Elsa after we lost Oscar, so that Ole would have a companion (at least we tell ourselves it was for Ole). Truthfully, I think he would’ve been just fine an only furry child. He was not very impressed by his little fur baby sister. In fact, at times he would get so frustrated with her that he would hold her down with his head (his arms were a little too short to deal with her). She loved him though, and she was constantly chasing after him, running around him and jumping over him. Scrooge Ole could never dampen Elsa’s fun, much to Ole’s dismay. I have to believe that she kept him young and once Zorra came along, they would entertain Ole on our trips to the park.
We lost Ole on St Patty’s Day 2017. I will never forget the last few days as it was just so sad, and so traumatic. But I will also never forget these two little girls, Elsa and Zorra, as they sat patiently and protectively by their big brother in those final days. It was like they knew that something was coming and they would sit close by him quietly (which is amazing if you know anything about Elsa!).
Before Oscar, Ole, Elsa and Zorra, there was Raijah and Akitah. These two dogs were stubborn, yet loyal to no end. They first taught us what it meant to have a ‘furry family member’. We lost both these girls years ago but their pictures hang proudly on our wall still. They were and are a part of our family history.
And here is my furry niece, Lulu. I don’t admit it to Ally but Lulu has grown on me. This little white fluff ball who barks at every leaf blowing around in the yard is annoying at best, but cute as heck. When we watch her (and Ally isn’t around cuz I would never admit that I like the annoying little thing), I often grab Lulu and carry her around and have her cuddle with me on the couch (much to Elsa and Zorra’s dismay cuz they are NOT allowed on the furniture!). You will find Lulu tucked behind Ally ⇓ most of the time, she (lulu) loves her (ally). And don’t be mistaken by her size, Lulu has Zorra hiding behind me most of the time that she is at our house (little bully!).
And last, my furry nephew George. On man, we loved Georgie and we lost him a couple months ago. My brother Lon and his fiancee, Sara were devastated, this here was their baby together! Lonny, who is one of the most stoic people I know, sobbed on the phone when he called me. I was at BWW’s eating with my family for Chad’s birthday and I could barely keep from sobbing myself. I choked back the tears and tried to console him as best I could, but what do you say when one loses their furry best friend? George was a big ole dufus (meant in the most of loving ways!) who would lumber around the house with his big old feet stomping around like the Grinch. He was the sweetest dog, who had the most laid back personality ever. He is missed ever so greatly. I love the picture of him peaking around the door ⇓ Sara said there was barely a time that she could go to the bathroom without George “checking in”.
Dogs love us unconditionally. They would protect us to no end, check out these two little furballs protecting their mistress!
I don’t know what Elsa and Zorra would do if anyone ever broke in but I have an idea that Zorra would give them pause at the least. Once when the lawn guy came to fertilize our yard, I was in the garage with the dogs and Zorra flew to the front of me and barked ferociously at the man, only backing off when I yelled at her to stand down. She did but she sat in front of me, hair raised…on my feet.
Zorra and Elsa alert us to every danger, real and imagined. They are always so proud and still, I usually yell at them to stop barking! Their usual perch is at the front window where they can see every possible activity happening out front, and unfortunately, the window ⇓ is at their perfect height.
Dogs give us their all, often getting scraps in return for attention. We are the focus of their love and they are loyal to no end. We are the center of their universe. Dogs are, without a doubt, the best deal man has ever received.
As I write this, Elsa is literally half under my chair (her usual spot when I’m blogging) and Zorra is staring at me intently from 5 feet away. I feed them. I water them. I walk them. I give them an occasional head rub. But I rarely cuddle them but they love me intently none the less. They are my constant companions, always just out of reach or under my feet but always close. Zorra sleeps at the foot of my bed and Elsa on the landing at the bottom of the stairs. They are our protectors, and are forever watchful and loving.
“A dog is the only thing on Earth that loves you more than he loves him/herself”. Period.
If you can, adopt a dog that needs a home, like Kayeson did, and like we did with Raijah, Akitah, Zorra and Elsa. Oscar and Ole were are only purebreds. If you cannot adopt, consider sponsoring a dog, just pennies a day helps to feed and shelter a dog. Just look for local sponsoring opportunities in your area. An example would be Pet Haven in MN or the ASPCA but there are many organizations that you can help to sponsor an animal.
Also, report any abuse that you witness or suspect, as these poor animals cannot defend themselves.