4 Legged Friends

Hi Mark,

I always love to talk about my wonderful 4 legged friends.

I especially love Labs and have had two. For me my heart was broken twice in a very short time.

In 1988 I decided to get a dog after many years of not having a pet. A girl who worked for the same company as myself had Black Lab puppies and wanted to find good homes for them. So, I went and picked the cutest pup who became Cassie. My best friend used to asked me all the time, tell me what she looks like. All I could say was “she is just the cutest pup in the world”. She really was!! She was the most beautiful Lab and oh so smart. She played ball better then the Mets. :) She could run deep and keep her eye on that ball and catch it everytime! She could play ball until she dropped. She was truly something to watch. A black streak in the field. Her other love was swiming, which would have not been anything without retreiving her ball. So there she was, a sight to behold, swiming with that yellow ball in her mouth. I loved her so much and was so proud of her. Just like my two wonderful sons that I have. They loved her too! But, Cassie was my dog.

I noticed one day while throwing the ball to her that she was off; she was not able to catch nor did she want to. I knew from that day something was wrong. As time went on Cassie began to not have her beautiful shining coat. The vet said, “oh don’t worry she is just going through a time of change” or something as stupid. The change was him.. I kept watch over her and with tests found that her kidneys were failing. A few months later I had to put my beloved, beautiful girl down at the young and vital age of 5. I was simply devastated and cried forever. She died of kidney failure.

I just never wanted another dog. I could not bare the thought of feeling that way again!

I was without a pet for another 2 years and my younger son Paul brought home Marko (renamed Sammy)from North Shore Animal Shelter in 1995. He was a black lab mix. Mostly Lab. Another beautiful dog. Sammy had growling issues from not having a good start in life. Resued from a puppy mill in VA, where I guess he had to fight for his food. He growled all the time around his food and as much as I tried to help him get out of that, he never did. Before he came to me he was placed with a family that had young children. You can see how that would not have worked out. Not sure what he went through between the time he was with tha family and back to North Shore.

Sammy was different then Cassie, in as much, as he didn’t care to run or catch the ball. He would go for the ball 3 times and that was enough for him. He couldn’t catch like her either. :). I began to fall in that “love trap” and there was no holding or turning back. Even with his growling, he was still a great dog. He loved my family and we spent many wonderful times walking or just hugging, and being together. Sounds like it should be the man in my life. ahh no, he was better!!

Sammy turned 5 and silly as it may sound, I was so relieved. He made it! and he was going to live a long, healthly, happy life. Not so. At age 6 1/2 Sammy developed cancer, but upon finding this out it was already too late. When they opened him it had spead through most of his body. Here I was again facing the worst of the worst. Of course, I would only do what was best for Sammy; I put him down. Once again I was feeling that gripping pain throughout my body. I didn’t want to be feeling that! I thought, how could this be happening AGAIN. In the span of 11 years, I had two dogs when people have one maybe longer, if they are lucky.

I feel this way, Sammy & Cassie lived a short but a very wonderful, loving life wth me. They were my family and better then some people I have the displeasure of knowing.

I must say that for Sammy, if he did not have his short life with me, I do think he would have been mis-understood and very mistreated for his growling problem. So if he had to have a short life, I’m so glad God let him have it with me.

Cassie and Sammy were very different, just like us but, I will never, ever forget them. I have their ashes with me and many pictures and happy memories.

Since Sammy passed, I have not wanted another dog.

My son Paul who brought home Sammy has just moved to FL and was unable to take his Velvet. He was heart broken. So guess who has her?? Yup, me. She is a Pit Bull, the sweetest of sweet. She is 12 and is doing well. She has ajusted very well and loves being with me. She has been blessed and for a 12 year old she looks great and is a little stiff after sleeping. But, who isn’t……. So now it is Velvet and Me, two older Ladies. :)))

And, that Mark is my story. I hope you read this. I can’t wait to get your book.

Thank you for a great talk radio. I listen as much as I can and love your show.

Take care Mark and God Bless You.

Barbara from NY