Hello to all the Levinites out there.

Mark’s stories about his relationship with his dogs really hit home at our household as we also have adopted or rescued our dogs. We had gone about 15 years without a pet when one day my wife said “I want to get a dog”. This surprised me as she hadn’t expressed any desire for a dog for years. She said she wanted one to keep her company while walking in the local parks.

So… we went to the local Pet Smart where a local rescue group meets each Saturday to match people that had pets they couldn’t keep with people that were looking to adopt. My wife had been on their website a few days before and had picked out a dog she liked. When we got to Pet Smart I saw several beautiful dogs that caught me eye, my wife was sitting next to the mixed breed dog that she had picked out and told me “this is the one”. I said, but look at that one, and that one, said reiterated “this is the one” I said OK, let’s fill out the paperwork and take her home. I had no idea what we were getting, on the outside was a Lab + Dingo mix, BUT on the inside was the dog of a lifetime, you only get one of those.

As we got to know “Allie” we found out how blessed we had become. This dog was everything we had hoped for and more. She wasn’t the biggest dog around, but she had a way with other animals, though and could hold her own in any situation. It wasn’t but a few months later while my wife was walking in a nearby park that a derelict looking person started walking towards her, Allie read the situation immediately and got in between my wife and the bum and wouldn’t let him come a step closer. Allie had a sense of humor, too. One time I saw her stare down a junk yard German Shepard that was almost twice her size, she walked towards it slowly until they were nearly eye to eye, then the Shepard flinched, Allie smiled and walked away, tail waging with her “I’m bad” swagger.

Allie would never start a fight nor cause trouble, but if there was someone or other dog around that needed an attitude adjustment, she was there, like a Marine, ready for action. Allie was with us for the last 8 years of her life. On the day she passed, I was like Mark and came unwound and had to take a day off work, I hadn’t missed a day in 4 years. I wasn’t going to get another dog for awhile, I felt it would take sometime for my heart to heal. A few days later when I came home I saw my wife on my computer, she rarely used it. I asked “what are you doing”, then I noticed that she was on the animal rescue website page again. She said “look at this one”, she pointed to a German Shepard that was beautiful, in the picture.

She talked me into going back to Pet Smart “just to look”. The Shepard was there… looking like a refugee, skinny and scared. The couple that had her was going through a divorce and the dog was way down on their list of priorities, she hadn’t bonded with anyone and looked sick. I told my wife “this dog NEEDS rescuing” We brought her home, she shook for 3 days, then settled down. I walk her in the morning before work, again after work and then after dark before going to bed. The exercise brought her appetite back, she started putting on weight on now when people see her in the parks they remark that she’s one of the most beautiful Shepards that they’ve seen. Now… she really looks like a show dog, a real athlete. But… she seemed a bit lost, she was taken from her mother a too early and didn’t learn much about how to be a dog, so we decided to get her a buddy.

About a week later, the local Humane Society set up an exhibit in the building that I work at in downtown Colorado Springs, they brought a couple of dogs with them, one a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. I knew nothing about small dogs, nothing about Corgis. We brought our Shepard over the the Humane Society and had her meet the Corgi, they got along just fine, so we adopted the Corgi, named her “Maggie” and soon both my wife and I were blown away at how smart and perceptive this little girl was. She soon began teaching the Shepard “how to be a dog”. I’m fortunate to live 5 minutes from a rugged park full of trails that is about 800 acres. I take them there every Saturday and Sunday mornings for long walks. To the dogs it’s like the ultimate doggy gym, they can run off their leashes, chase rabbits and have a ball!

I found out how brave the Corgi is when a Coyote tried attacking her, she reversed the situation and ran after the Coyote! Mr. Coyote’s eyes got real big and he split pronto. I could go on for hours talking about my two 4 legged girls… Special thanks to Mark for putting up the space for all of us dog lovers to tell our stories. They touch our hearts like few things in life can, they enrich us and help put things into perspective when our lives get discombobbled.

Thanks again Mark, you are truely “The Great One”.

– Thomas from CO