Little Babies

Thank you, Mark, for allowing me, through your story, to relive the pleasures and pain of the many wonderful dogs, pedigree & mutts alike, who have enriched my life and the lives of my family.
As I listened to your radio show, I thought about each one of my “little babies”, their little quirks, the funny things they did, each ones individual personality – but sadly I also had to mourn again their passing, with tears.
With the unconditional love they bring into our lives we must also know and accept that there will be unimaginable pain when they leave.

Through out my 50 years I cannot remember a time in my life I did not have a dog, and at times more than one. Have you ever evacuated a hurricane with 4 dogs??? 3 dachshunds and a Lasso Apso!
I did… 4 times in 3 months!!!!

All my ‘babies’, with the exception of 2, were rescue babies. Each one brought joy and comfort to my life and the lives of my family. My husband & I have noticed that the 2 that were not rescues were raised from a few weeks old in safety and with plenty of love and attention– they seem to expect it and take it for granted. They have never known fear, hunger or cold.
The ones we rescued are more loving and grateful for the smallest touch of affection and love. They seem to truly appreciate the love and care they have in our home.

Yes – all my ‘babies’ were and are spoiled. We talk to our dogs, not at them. We look them in the eye when we speak to them and they understand what we say – and at times spell!!!! They are not ‘just dogs’ – they are an important part of our family.
During the trying times of my life, when I was forced to face the death of a loved one, personal illness, separation, loneliness, uncertainty, there was a dog either on my lap or lying at my feet to help me through. Not demanding… just reminding me that I am loved and needed.

There are so many stories, some funny, some hysterical, and some sad that it’s hard to chose just one… but this is one that reminds me of the unconditional love and devotion of dogs.

One of my ‘babies’ helped our daughter stay grounded in her first year away at college. Although we were facing a new chapter in our life – an empty nest – we loaded up our youngest daughter, all her stuffed animals, (I have to admit, I kept a few), her clothes, stereo, and Katie, our 14-pound Lasso Apso and drove them 4 states away. After depositing them in my daughters’ first apartment we prayed as we drove off. “Lord, Keep her safe; help her as she travels these new roads”. We questioned if we had taught her everything we should have about the world outside the safety of home.
7 years later we realize the best thing we did was make her take the dog with her when she left for college. It gave her responsibility; companionship, comfort and she couldn’t stay out all night!!!
She also used the dog as a gauge of whom she chose as friends.
A couple of years ago, as she was laying on the floor, nuzzling Katie, she told us the story of a young man that asked her for a date. He was a young man who came to the restaurant she worked at and she had seen him around campus – in her mind he was safe. When he came to her door Katie became very agitated, growling, snarling and blocking him from coming into the house. Katie had never behaved in this manner – she loved everyone! Our daughter said she also became uneasy and the hair on her neck stood up and she told the young man he had to leave and would not let him in.
She told him that if her dog doesn’t like him there must be something wrong with him and she wasn’t going to find out what it was.
He left – she locked the door and curled up with the dog and read a book.
Two months later this same young man was arrested for rape, kidnapping and assault, found guilty and is currently in prison.
We firmly believe that little, loving dog knew that young man would have hurt our daughter – and she would not allow it!
Katie is now 11 years old and her joints are beginning to stiffen, she gets cranky with small children, but the love that shows in her eyes, clouded by cataracts, is still as true as ever.
Dogs are truly AMAZING creatures and I am so grateful they have allowed me to share their life.
Thank you again,
The Harrison Family
Ocala, FL