My Dogs

I just finished reading Rescuing Sprite and I can’t tell you any book that I’ve read that made me cry and laugh more than this one. It felt pure joy and almost unbearable sorrow as I read this. I need to thank you for allowing me into your family’s experiences with this remarkable family member and I wanted to share a little bit of mine. Isn’t it incredible how the human mind is able to love so deeply! Although the inital loss of a 4 legged family member is almost too much to handle, the pain does cease in time and In place of the pain, we are eventually left with smiles and warm memories. I have been an animal lover all my life and I am an old woman now. I have had the priveledge of sharing my life with many dogs and within the past few years, I have added cats to my family. I remember each and every one who has passed and can recall the unique experiences I shared with each. Regardless of the pain involved in losing one, I will never stop sharing my life with my companions. I currently have 7 cats and 5 dogs and they all give me great comfort and enjoyment. I work closely with local animal rescue chapters and no-kill facilities. I will soon be volunteering my time to help educate the publc in the importance of spaying and neutering. Each and every one of by pets is precious to me. For each of those that I have lost I want to use this forum to express a little bit of my memories and I hope your readers will do the same.
I’ll keep this just to the dogs.

Katie: We just put her to sleep last week and you know I am still mourning. She was approximately 16 and a Jack Russell mix. Katie came from a local animal control facility and was destined to be put down within days. She had a strange way of snarling and baring her teeth as she rolled onto her back to be petted. Never mean, just expressed love in an odd way.

Tippy: My first dog, some sort of very small terrier. I had always been told that she ran away when I was 6. It wasn’t until just before my father died 2 years ago that he finally told me that he was hit by a car. Tippy ate bananas.

Mitzi: A beautiful cocker mix. As a child, I wanted a dog so badly that one Christmas morning I woke up early and went down the street to our neighbor’s house (he was our small town sheriff) and opened up his back gate and brought his German Shepherd home. I proceeded to tell my parents that Santa had brought me a dog. The next week my Dad came home with a puppy. I took Mitzi to school in the 2nd grade for show and tell. We moved from that small town within a few years and gave Mitzi to a farming family. 21 years later, Mitzi was hit by a semi on the highway in front of their farm.

Moisha: A standard poodle and one of the best friends I ever had. Moisha would lay at the foot of my bed at night and I never saw her go to sleep. She always waited for me to go to sleep first. When I started dating, my dates would come to our door and if Moisha didn’t growl then I’d go out with them. If she growled, forget it. She was a very good judge of character. Moisha was the only dog that had pups and we bred her to another beautiful standard. We kept only one of them and found very fine homes for the others. Moisha was poisoned in our own back yard by a dog hating neighbor.

Sake-Tu-Mi: He was 1/2 of a pair of Shih-tzus I got from a pet shop going out of business. Sake waddled from the time he was a puppy. He loved to be brushed and would stick out his tongue and lap the air when brushed. He loved tomatoes. Sake was blinded by that same neighbor and we put him down. In retrospect, I have to question whether that was the correct decision. We prosecuted the neighbor after Sake’s death.

Lei-Ti-Ming-Qua-Chi: The female of the Shih-Tzu pair. When I originally got the pair, I tried to hide her from my parents because I didn’t think they’d want more dogs. At this time, Moisha had just had a litter of pups and when I brought this pair home, it made 9 in the house. Lei-Ti fit in my pocket for about 6 months. When I moved away from home to Connecticut, I took the pair with me and they were my constant companions for the 6 months I was away. Lei-Ti lived to 18 and died in her bed one night. She never stopped missing Sake.

Doobie: Moisha’s pup. My mother called her Dumb Dora. I do believe Doobie was intellectually challenged. Doobie was a digger. Once my Dad found toys buried in his garden. He had wondered why his irises weren’t coming up. Doobie developed mouth cancer and we put her down.

Keska: Part afghan I found at Animal control as a puppy. One of the frustrating things about adopting or rescuing pets from government operated shelters is that they don’t vaccinate against diseases. Keska loved the water. She developed distemper that she was exposed to at the shelter. I nursed her and cared for her including covering her legs with empty Christmas wrap rolls so she would not chew holes in them. We thought she made it through. Then one day I took her to a local lake where she went swimming. Later that night, the distemper came back and I had no choice to have her put to sleep within the next week. I blame myself for that. I still think the lake was the wrong choice. Keska winked and had green eyes.

Sasquatch: He was some sort of Lhaso mix. He loved my mother. They were inseperable. He was also a tomato loving boy. He developed a skin condition and became miserable. Although we followed our vet’s instructions of baths 2x per week and using ointment on his raw and bleeding skin, we just couldn’t seem to make it better. We had him put down when he was just 2 years old.

Boo Dog. I have no idea what she was, except she was absolutely a character. She literally came to our front door and knocked with her tail to get in. The very first day she came into our lives, she began jumping up into my arms. She could do back flips! And the tennis ball, she would play fetch for hours and never tire. We took her to be spayed and she died on the operating table.

Chloe: My precious darling afghan hound. She came from a rescue group I was working with. Of all my pets, Chloe touched my heart in ways no other has. She was found at a rest stop in N. Ga, wandering and hungry. she was small for an afghan and had a broken tail. She slept on the bed with me every night with her head on my back. She licked my face when the alarm went off. Chloe chased anything that moved and her favorite was squirrels in the back yard. She actually injured her back one day when she chased a squirrel up a tree. Of course, dogs are not made to climb trees and gravity got her and down she went. Oh how I wish I had a video camera at that moment. Chloe died in my bedroom one Sat. morning. I know I should have taken her to the vet and done the humane thing when she was got so old and crippled that she whined every time she got up. She is the only one buried in my back yard, by the tree where she fell.

Sam Houston Another afghan. I had taken an internship in D.C. but had not moved any of my dogs with me. Needless to say, I was missing canine companionship. I looked through the yellow pages already knowing I wanted another afghan and found a groomer that worked with afghans. Sshe said she had an afghan she would be willing to sell. When I went to MD to look at this dog, he was matted, skinny and in a very small crate in the backyard. This groomer told me they had to keep him in the crate because he jumped the fence. When she brought him to me, it was obvious he had never been socialized because the first thing he did was bite my head. Really! I did not take Houston that day but I kept thinking about him for about a week and I decided I needed to liberate him from his miserable home. So, one night, I went back to that house, jumped the fence myself and let him out of his crate. I must admit I stole him that night. It took about 1 day for us to become best of friends. He was a very large afghan. I came home from work one day and the wrapper of the doughnuts I had placed on the top of the refrigerator was on the floor. I did not believe he could actually get something on top of the fridge so I put a bag of cookies up there. Later on that evening, I heard paper rattling in the kitchen and he had done it again. Once, he also got a roast that was defrosting in the kitchen sink. Houston grew old and was about 14 when his arthritis became more than he could bare. I took him to the vet and said my “Good-byes.”

Annie was a pitbull boxer mix I found on the side of the highway as a very little puppy. She was always so gentle but loved to chew. As a pup, she literally ate my bathroom. I mean, in one day, the chewed off the wooden trim, ate a hole in the door and stripped the wallpaper. She was starting on the cabinet when I came home from work. She was always afraid of loud noises and on the 4th of July in her 14th year the fireworks scared her to death. She ran into that same bathroom and let out a screech. Just that fast, she was dead.

Maggie was a lab mix that I found on the 5th floor of a parking deck in downtown Atlanta. This was a deck where, in order to enter, you had to use a key card. So, her owner had to have dropped her off there. Maggie was extremely sick. Her belly was bloated and she had mange. But with the proper care, she was healed. Maggie never got excited about anything. I should have named her Mellow. She loved to lick my face or my palm slowly with her full tongue. She walked slow, she wagged her tail slow, and she even barked slow. Maggie was an old soul. She never played with toys and was by far, the easiest of all my dogs to raise. She had a crate that she loved to sleep in, even though I never locked the door. I had her for about 10 years and found her dead in her crate on a rainy November day. I carried her body to the vet.

Foots was a spaniel puppy I had for just a couple of months. He was full of energy but had an intestinal malformation. He died on my patio and I never knew why.

Tootsie was a small terrier mix that I found running through my neighborhood. She smiled all the time and couldn’t get enough tummy rubs. She loved to lick. She was addicted to people food and ate popcorn and cheese almost every day. She didn’t bark. She played with toys constantly. She developed a skin disease much like Sasquatch and unfortunately, I couldn’t stand to see her suffer so I put her to sleep at the age of approximately 3.
Needless to say, this has been an emotional experience writing about all my children that have gone on to Doggy Heaven. Many of these dogs were in the house at the same time. But like Pepsi and Sprite, they all got along. We could all learn much from canines.

I know that Griffen will not replace Sprite and he is not meant to. He will become another loving member of your family to enjoy, pamper and share experiences with until it is his day to join Sprite. I’m sure they will have a lot to talk about.

Maryanne from GA