Gretchen, Dutchess & Peanut

My wife and I began adopting dogs in 1990 when her best-friend’s mother had to give up her miniature schnauzer “Schotzie” due to health reasons. We dog sat for her while she was in the hospital, and found ourselves unable to let him go to a pound or another home, so he stayed with us.
In 1991, shortly after being hired as a Police Officer for a local department, the Animal Control Officer brought me a tiny mixed breed puppy that was so young, it could hardly walk. I was told by the ACO that she took the puppy from the County pound because it was scheduled to be put to sleep the following day. You see, it was the runt of the litter and all of her siblings had been adopted. Well I brought her home in my coat pocket. When my wife arrived home, I had her close her eyes and hold out her hands. I placed the puppy in her hand. Well, to say the least, the puppy became “Gretchen” and stayed with us.
In 2000, a miniature pinscher arrived at the City pound. It was found wandering around the rear of a shopping plaza directly next to an interstate highway. This dog was friendly, smart, and was trained to go outside. I volunteered to give the dog a foster home until it’s owner claimed her. Well, no owner ever called looking for or to claim her. She became “Dutchess”  and stayed with us.
You know, God works is mysterious ways.. We had Dutchess for a month or two before Schotzie had to be put to sleep due to a brain tumor. Loosing Schotzie was devastating to us, but having Gretchen and Dutchess made things tolerable. I’m also absolutely certain that Gretchen would have been lost without Schotzie had it not been for Dutchess being there. After about a year we learned that Dutchess had diabetes. We were finally able to get her diabetes under control by giving her insulin injections twice a day, only to find out that the diabetes had caused cataracts in Dutchess’ eyes. So between 2001 and 2006 my wife and I would not take vacations sine we wouldn’t trust Dutchess’ care to anyone else.
In 2006, after a long bout of illnesses, and numerous stays at the vet, we lost Gretchen. Again my wife and I were devastated. We both vowed “no more pets” due to the pain in losing them.
Then in early 2007, another puppy arrived at the City pound. This puppy was no more than 4 weeks old and as soon as I saw her face, I fell in love. She was a pug mix and I later found that she was a chiwawa-pug (chug). Yes, I was still hurting from Gretchen, but found myself not trusting he care to anyone else, so I brought her home. I surprised my wife with her, and at-first, my wife couldn’t bring herself to say that the puppy could stay (because of the fresh pain still being felt from Gretchen). The following morning I reluctantly put the puppy back into the dog crate to return her to the City Pound. Just prior to my leaving, my wife wanted to look at the puppy again at which time my wife said the puppy could stay. So the puppy stayed and became “Peanut” and was mothered by Dutchess like she was her own. A few months later, my wife’s co-worker offered us the use of their trailer (camper). We took Peanut and Dutchess on our first vacation in over 5 years. We took them to Florida where they got to run on the beach. That hooked us on “RVing”.
My wife and I returned and immediately purchased a fifth wheel trailer so we would be able to go on more vacations with the puppies. We used or fifth wheel in October 2007 when we took the puppies to Myrtle Beach. Dutchess would run on the beach with her held high. She hadn’t done this in years (probably due to the cataracts). It was clear that both Peanut and especially Dutchess enjoyed themselves.
In early 2008, I received a call from my son whose friend was taking their dog (a Pug puppy) to the pound due to a divorce. I instructed my son to bring the dog to me, and I will give it a foster home until I could find it a good home. I brought the dog home before my wife arrived home. When she entered the house, her first words were “what is that thing?”. I assured my wife that the dog was temporary until a good home could be found.
Less than two weeks later, we lost Dutchess, the diabetes took it’s toll on her, and she was having uncontrollable seizures. The night we lost Dutchess, my wife and I returned home from the vet’s office in tears. Well, both Peanut and the Pug came up to us as we sat on the floor. The Pug, made so many snorting, grunting, and other souns, he turned our tears into laughter. Well, again we were able to see God’s hand at work, so the Pug stayed and is now “Buddy”. He and Peanut are inseparable.

I can reassure you that I will not even look at any puppies or dogs at the pound.. This is it. Peanut and Buddy are less than 6 months apart in age and about one and a half and  two years old. We’ll have these guys for a long time to come (God willing).. Oh, by the way, we’ve also upgraded and bought a new motor-home and will be using it often with Peanut and Buddy.. I’m almost embarrassed to say how much we’ve spent on the motor-home just so that we can take the puppies with us on vacations…

Tim from OH


Thanks for all you’ve done and continue to do for our four-legged friends and family members.