Dogs and how they make your life better

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Our first dog was Lucky. He was a large black dog – a mixed Rhodesian Ridgeback (he had the distintive ridge in the hair on his back) and a Polish Hunting dog. He was a rescue we got when we lived in Littleton, MA. He went everywhere with us and he was such a wonderful dog. He even moved across country with a 9 month old baby, Quinn, and a pregnant me. I threw up most of the way across the country and he sat in his soft crate in the rear of the minivan and he got to see the beauty of the northern United States as we ventured across stopping many, many times along the way. Lucky was an amazing dog. He brought joy to our first home and to our new marriage. He was fun and easy to walk and he loved to run. He would chase the turkeys in the open forest behind our home. He was such a good dog.

Lucky was 1 year and 1/2 when we adopted him and when Quinn was 15 months old the docs said his congestion and up all night (we had Meghan by then) was due to his dog allergy. We were devastated and found Lucky a marvelous home on one of the islands just outside of Seattle (where we had moved to). A few months after we re-homed Lucky we discovered in fact Quinn was not allergic and that was a hard time. We really missed him but with 2 babies and a small yard we weren’t prepared for another dog.

Fast forward to 2010. John had a bit of a health issue and needed some PT to get back to walking fully and I went on the local adoption sites and found a wonderful dog and we picked him up in Connecticut. This is after we’d moved back to Massachusetts from Seattle a few years prior. Tyke was also about 18 months ( I wonder if all shelter dogs are just tagged to be that age) and he was a lovely dog. He helped John walk in lieu of affordable PT and he was such a loved companion. He loved the kids and enjoyed sitting on the couch with them, being pet often and also running in our large back yard.

We had Tyke for 5 years. He loved to walk and play and especially loved the snow. He came with us to Illinois when we got relocated her for work in 2013. He sadly died in 2015 from Leptospirosis from a raccoon latrine that had been on the roof of our rental home. The huge pile of poop would get dissolved some each rain storm and the runoff went onto our patio where Tyke licked it up every time. We had no idea till he was diagnosed and we asked our landlord to send over a roof guy and he discovered the huge pile of raccoon feces. Tyke left our hearts broken. We would wait another year to get a dog.

A year later – 2016- we got Scout- a lovely dog (18 months old)  from our local shelter. He was so fun and happy and one day about 6 weeks after we got him he couldn’t walk and refused to eat. We brought him to the ER and he had a fungal infection probably brewing since before he had been adopted and he passed away within 24 hrs.  Even though we only had Scout for less than 2 months we loved him. I guess for him, we were his only home as he was a stray they had found in Tennessee before he got trucked to Illinois. All of our pets have left a paw print on our hearts.

By this time we have 3 kids- Quinn knew and bonded with Lucky, Tyke and Scout. Meghan and Cole had only known Tyke and Scout. We were crushed when Scout died and then a few weeks later the shelter who we had alerted to Scout’s death- gave us another dog, Snickers. Snickers was a lovely 18 month old (see a pattern here) dog from the same shelter we got Scout from. She was lively, smaller than all our other dogs but still a solid, 50 lbs. She loved to go on walks and we knew she was young so we’d better get her trained.

Snickers was a bit of a shy and nervous pup and so we paid $600 for a trainer to come and help us get her comfortable around dogs and people. We even brought her to a local doggie daycare. She would run around with the “pack” of dogs and sleep over if we had to go out of town.  Snickers is how I stayed fit. We would walk 2-4 miles a day and she loved every minute of it. She loved to chase squirrels and look at birds and talk to our neighbors. She was shy and quiet most of the time but she sure loved to cuddle with the kids.

Snickers loved her life with us about about 11 months after we’d adopted her she began to stop eating and her stomach was bloated. Snickers had a tumor on her spleen and the vets were perplexed as such a tumor never happens to young dogs. They re-aged her to age 7-9yrs old. WHAT??? Apparently younger acting dogs can get aged to whatever the shelter feels will make them more adoptable. To this day we have no idea now how old any of our dogs actually were.

Snickers sadly passed away early December 2017 and as much as I wanted another dog, my husband was clear “no more dogs!” And so that was that. I would occasionally ask or even beg for another dog with the loving hugs from my daughter “Dad please!!” and still “NO- we don’t have good luck with getting healthy dogs, so NO!”

Well now it’s November 2018 and just last week a friend texted my husband telling him that they had decided to re-home their dog, Rosie. Rosie is a 17 month (but this time we know for sure!) Australian Cattle Dog/Retriever mix. She was adopted from the dogs from Hurricane Harvey when she was just 5 months old. She is a lovely dog and the only reason they have to give her up is because their new grand-baby is allergic to dogs and what grandparents want to not be able to have their grandchildren over to visit, especially when they live nearby.

So in less than 24 hours we told them we would happily take Rosie and give her a loving home and the bonus of being able to see her first owners anytime they wanted. Today is the day we get to take her home. We get to see our friends, who we haven’t seen for a while. We get to meet Rosie’s aunt who walked her while our friends were at work (I think we have to pass Rosie’s aunt’s test for being a good family first). I cannot wait.

We are currently going through another health concern and frankly I have put on 15 lbs of extra weight since Snickers passed away. Walking a dog is so easy and required. Walking myself is not required and thus I don’t go as often as I should. I know that dogs are not the ultimate fix but for our family Rosie just might be. The kids love to snuggle, we hear she’s a good at cuddling. John and I love to walk a dog- so that will get us both fit in no time and Meghan well she just as she aptly screamed at me “I JUST NEED A DOG IN MY LIFE!”

So Rosie- I know you’ll miss your Mom and Dad but I also know you’ll just love Quinn, Meghan and Cole and all the balls they will toss to you and all the walks John and I will give you. We’ve invited your parents to come to see the Super bowl and we know you’ll love to see them again. Meanwhile- prepare yourself for some fun. Did your Dad tell you that I used to make a living making dog biscuits? I bet he doesn’t even know. You are in for a treat.

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