January 15th 2011 2:34 pm
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What a Blast, We Had...We Partied and Partied....Cake and more cake... All Kinds of Yummy Treats! Tons of Games.....Everything you can think of. We had relays,chase,ball,hide n seek,hole digging,swimming, hide the mouse, find the mouse,string games, climb the trees,stack the boxes and treat eating contests, too...
All the angel puppers and purrs had a Pawsome time, whether they had a January Birthday or not. We had oodles of prizes and new play things.... It was sssssssssoooooooo much FUN!
We are already planning a Birthday party for February. It will be extra special cuz, we have Valentine's Day in February.
I wanted to thank all those furs down there that wished me a Happy Birthday at the Bridge...Thank you so very much..It was Pawsome! Thank you for the pressies. I'm leaving some Balloons here like we used at the party for our game winning teams. Hope you like them????
Be chatting with ya'll real soon. Sending tons of angel kisses to Every pup, purr and human.
January 13th 2011 6:30 pm
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Hey,Momma: How ya doing down there???? I've been keeping an eye on you and the puppers. Precious,too! Kitty, isn't too happy you have another inside cat. After all, he was with us for 16 years...An a girl kitty...He is busy, pouting! I'm glad Mazy has another fur to play with her. Too bad, I'm not there! I'd jump high enough to counter surf with that black cat! So many storms....Sure having alot of really cold weather with tons of snow. All the problems with Papa's tractors and feeding the cattle. I see, it is going to be a very tough winter on the Prairie. Old Baby is doing really well, I see. Seems to have perked up after the food changes you made for her.
I know, you're thinking about me. Tomorrow, I would have been 17 years old. Well, I'm still 17, tomorrow.....but up here at the Bridge....You stay like a young pupper! So I run and play. I fly and do Zoomies all over the place...You can eat all you want and never get FAT,either! We are all trim and very healthy!
Well, tomorrow we are having a Big Party! It's for all the fur Angels with January Birthdays. We are going to have games like chase,tag and hide and seek. Dodge ball and softball. Big tables of All kinds of treats....So, Everyone will find their favorite treat... Last of all, we are having Cake! Lots and lots of Cake!!!! It's Angel Food Cake with all kinds of fruits! Yep, the Angels Baked All the Cakes!
Princess told me, she is having strawberries with her cake. She loved picking her own berries from your patch. She told me how carefully, she walked through the patch. Never stepping on berries, only picking the very ripest to eat. You didn't have a patch, when you had me... I think, I would have liked berry picking? I remember picking gooseberries, off those stickery bushes... Tootsie said, she is having peaches, cuz those were her favorite. Teddy said, he didn't like fruit! So he was having extra Cake! He's a guy! Why don't, they like the fruits and veggies like us gals???? I'm having watermelon and cantalope with my cake...those were two of my favorites. I liked all fruits and vegetables. Maybe, I'll splurge and have a little of everything....Afterall, it's a Party!
Gotta go,Momma! Someone just hollered for me to help set up for the races tomorrow. We have to mark off the course with some cotton candy, red licorce and gumdrops. The winning teams... have Gummy Bears for extra prizes. I heard someone say, we are having hot dogs and hamburgers off the grill. Just way to Cool!
No Snow Up This Way! Weather is always just perfect...Unless you go way,way, North of where, I am... All those Sled type puppers have Snow....Cuz, they are Not happy without Snow... The rest of us hang out a little farther south. Not Cold, but Not Super Hot,either...Just right!
Bye Momma..... Foxie Zoomies off......Singing with great gusto, Happy Birthday to Me! Happy Birthday to Me! This beauty is Seventeen....Happy Birthday to Me!
January 2nd 2011 2:15 pm
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Momma, I've been watching over you! You did very, very well in that nasty 2 day blizzard! I know those bad storms always made you so Blue....Cuz of, that S.A.D.D. stuff, when not enough Sunshine...Hey, the vitamin D3, the Docs put you on in the winter sure makes a difference! I wonder why," did it take those medical people so long, to try that????" Sure works better than that fake sunshine they had you sit by...
Anyway, some of us Pupper Angels ask, God if, He would send you some nicer weather. A little warmer and a little sunshine. If it had to snow, the soft slow light snow... So, the soft pretty fluffy stuff today is: compliments of us, Pupper Angels. We threw in a bunch of Angel dust kisses. We wanted you to have a very peaceful day filled with nothing but Terrific stuff!
I'll be keeping my eyes on you while winter continues to unfold.
Tell Old Baby to hang tough.... us Pupper Angels: Tootstie, Princess,Teddy and I are sending her strength to get through winter... We will do, what we can to shorten it up. Try and send you an early spring....By the time you finish your household fix-it projects, Spring will be just around the corner! We know how hard Mazy works to keep everyone laughing down there... She may be short-stuff but she's a dandy keeper!
Momma,We Love You,
Tootsie,Princess,Teddy and Foxie
December 29th 2010 6:37 pm
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The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn't been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He didn't hate Christmas, just couldn't find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through.
Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. "Thank you, but I don't mean to intrude," said the stranger. "I see you're busy, I'll just go."
"Not without something hot in your belly." George said.
He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger.. "It ain't much, but it's hot and tasty. Stew ... Made it myself. When you're done, there's coffee and it's fresh."
Just at that moment he heard the "ding" of the driveway bell. "Excuse me, be right back," George said. There in the driveway was an old '53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front. The driver was panicked. "Mister can you help me!" said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. "My wife is with child and my car is broken." George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead.
"You ain't going in this thing," George said as he turned away.
"But Mister, please help ..." The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. "Here, take my truck," he said. "She ain't the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good."
George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. "Glad I gave 'em the truck, their tires were shot too. That 'ol truck has brand new ." George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it.. "Well, at least he got something in his belly," George thought.
George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the the block hadn't cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. "Well, shoot, I can fix this," he said to
himself. So he put a new one on.
"Those tires ain't gonna get 'em through the winter either." He took the snow treads off of his wife's old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn't going to drive the car anyway.
As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, "Please help me."
George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. "Pressure to stop the bleeding," he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. "Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin'," he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.
"Something for pain," George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. "These ought to work." He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. "You hang in there, I'm going to get you an ambulance."
The phone was dead. "Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car." He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.
He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. "Thanks," said the officer. "You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area."
George sat down beside him, "I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain't gonna leave you." George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. "Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through 'ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time your gonna be right as rain."
George got up and poured a cup of coffee. "How do you take it?" he asked.
"None for me," said the officer.
"Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain't got no donuts." The officer laughed and winced at the same time.
The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun.. "Give me all your cash! Do it now!" the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.
"That's the guy that shot me!" exclaimed the officer.
"Son, why are you doing this?" asked George, "You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt."
The young man was confused. "Shut up old man, or I'll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!"
The cop was reaching for his gun. "Put that thing away," George said to the cop, "we got one too many in here now."
He turned his attention to the young man. "Son, it's Christmas Eve. If you need money, well then, here. It ain't much but it's all I got.. Now put that pea shooter away."
George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. "I'm not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son," he went on. "I've lost my job, my rent is due, my car got repossessed last week."
George handed the gun to the cop. "Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can."
He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. "Sometimes we do stupid things." George handed the young man a cup of coffee. "Bein' stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin' in here with a gun ain't the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we'll sort this thing out.."
The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. "Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I'm sorry officer."
"Shut up and drink your coffee " the cop said.
George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn. "Chuck! You ok?" one of the cops asked the wounded officer.
"Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?"
"GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?" the other cop asked as he approached the young man.
Chuck answered him, "I don't know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran."
George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other.
"That guy work here?" the wounded cop continued.
"Yep," George said, "just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job."
The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, "Why?"
Chuck just said, "Merry Christmas boy ... and you too, George, and thanks for everything."
"Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems."
George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. "Here you go, something for the little woman. I don't think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day."
The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw.. "I can't take this," said the young man. "It means something to you."
"And now it means something to you," replied George. "I got my memories. That's all I need."
George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. "Here's something for that little man of yours."
The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier.
"And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that too," George said. "Now git home to your family."
The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. "I'll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good."
"Nope. I'm closed Christmas day," George said. "See ya the day after."
George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. "Where'd you come from? I thought you left?"
"I have been here. I have always been here," said the stranger. "You say you don't celebrate Christmas. Why?"
"Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn't see what all the bother was. Puttin' up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin' cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn't the same by myself and besides I was gettin' a little chubby."
The stranger put his hand on George's shoulder. "But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor.
The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself. "That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man."
George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. "And how do you know all this?" asked the old man.
"Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again."
The stranger moved toward the door. "If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned."
George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room.
"You see, George ... it's My birthday. Merry Christmas."
George fell to his knees and replied, "Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus"
This story is better than any greeting card.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS!
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'
December 10th 2010 7:39 pm
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OMD! I have The Bridge puppers and purrs are all in a Frenzy.... You see, I've been showing off alot lately...
I showed my furpals all the Stuff dogster pals made for me.
I shared the page updates with Pawsome Holiday Pics. I showed off, the fancy guestbook and cool music, I have. Especially like my Christmas photos.I was a Rottie and Nottie Ruler for week this fall. I've been a Daily Diary Pick a couple times... I'm still in charge of the big ball games up here. Keeps me pretty busy. I watch over and protect All of you every single day. I'm sure Happy the grandchildren still talk about me. I thought, they'd forget me. They weren't that old, when I left.
Now, I'm kinda a Celebrity Angel Fur!!!!!
Momma, I had a Big Group Cheering You on Today.... Could YOU Hear,Us ??????? You made it! You Did it! I don't ever remember seeing you shovel that much snow at one time?????? It was only
-2 degrees, raw temperature. Much colder with the very light breeze. I know the Sunshine, we sent, made it possible for you to keep going.... We're so Proud of You!
We're sure happy, that neurosurgeon, fixed you up this past January. You're doing better than you have done in 15 years.
Jesus said, "Keep drawing your strength from Him. Everything will be alright!" Merry Christmas, Momma....Makes sure you remember to pace yourself! That's so Funny! A Terrier, giving advice on how to pace oneself.... HeHe!!! I Never did anything half way! It was 150% or nothing at All!!!!
It was the 150% that caused me to break my leg, when I was four. I never saw that hole... my front leg found, as I raced across the prairie chasing Deer. Sure was a cool cast! I could run as fast, on 3 legs as 4, by the time the cast was off!
I didn't have angel wings back then. I flew through the air like angels. It was the bad landing, that did me in....I'm still the only pupper in your neighborhood who ever had a cast...Yep, I was always 1 of a kind!!!!! BTW, Momma- I sure miss those Christmas Sugar Cookies.
Love You Momma, Angel Foxie
December 6th 2010 7:21 pm
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Momma, I see you struggling.... You're gonna be fine. I know the cold weather is so hard on you. I see now, that it bothers Daddy,too. Baby tells me in her dreams that she is so tired. The cold is nasty and snow angels are a thing of the past. The steps are tough these days. I remember, when Baby and I bounced up those steps in a flash! She dreams of summer days, when we were young and played below the hill. I was the swimmer and she was the wader.....Either way, the ducks didn't like us playing on their turf! Those hens and drakes didn't scare us.... We'd barked at their ducklings.... They scamper into the cat tails...
We were just enjoying a summer day. We'd come to house and you'd bring warm water out to wash our feet. You'd sit on the steps holding popsicles while we licked away! I liked orange and Baby liked cherry.
I know you miss me even more around Christmas. I'd dig in the boxes while you unpacked everything. I'd help you choose which ornaments, went where. I'd sniff under the tree at the packages. Sometimes, you'd catch me trying to chew a corner off a package to peek. Baby and I opened our own packages on Christmas Eve. You had to buy two of everything, but different colors. If not, we would fuss about the toys. I'd try to take Baby's cuz, she was careful with her toys. I was squeaker crazy and a plush chewer...my toys always looked totally enjoyed! Baby would keep hers nice and clean, like new.(I wonder if that was cuz she'd never had any toys until you found her?) When my toy was broken, I wanted to play with hers. Usually, she said, o.k. and let me have it. When I was young, the 1st. year, I pulled the tree down by playing in it. I guess, I thought if, I could climb a 4 ft. chain link fence....I could climb a 7 ft. Christmas tree.
Little Mazy doesn't know what a Christmas tree is. I know you don't decorate much anymore. You and pappa are with the Grandkids. Mazy has presents to open. The day you have Christmas depends on everyone's work schedule. It's different but, it is still Good!
Can't imagine you putting up the 7 ft. tree with Precious and Mazy.... I don't think, it would make a day without ornaments and tree being everywhere. Yep, Old White Kitty used to help us make a mess in the tree... I found him up here at the bridge. He still plays the same games with me, as before. Sometimes, I win! How about that???? I guess, it is because I protected him from the outside cats. He could get into or under anything....
Down Home,he always won! I couldn't get under the loveseat!
I think, it is Funny that Mazy can go anywhere Precious goes except up a tree. I haven't seen her climb a tree. She's a big cat.... I think, she's to Tubby to climb! Kitty and I, whispered in their ears at night as they slept. We wanted them to be friends, so they could share the house with you and Papa.
So now you know...why all at once, they get along just fine....No fights, no tiffs, no stealing each other's food....
I see that they even play with each other now. Share the lap time,too!
Momma, tell Momma Shawna and the Kirk Pups: I am so Proud of the Christmas pictures, she made. I ran around showing all my pup and purr friends, how nice I looked by the Victorian House.
I even make a cute ornament. I was watching the other day....I see the coffee mug with my puppy picture on it: is in the china hutch. Hard to believe, I was ever that little? So cute, especially in my red and white striped sweater. Like a little candy cane.
Well, Momma the others are calling me....I better go, so I don't miss out on the games. I'm always in charge of softball!
I still play the outfield, so I can run with the wind!
Merry Christmas, Momma
I am always watching........
I Still Love You With All My Heart
December 3rd 2010 10:30 am
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It is so much easier for our furs to access fat or fatty foods around the Holidays. Please be extra careful.... We Thank Bandit's Momma for sharing the detailed medical side of Pancreatitis. The very last thing any of us want, is for our companions to be ill. SHARING HERE SO MORE MAY SEE THE INFORMATION AND BE MORE AWARE.
For those of you who don't know about pancreatitis, below is an article explaining it. It is a real danger for pugs and can be fatal quickly.
In pancreatitis, enzymes become prematurely activated so that they actually begin their digestive functions within the pancreas.
The pancreas, in essence, begins digesting itself.
Digestion of the blood vessels in the pancreas results in bleeding.
Other active pancreatic chemicals cause blood vessels to become leaky, and fluid begins seeping into the abdominal cavity.
The activated enzymes also gain access to the bloodstream through leaky, eroded blood vessels, and begin circulating throughout the body.
Pain is a major symptom in acute pancreatitis, and it is usually quite intense and steady, located in the upper abdomen, and radiating to the patient's back.
Nausea and vomiting and abdominal swelling are also common symptoms.
A patient will often have a slight fever, with an increased heart rate and low blood pressure.
Patients with acute pancreatitis are at risk of complications related to shock, a very serious syndrome that occurs when the blood pressure is too low to get adequate circulation to critical organs.
Without adequate blood pressure, organs are deprived of oxygen, nutrients, and waste removal and may not function well.
Kidney, respiratory, and heart failure are serious possible outcomes of shock.
Even if shock does not occur, circulating pancreatic enzymes and related toxins can cause damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys, lining of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, eyes, bones, and skin.
As the pancreatic enzymes affect blood vessels, the risk of blood clots increases.
When blood flow is blocked by clotting, the supply of oxygen is further decreased to various organs and additional damage done.
Other serious complications of acute pancreatitis include pancreatic necrosis, abcess, and pseudocyst formation.
Pancreatic necrosis occurs when a significant portion of the pancreas is permanently damaged during an acute attack.
Pancreatic necrosis has an increased risk of death and an increased chance of pancreatic infection.
A pancreatic abscess is a local collection of pus that may develop several weeks after the illness subsides.
Another late complication of pancreatitis, occurring several weeks after the illness begins, is called a pancreatic pseudocyst, which occurs when dead pancreatic tissue, blood, white blood cells, enzymes, and fluid leaked from the circulatory system accumulate.
Pseudocysts cause recurrent abdominal pain and also press on other nearby structures in the gastrointestinal tract, causing disruption of function.
Pseudocysts are life threatening when they become infected (abscess) and rupture.
Simple rupture of a pseudocyst causes death 14% of the time, but rupture complicated by bleeding causes death 60% of the time.
In very severe cases of pancreatitis, called necrotizing pancreatitis, the pancreatic tissue begins to die, and bleeding increases.
................................................ ................YEARS AGO MY AUNT TOOK TURKEY IN THE ROASTER AND SET IT IN HER CAR GARAGE TO COOL. MY COUSIN'S SMALL SCHNAUZER AND YORKIE CLIMBED AND GOT INTO THIS. (THEY ATE ALOT OF SKIN AND FATTY LIQUID IN THE ROASTER. BOTH OF THEM DIED) IT WAS ONLY AFTER THE FACT THAT THE FAMILY KNEW WHAT HAD CAUSED THEIR DEATHS. THEY WERE JUST FARM BOYS AND HAD NEVER HEARD OF THESE KINDS OF PROBLEMS. NO ONE EXPECTED THESE LITTLE GUYS TO CLIMB AND JUMP TO THE SHELVES WHERE THE TURKEY WAS PLACED. ABSOLUTELY HEARTBREAKING.....
November 26th 2010 6:26 pm
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A big angel Hell-o pupper and purr pals. Stop by my page when you have a moment. Momma Shawna of the Kirk Pupper Pack put some very nice things on my page. Grandma doesn't know how to do the music, guestbooks and holidays pictures.
It's a good thing so many puppers and purrs made friends with us. Cuz, if not, our pages would be very dull without all the help of so many awesome Mommas and Grandmas here at dogster and catster. We are most Thankful for all the efforts of so many friends who have Helped to get us up and running with the rest of the pack....
Momma Shawna gave me a very glittery guestbook for everyone to stop and say "HI". Now I have a music player with a big list of wonderful songs to listen too. Grab a treat and pull up a chair. Relax a little with some wonderful music. Let me know, if, one of your favorites is playing there?????
Before you leave, take a look at the Angel and the Puppers on the right side at the bottom. Thank you, Grandma Joan for the lovely frame placed on that beautiful picture.
So Do Stop Bye...relax and listen to some wonderful music... Unwind a little...Let Grandma know you stopped by (sign the guestbook). After all, I'm an Angel! I see what all of you are doing all the time.... Believe me, the Stories I could tell!
Angel Kisses, Foxie
November 23rd 2010 2:37 pm
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Thank you Momma Shawna and the Kirk Pups for my beautiful, lovely "Thanksgiving picture." It is just Awesome and Pawsome! I'm running around here at the Bridge showing the picture to all my furpals. We are ALL busy Sharing our Best Thanksgiving memories with each other. God has banquet tables 24/7 here for all us furs. We have Thanksgiving 365 days a year! We have anything we want to eat.....
Below, I have a poem to share. I want to remind Everyone to be Truly Thankful this Holiday Season....All Us Furs are busy Watching Over Our Families... We LOVES Everyone of You!!!!!
November Is A Thankful Time
November's caravan arrives
In colors bright and gay,
With leaves swirling to and fro,
Against a sky turned gray.
Asters,mums and marigolds
Are Prominently displayed
Throughout Autumn's tapestry
In shades of marmalade.
November is a thankful time,
For every heart is blessed
As we celebrate the harvest
When nature's at her best.
The dignity of human labor
Is proudly on display
As people come together
In prayer on Thanksgiving Day.
As we pause to count our blessings,
We feel God's presence there,
For November's a thankful time
We consecrate with prayer.
November 13th 2010 3:21 pm
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A Dog's Story Worth Reading
They told me the big black Lab's name was Reggie,
as I looked at him lying in his pen.. The shelter was
clean, no-kill, and the people really friendly.
I'd only been in the area for six months, but everywhere
I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open.
Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.
But something was still missing as I attempted to
settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog
couldn't hurt. Give me someone to talk to.
And I had just seen Reggie's advertisement on the local
news. The shelter said they had received numerous
calls right after, but they said the people who had come
down to see him ju st didn't look like "Lab
people," whatever that meant. They must've thought I did.
But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things,
which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis
balls, his dishes, and a sealed letter from his previous owner. See, Reggie and I didn't really hit it off
when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too.
Maybe we were too much alike.
For some reason, his stuff (except for the tennis balls --- he wouldn't go anywhere without two stuffed in
his mouth) got tossed in with all of my other unpacked boxes.
I guess I didn't really think he'd need all his old stuff, that I'd get him new things once he
settled in. But it became pretty clear pretty soon that he wasn't going to.
I tried the normal commands the shelter told me he knew, ones like "sit" and "stay" and
"come" and "heel," and he'd follow them - when he felt like it.
He never really seemed to listen when I called his name --- sure, he'd look in my
direction after the fourth or fifth time I said it, but then he'd just go back to doing whatever.
When I'd ask again, you could almost see him sigh and then grudgingly obey.
This just wasn't going to work. He chewed a couple shoes and some unpacked boxes.
I was a little too stern with him and he resented it, I could tell.
The friction got so bad that I couldn't wait for th e two
weeks to be up, and when it was, I was in full-on search
mode for my cell phone amid all of my unpacked stuff. I
remembered leaving it on the stack of boxes for the guest
room, but I also mumbled, rather cynically, that the
"damn dog probably hid it on me."
Finally I found it, but before I could punch up the
shelter's number, I also found his pad and other toys
from the shelter...I tossed the pad in Reggie's
direction and he snuffed it and wagged, some of the most
enthusiasm I'd seen since bringing him home. But
then I called, "Hey, Reggie, you like that? Come
here and I'll give you a treat." Instead, he sort of glanced in my direction --- maybe "glared"
is more accurate --- and then gave a discontented sigh and flopped down .... with his back to me.
Well, that's not going to do it either, I thought. And I punched the shelter phone number.
But I hung up when I saw the sealed envelope.
I had completely forgotten about that, too.
"Okay, Reggie," I said out loud,
"let's see if your previous owner has any advice."
____________ _________ _________ _________
Whoever Gets My Dog:
Well, I can't say that I'm happy you're reading this, a letter I told the shelter
could only be opened by Reggie's new owner.
I'm not even happy writing it. If you're reading this,
it means I just got back from my last car ride with my Lab
after dropping him off at the shelter.
He knew something was different.
I have packed up his pad and toys before and set them by the back door before a trip,
but this time... it's like he knew something was wrong.
And something is wrong...which is why I have
to go to try to make it right.
So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it
will help you bond with him and he with you.
First, he loves tennis balls.
The more the merrier. Sometimes I think he's part
squirrel, the way he hordes them. He usually always
has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in
there. Hasn't done it yet. Doesn't
matter where you throw them, he'll bound after it, so be
careful - really don't do it by any roads. I made
that mistake once, and it almost cost him dearly.
Next, commands. Maybe the shelter staff already told you, but I'll go over them
again: Reggie knows the obvious ones ---
"sit," "stay," "come," "heel."
He knows hand signals:
"back" to turn around and go back when you put
your hand straight up; and "over" if you put your
hand out right or left. "Shake" for shaking
water off, and "paw" for a high-five. He
does "down" when he feels like lying down --- I bet
you could work on that with him some more. He knows
"ball" and "food" and "bone"
and "treat" like nobody's business.
I trained Reggie with small food treats.
Nothing opens his ears like little pieces of hot dog.
Feeding schedule: twice a day, once about seven in the morning, and again at six in
the evening. Regular store-bought stuff; the shelter
has the brand.
He's up on his shots.
Call the clinic on 9th Street and update his info with
yours; they'll make sure to send you reminders for when
he's due. Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet.
Good luck getting him in the car.
I don't know how he knows when it's time to go to the vet, but he knows.
Finally, give him some time.
I've never been married, so it's only been Reggie
and me for his whole life. He's gone everywhere
with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if
you can. He sits well in the backseat, and he
doesn't bark or complain. He just loves to be
around people, and me most especially.
Which means that this transition is
going to be hard, with him going to live with someone new.
And that's why I need to share
one more bit of info with you....
His name's not Reggie.
I don't know what made me do it, but
when I dropped him off at the shelter, I told them
his name was Reggie.
He's a smart dog, he'll get used to it
and will respond to it, of that I have no
doubt. But I just couldn't bear to give them his
real name. For me to do that, it seemed so final, that
handing him over to the shelter was as good as me admitting
that I'd never see him again. And if I end up
coming back, getting him, and tearing up this letter, it
me ans everything's fine. But if someone else is
reading it, well ... well it means that his new owner should
know his real name. It'll help you bond with
him. Who knows, maybe you'll even notice a change
in his demeanor if he's been giving you problems.
His real name is "Tank".
Because that is what I drive.
Again, if you're reading this
and you're from the area, maybe my name has been on the
news. I told the shelter that they couldn't make
"Reggie" available for adoption until they
received word from my company commander. See, my
parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could've
left Tank with ... and it was my only real request of the
Army upon my deployment to Iraq , that they make one phone..
call the shelter ... in the "event" ... to tell
them that Tank could be put up for adoption. Luckily,
my colonel is a dog guy, too, and he knew where my platoon
was headed. He said he'd do it
personally. And if you're reading this, then
he made good on his word.
Well, this letter is getting downright depressing,
even though, frankly, I'm just
writing it for my dog. I couldn't imagine if I was
writing it for a wife and kids and family ... but still,
Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as
long as the Army has been my family.
And now I hope and pray that you
make him part of your family and that he will adjust and
come to love you the same way he loved me.
That unconditional love from a dog
is what I take with me to Iraq as an inspiration to do
something selfless, to protect innocent people from those
who would do terrible things ... and to keep those terrible
people from coming over here. If I have to give up Tank
in order to do it, I am glad to have done so. He is
my example of service and of love. I hope I honored
him by my service to my country and comrades.
All right, that's enough.
I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at
the shelter. I don't think I'll say another
good-bye to Tank, though. I cried too much the first
time. Maybe I'll peek in on him and see if he
finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth.
Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home,
and give him an extra kiss goodnight - every night - from me.
____________ _________ _________ _______
I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope.
Sure I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even
new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously earning the Silver Star
when he gave his life to save three buddies.
Flags had been at half-mast all summer.
I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog.
"Hey, Tank," I said quietly.
The dog's head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright.
He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on
the hardwood floor. He sat in front of me, his head
tilted, searching for the name he hadn't heard in months.
"Tank," I whispered.
His tail swished.
I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each
time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture
relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood
him. I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried
my face into his scruff and hugged him.
"It's me now, Tank, just you and me.
Your old pal gave you to me." Tank reached up and
licked my cheek. "So whatdaya say we play some ball?"
His ears perked again.
"Yeah? Ball? You like that? Ball?"
Tank tore from my hands and disappeared in the next room.
And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth.
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