I’ve never seen many movies that feature dogs and stories about their lives because too often there is something tragic happens and to be honest, I sort of emotional about it, yes, I am one of those people:-) I write a lot of blogs but more often than not they are about my business which is fine but I thought a nice break might be nice & I’d appreciate writing about something else for a change.
They say dogs are a mans best friend, I couldn’t agree more. They offer companionship, unconditional love and they can be very healing to people even if we don’t realize it at the time. I currently have 4 dogs who each have their their own little personality. Two of my dogs that have now passed were “Peter” and “Barney”.
I adopted Peter around 1990 or so from the Humane Society in Golden Valley and I remember taking him home in my car and he was no bigger than the palm of my hand it seemed, so cute. Peter was a Springer mix and full of “naughtiness” yes that’s a word:-) Always getting in trouble, chewing shoes, slippers and my Dads brand new couch when we left him home alone for an hour once (oops). But with all the times you want to….well you know, he still stole my heart, and I truly loved him. Peter was black & white and always wanted to be by me. When my daughter Ashley was born it was very heartwarming to see how Peter would sit by her during her baths, her jumpy time in those stationary chairs and follow her around protectively as she started to crawl, they really do have a built in “family love” gene. Peter lived a long life as the only dog we had but in his older years we got him two brothers, Barney & Bear both whom were also adopted from the Humane Society.
Pete wasn’t sure at first and standing at about 25 pounds he wasn’t at all distracted by the fact his new brothers were a Yellow Lab & a Newfoundland – Pete was still the boss and he made sure they knew that. It wasn’t long before they were all the best of friends and truly loved each-other as well. Pete got old like they all do and started having seeing issues, loss of some bodily control and I even would carry him to go the bathroom if needed, I would have done about anything for him. Pete got to a point at around age 14/15 which is a nice long life that I had to make the ultimate decision of quality of life for the little guy and send him to be with his Grandpa in heaven, Grandpa and Pete had a pretty special bond. Taking him to the vet, the 3 mile drive felt like 300 miles, all to real at this point. Those of you that been there know walking into that room is the hardest thing ever, I took Pete and had him on the table on a little blanket, he and I had what felt to be a special moment but both knew it was time, I held him – petted his little head and he simply fell asleep for the last time… very hard, very real, very painful yet full of love. We may not be able to keep them forever but like a saying I once seen summed it all up “he may only be here for part of your life, but to him you’re his whole life”.
When we adopted Barney that was a pretty unique deal. You see, Barney had been adopted 3 times already and brought back each time & returned. Barney was originally found walking around the ditches severely underweight, sick and extremely afraid of “all” males. He was very young, still a pup really. I was told that each time he was adopted it was by the female and they would bring him home but when the male got home he would run to a corner, cry, pee and shake:-( So they returned him each time because Barney was simply not doing well with men. Anne, my wife and Ashley, my daughter went to the Humane society one day and there was Barney, a super nice yet somewhat shy yellow lab staring back at them. They took Barney outside for a walk and the lady told them about his adoption history and said that they will not adopt him out to a home with a male but may make an exception if the male comes to the Humane Society and meets him to see if they can get along. Keep in mind he’d already been adopted out several times and he didn’t even like any males at the humane society.
I got the call to come meet him so I did. When I arrived they were outside in a field with him and he was running, playing and have fun with the girls then I showed up, he ran over to Annes side as he could see me coming from a ways away yet. I walked slowly toward him and called his name, for the first time ever according to the lady at the humane society he approached me, while cautious he still walked slowly right up to me, sniffed my hands and licked me:-) I then took him for a walk, by myself and he wagged his tail and followed smelling all the grass and he was very calm. The lady said she had never seen that with him by a guy, of course we took him home.
I’m still not sure what his past was with men but once I got him home I also noticed his jaw was “slightly” crooked, it was apparently broken at one time and he has a nice scar on his upper nose when I think somebody hit him hard at some point. He was still never super happy to see any other males stop by but he did get pretty mellow about it after a couple years but never 100% calm around any men except me. He lived a long happy life, he had new brothers, fenced yard, food, toys and lots and lots of love. Although as a yellow lab he lived a long time Barney was put to sleep at age 14 – he had grown sick very fast with cancer, it was almost overnight it seemed. We had him on the best meds both prescribed and other plus a cancer type diet I found but there was no more we could do for him. He went to be with Peter a few years ago, I’m happy knowing he found something in my family and me as that male figure he didn’t see in anyone else because he truly became very special to me.
Here is a pic of Pete and Barney together taken several years ago – Pete is the smaller one black and white and Barney is the yellow lab:
It’s tough be an animal owner and if you’re one you know what I’m talking about but we can rest well knowing we gave them a very fulfilled, spoiled life:-)
Here is a picture that includes some of my boys – left to right we have Bear, Barney, Max, Harley
If you ever get a chance to rescue a dog make sure to check out the local shelters in your area. Even if you don’t adopt you can always reach out to them and donate supplies, many shelters operate that way and could really use your support. Find out more about your local animal shelter to see what they need, living with pets can be a pain but their little faces and big time love for you outweigh it all. You can learn more about adopting someone who needs you here…
Ashley my little girl, Barney, Bear, Harley
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