February 2021 An Oldie But Goodie
I’ve been with my loving family for years, enjoying the comfort and security of knowing I’ll be fed, played with, and sleep in a warm bed each night. My familiar surroundings and the people I love help to diminish the aches and pains I’ve been feeling lately as I’ve been getting older. When my people have been stressed or sad, I love to comfort them with snuggles and sloppy wet kisses.
They take me places, and I don’t care where we go, so long as I’m with them. I hate it when they leave me behind, and I wait for what seems like forever until they return. I don’t jump on them anymore, my body won’t let me (and I know they never liked it), but I welcome them home with wiggles and sometimes I bring them a favorite toy to share with them when they walk through the door.
This morning we went for a ride in the car. I LOVE rides in the car!! They brought me to a new place, I’d never been here before! There are a lot of other dogs here and we each have our own cage. It must be a new place to stay for a night while my family is away somewhere they cannot take me. These dogs sure are loud and have a lot of energy. I’ll be happy to go home tomorrow.
That was the WORST night’s sleep ever. I am not used to sleeping on the floor. Beds, couches, laps- yep- that’s my way to sleep. I don’t mean to be grouchy, but I’ve had enough… It’s time to get picked up please.
So it’s been a few days. I’ve seen lots of these younger pups come and go. Where’s my family? I hope they’re ok. I think this is the longest I’ve been away from them. I just know they haven’t forgotten about me. I am a member of the family! I’m not sure why these people here keep telling me that they hope I find a home and family soon. They must be confused.
My heart is broken. My family clearly is not coming for me, it has been a couple of months. I thought they loved me. I thought I was important to them. They were my whole world. What did I do wrong?? Who will want an old dog like me, when all of these cute youngsters around me are my competition? I’m a good boy, I don’t make any trouble, and have so much love to give. Will some new family give me a chance?
January 2021 Cooper Comes Home
The unconditional love we receive from our dogs is indescribable. Friends may come and go. Days can be good or bad. Our moods can go up and down. We have bad hair days and gain a few pounds. There are days that we know we are not behaving our best. To our pups, it just doesn’t matter. They only see the best in us, and through them we can often see the good where otherwise it might be hard to find. This far makes up for the heartache we know we will have when their time with us is up. We realize that this is the price we must pay for being so lucky to love a dog so much. It’s how we find it possible to open our hearts to another one. At the age of twelve, we lost Charlie to cancer. We searched on www.petfinder.com to see if we could find that pup that was meant to be our next family member.
Five days later again, we adopted Cooper, a mix of Pit Bull, Rottweiler, and a splash of Golden Retriever. Again, not to replace, but to refocus and to honor Charlie. Cooper keeps us on our toes as he is a crazy young dog- full of energy and a true member of our family. He’s definitely a Mama’s boy, as he follows me around everywhere. He gives the absolute best snuggles. He has to be involved in all hugs in the house. Two people cannot hug within his view without Cooper happily joining in. What a love. I only wish all dogs could know the love that our dogs have known.
We aren’t sure what his pre-rescue experience was, only that he was found on the streets in Mississippi. He is terrified of cardboard boxes, paper bags, and garbage bags. Perhaps he was found in a dumpster like Chili, our first dog (see November 2020 post below). Who knows. What I do know is he now feels safe and loved. The way he stretches out comfortably, belly-up and exposed, wherever he wants (he especially loves the pillows on our beds…). Cooper knows he is just where he belongs.
The kids have given him many nicknames. Cooper the Schmooper, Schmooper McSchmoopy Face, Coop the Schmoop. My least favorites are: Cooper the Super Pooper, Pooper, or just plain Poop. I guess we could have seen this coming with a name like Cooper, and he doesn’t seem to mind at all. He just loves the attention.
Hopefully our journey together will be a long one. And hopefully soon he will stop chewing on all of our furniture and our stairs!!
December 1, 2020 You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown
Chili was truly our furbaby and our love for each other was immeasurable. She spent each Friday with me in my law office, on a 50 ft leash. She happily greeted each client as they walked through the door. Only six and a half years (and two kids) later, Chili died from an infection- we were completely shocked and truly heartbroken. We missed her and that dog energy in the house. Not to replace (never) but to refocus, we started our search on www.petfinder.com and found our next dog, Charlie, at a shelter nearby. We adopted Charlie only 5 days after losing Chili. Too soon? Nope. That is a personal question for each person. Charlie helped us heal our broken hearts, and we knew Chili would be happy to know we saved another dog. Charlie was a 100 lb mix of German Shepherd, Chow, Collie, and a bunch of other breeds- and yet again, 100% love. He had the coolest Eddie Munster-like widow’s peak on his forehead- he was a really handsome boy.
During his lifetime we had another three children; and he was always a major player in the family. He even achieved legendary status for saving our two-year-old from falling down the stairs by grabbing her sweatshirt hood in his mouth. Sure, it was he that clumsily knocked her down the stairs to begin with but… we try not to focus on that detail!
With diplomatic precision, he protected us from anyone that had come to work in the house merely by staying between us and them- all the while wagging his tail and smiling. He bravely protected our yard from the vicious chipmunks and birds, and his skillful barking surely worked each time someone came to make a delivery- for each time they turned around and left (after dropping off the package, that is.)
Charlie Brown Feinberg was the inspiration for my writing the first iteration of my book Please Don’t Tell Cooper He’s A Dog. He definitely never thought he was a dog, I am sure. He seemed to understand so much of what we were saying, even when our words were not those we trained him with. We could say things for the first time and he would show somehow that he understood. He could also make his desires very clear to us. We found ways to communicate with each other that just made sense to all. When we bought a dog bed we could sense his excitement as if he were thinking “Yay!! Are we finally getting a dog?!?!” He never set a paw on that dog bed. Never. Not once.
November 2020 I Like Big Mutts and I Cannot Lie
I love dogs. Mutts and purebred. Small dogs and dogs that make you turn your head to wonder if it was a dog or a bear that you just saw. Dogs that shed all over the furniture and my clothes. Young pups and seniors. Dogs that drool, bark, and fart. You name it, I love it. I have a real soft spot, though, for the dogs that find themselves in shelters- whether found on the streets, lost, surrendered by their owners, or rescued from abusive/neglectful situations. These are the dogs that steal my heart. These dogs are often scared, sad, and confused, especially when abandoned by those they considered their family. So far we have adopted three dogs that were strays; and each of them rescued us as well. Each of these dogs helped to heal our hearts, enrich our lives, and bring us so much joy, comfort, and love. If they could talk, I know they would say the same about us.
Our first dog, Chili, was first adopted by my brother and sister-in-law. Unfortunately their other two dogs did not take to this new pup, and it was clear she could not stay with them. At the time my husband and I were in the throes of infertility and felt having this little pup would help heal us to some extent. After begging our landlord, we were able to make Chili our “first born.” We think she was a mix of Black and Tan Coonhound and German Shepherd. Who knows and who cares. This dog was 100% love.
The shelter said she was found in a dumpster. I just cannot understand how people can be so heartless!! It was clear to us that for sure, Chili had spent some time in the trash- she was terrified of garbage bags. With patience and treats and gentle exposure to the kitchen trash can, she slowly gained confidence. What helped I am sure is that being surrounded by love, she knew we’d always keep her close and she had nothing to fear from us. Seeing a rescue dog make progress from fear to trust is so heartwarming and fulfilling.
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