Thursday, July 26, 2012

What it means to be a dog lover

Having a cat is not quite the same as having a dog to love. Although this will be a post about dogs, I couldn't resist sharing the expression of Elvis this morning. I took his sparkly puffball he was playing with and placed it on the table so the dogs wouldn't swallow it and he proceeded to jump up in the chair and stare me a dog on the other hand would have been happy to hand it over if it brought me joy. :-)

Some of you following my blog for awhile may already be aware that we have four fur babies in our home. Three being rescue dogs. The definition of rescue is "to free or deliver from confinement, violence, danger or evil"  For three of our dogs this is unfortunately true. Before we found and adopted them they knew what suffering was, and little about love. So I'd like to start with an introduction of our other "children" in our family.

Patches is NOT a rescue dog. He was given to us as a housewarming present from my in-laws. He has been a delight to our family to raise from the time he was a puppy. He is a Jack-Russell full of energy and lots of love and devotion.

Next up is Skippy, a Yorkie....full of boundless energy. Even photographing him can be a challenge ;-)

We found Skippy at a rescue and learned he was a biter, but something pulled at my heartstrings and I knew I had to give him a chance. From the time Skippy was a puppy we learned from the rescue group that he was abused, never groomed, tied to a tree with barely any food or water and had an owner who was drunk 90% of the time who beat him regularly with a broom. The neighbor's finally had enough and reported the lady so animal services took him away.

When we adopted him, he badly needed to be groomed and was not making it easy for the groomers. For awhile we tried grooming him on our own. He bit out of fear and there was a time when the rescue group and our vet suggested putting him to sleep, but we were not the family to give up on him. So we worked with him to get him through this challenge and today he is a really sweet dog. Grooming can still be challenging, but he's come a long way. He just needed to know someone loved and cared about him.

Next up is Owen, a Yorkie/Dachshund mix. Owen was in a high kill shelter in Tennessee and the same rescue we got Skippy from we found Owen. Owen I truly think was meant to be in our family. Out of the blue one day I was looking at the pictures on the rescue site and saw his picture. He reminded me so much of my dog Baxter I had lost to cancer. I felt an instant connection to him and told Jerry we had to go see him, that he was arriving at the shelter that Saturday. Jerry was not convinced and at the time we had Sally (our yellow lab who passed away in November from cancer). Yet I talked him into going and at least "looking" at him. Needless to say Owen did all the right things and loved all over Jerry, well that sealed the deal ;-) The owners instantly approved our application because they knew all we had done to help Skippy. Even though Owen had been abused and living in horrible conditions...his heart is full of love. He attached quickly to our Sally and I think he still misses her today.

Most recently is our Bella. Bella came from Last Chance Ranch Rescue and is terrified of people. She was never socialized when younger. She loves our dogs and is completely different around them, but is still getting adjusted to people. Since I am home during the day she has formed the closest bond to me. But it's hard for the girls to understand why that is. My heart breaks for her as we are trying to build her trust. She cringes a lot when approached. She was a dog kept in a cage used only for breeding for the 5 years of her life. No human contact that was kind, again never groomed and one big matted dog when rescued. So again grooming is a challenge. She literally was in a stacked cage on top of other cages and living in filth.

We love her too and are ready for the challenge. :-) Even the smallest changes we have noticed are defining success!

Here is a couple shots that make me smile...Skippy has the ball under the table, Bella is like what?!, and Patches is barking his full head off because he wants to "play" ;-)

Skippy's sticking out his tongue like nah, nah, nah! LOL So I had to get a closeup of Patches giving it back to him!

They sure do love playing ball! That was a tennis ball, but they enjoy shredding we buy in bulk! ;-)

Skippy did give the ball up to run and see his favorite ballerina, Kathleen....

Here is Owen with his ears flying, running joyfully after Patches to get the ball!

Inside they are just as loving.

Bella has that look, like "do I chew the shoe while mommy's watching?" lol!

Kathleen giving Owen lots of love!

Bella and Owen....

How could you not love those faces???

Skippy is our little entertainer....

With the longest tongue ever!!! HaHa
Boy, does he just love all his soft, squeaky, chew toys! Drives us nuts, but keeps him happy.

Kathleen just loves playing tug-of -war with him!

Her expressions crack me up!

Can it be difficult and challenging at times? Yes... but all things worth having take time, dedication and love. We feel they are worth it. I have always felt you could tell a lot about a person and their personality by whether or not they love dogs.

These are a couple of my favorite poems I wanted to share. My whole life growing up I have always had a dog and I wouldn't change a thing. They love unconditionally and are happy just being loved.

Any other dog lovers out there? Care to share your stories today? I'd love to hear them. I could probably write an entire book of stories these dogs have shared with us through the years. It has taught my children to be responsible and loving and aware of the treatment of animals. I feel blessed we can give them this opportunity to love a dog. :-)

P.S. We love our cat Elvis too, but he is not amused by the dogs shenanigans! LOL He just eats, loves and soaks up the sun ;-)



Kris said...

Oh Jill, those are some lucky doggins!!!! And Elvis too! What a selfless thing you did for each of them. They are all so lucky to have found their homes with you!!!!

Eileen said...

Each one of them has added joy,laughter and love to your family. They were so fortunate to get your family as their family.
Skippy has been your biggest challenge, but the love of all of you and not listening to the vets has made him into the World's biggest sweetheart. Bella is coming around, how can she not with all the love and attention she gets.

Anonymous said...

Thx for your post, I really enjoy your blog. Long time lurker, first time commenter, you know the drill. I tried to share this one time before, I don’t think it posted correctly…hopefully it will this time!

Julie said...

Our Wilbur is a rescue dog. He came from a abusive family and if you yell is still scared. Hates riding but hates being alone more. When we go anywheres he climbs in the suburban and hides his head under the back seat until we get to where were going.
I love all the pictures you shared. You have a happy, loving home.
take care and have a blessed evening.
P.S. we were able to save about 1/2 the corn. Well we're hoping to have saved it. It's tied up and sorta standing.

Mark said...

You're killing me with this post. I just hate hearing how animals are abused. Let's pray that PuppyMills and such soon become a thing of the past. There has been a lot of change over the years but there is still more work to be done.

McVal said...

We had dogs constantly growing up too. And outdoor cats. All cats were named Shasta and most dogs were named Sparky. I don't know why...

Sonya Ann said...

Your soul continues to impress me. You are a wonderful person and everyone, fur babies included benefit from having you in their lives!

Heather said...

Beautiful Post Jill...makes me want to get yet another dog hehehe....Wonderful furry friends you have love Heather

Heather said...

Beautiful Post Jill...makes me want to get yet another dog hehehe....Wonderful furry friends you have love Heather