I've asked my family to contribute a blog about the pets in their homes. Here is John's story about how his "Pack" has grown to five dogs. I hope you enjoy.
We met Jack, our first rescue, in a shelter seven years ago. He was waiting for us in the corner pen, didn’t bark, wasn’t excited to see a visitor, simply walked to the cage door and sat down. He looked at us as if he was the one making the decision to join our family or not. In the common area, this part pit bull, part who knows what else, sniffed us one by one, the connection was made, and Jack went home with us. Food is his #1 priority, in fact he gained the nickname, “Fat Jack,” and was eventually put on a diet! Today, Jack is the eyes and ears of the Pack.
We deliver leftovers of Dr. Becker’s Bites to shelters in our area and I try to stay out of the adoption area because of my weakness to rescue. About five years ago I delivered a bag full of Dr. Becker’s Bites pieces to a shelter on the coldest day of the winter…about -10 degrees. A group of volunteers just inside the door was playing with a litter of puppies they had just rescued from a drainage pipe. I learned they also tried to rescue the mother, a purebred Akita, according to them, with the assumption that daddy was a lab or retriever…but she wouldn’t surrender. Two puppies had died from exposure, the other five were warming up. The manager of the shelter (who knows me well) jokingly asked which puppy I wanted to take home and I jokingly pointed to the gold-colored puppy, saying, “that one.” She handed him to me, grabbed the paperwork and before I knew it, I was headed home with a little fur ball we named Peyton. That three-pound ball of fur grew to 120 pounds over the following year, became the Alpha and protector/defender of the house. He is gentle and friendly to everyone, as long as they are invited into the house; and he answers to his nickname, “Beast.”
On another Dr. Becker’s Bites donation run about four years ago, I was asked by the manager to offer one of our treats to a potential client who was considering adopting. A little beagle/terrier mix, the recipient of the treat, went nuts over Dr. Becker’s Bites…and perhaps a little nutty with the attention given her. She was a year old and had already been ‘returned’ to the shelter three times because of her energy. She and I immediately connected with each other, and my family had just moved to our cottage in the woods, the one with ¾ acre backyard fenced for our Pack. It would be the perfect home for this high energy pup. Dory and Peyton became fast friends, inseparable today. She has the attitude of the pack, she loves to talk (beagle style) and she is probably the most spoiled.
On one of my daughter Blair’s drives from Ohio to the bakery, a couple of years ago, she called to tell me that she had a surprise for me. I could hear her smirk and she sent me a picture of her surprise: a dog in her back seat, one she saw dodging cars on the interstate, almost causing several accidents. Those are the original photos above. Blair parked her car, chased the dog down, and with the help of other drivers, she was able to get the dog into her backseat. Here are the two pictures she sent me that day.
He appeared to be a purebred pointer and we assumed someone would be looking for him. We spent the next month searching for his owners, during which time, he showed us one of the most gentle and loving spirits we’d ever seen in a dog. We called him Charlie. We thought Dory had energy, but Charlie redefined the definition of an energetic dog. My backyard now looks like a speedway. All Charlie wants to do is run, then run some more, then when he gets tired, he keeps running. Peyton tries to race him around the yard, but endurance is not Peyton’s strong suit…there seems to be no limit to Charlie’s endurance.
And then there’s Emma. She belongs to my step-daughter who is living with her husband who is stationed in Hawaii for 4 years. It took a while for the Pack to accept her. She’s nearly as large as Peyton. When she was accepted, Peyton and she decided wrestling was their favorite play…a nightly 15 minute bout that clears out the entire living room. We’re not sure how old she is, she was adopted as well, but she’s probably the oldest of the Pack. She’s very quiet, extremely affectionate, and we call her “Miss Emma.”
I hope you’ve enjoyed John’s stories about his Pack. I’ve met them all! Oh me, oh my, they do have a house full of dogs: big dogs, little dogs, well-loved and happy dogs. Dog energy abounds in John’s home! Thank goodness there's plenty of yard for them to run in! And thank goodness my family loves animals!