F.U.R.B.A.L.L.S. - Part 2

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(The song you are listening to is "My Happiness".
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Before I Was A Dog Parent

Before I was a Dog Parent,
I made and ate hot meals unmolested.
I had unstained, unfurred clothes.
I had quiet conversations on the phone, even if the doorbell rang.

Before I was a Dog Parent,
I slept as late as I wanted
And never worried about how late I got to bed
or if I could get into my bed.

Before I was a Dog Parent,
I cleaned my house every day.
I never tripped over toys, stuffies, and chewies
or invited the neighbor's dog over to play.

Before I was a Dog Parent,
I didn't worry if my plants, cleansers, plastic bags,
toilet paper, soap or deodorant were poisonous or dangerous.

Before I was a Dog Parent,
I had never been peed on
Pooped on
Drooled on
Chewed on
Or pinched by puppy teeth.

Before I was a Dog Parent,
I had complete control of my thoughts,
My body and mind.
I slept all night without sharing the covers or pillow.

Before I was a Dog Parent,
I never looked into big, soulful eyes and cried.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop a hurt.
I never knew something so furry and four-legged
could affect my heart so deeply.

Before I was a Dog Parent,
I had never held a sleeping puppy just because I couldn't put it down.
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was well.
I didn't know how warm it feels inside to feed a hungry puppy.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important.

Before I was a Dog Parent,
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache,
the wonder or the satisfaction of being
A Dog Parent

(author unknown)

I took some long-overdue new pictures of our large "furry kids" the weekend of July 4th, '06 (finally having gotten a camera I can get along with). Here are a few, and I'll sprinkle some more throughout this page.

Archie with Colby in the background, and Jesse

Heidi, and Rex with Jesse

To pick up my tail, I mean tale, of our "furballs", I had left off at the very sad point of our suddenly losing our darling adopted Pyr/Lab, Gus, in the wee small hours of a dark Sunday in January '02, less than 22 months after welcoming him home. We will always love him, and to some it may seem disloyal for us to be getting another dog right away. A new dog could never replace Gus in our hearts. But after being so used to having him inside with us, we NEEDED to have a large furball in close proximity. Rex contacted some rescue people I found online, and was told about a female Great Pyr, Heidi, who was owned by a young couple who couldn't keep her inside with their kids. Shortly after bringing her home, we realized her former owners had not taken the time to properly train her. She had a wild streak that manifested itself in jumping, running through our narrow hall, scratching at doors or walls, and shredding paper or whatever else she could find, 2 or 3 times a day. This behavior would be understandable or sometimes even cute for a 4-month-old pup, but this was a 4-year-old, 105 lb. dog who became obsessed with doing what she wanted, when she wanted. The first several weeks, she could not be left alone with me since I could not control her, so Rex had to take her along in the car when he went to work or the store. Her behavior was especially hard for me to deal with those first couple of weeks, since I had just lost a 3-month temp job with almost no warning three days before Gus died. So I was home alone the rest of January, missing him. I wanted so desperately for Heidi to be my new pal and heal the pain of losing Gus...but it sure wasn't turning out that way. I told Rex several times that we need to change the address on her microchip back to that of her former owners, so that if she ever ran off, it would be "Return to Sender". And I wasn't kidding!

Rex with Heidi, and Colby, on July 4th of '06

So the search for a cuddly indoor pal for me continued for several more weeks, till the Samoyed rescue lady E-mailed me about a male "Sammy" who was found running loose in the neighboring county, and Rex picked him up the next day, Feb. 26. (After Heidi, I decided I definitely would only consider a boy dog.) He brought Heidi to make sure they would get along. Thankfully, she was nice to him since that first meeting, and strangely enough, he seemed to think she was his sister. (In fact, he wouldn't go for long walks with just me - he'd keep turning around and looking for Rex walking Heidi and if he doesn't see them, he'd do his business and come back! Didn't get much exercise with this dog!) I named him Colby but I called him "bedroom boy", since he often slept on our bedroom floor due to his separation anxiety; he would bark if he realized he was in a room alone. He was very well-behaved for the most part except for sometimes getting excessively barky, and was very lovable. He was only 66 lbs. when we adopted him but ballooned in the next couple years to over 100 lbs.; very unusual for a Samoyed. When he had been found by the shelter, he was with another Samoyed assumed to be his brother, and the brother was adopted first. So I imagine that led at least partly to his separation anxiety. He also had the strange quirk of wanting to eat paper towels, so we had to be very careful to not leave any lay around. We also discovered he even ate one of my stockings on a couple of occasions, when it came out in his poop! This led us to jokingly call him our "goat".

When Colby got to about age 9, he no longer cared to go for walks, though we tried to coax him due to his being overweight. He preferred to just sit out in the yard, but still seemed healthy aside from his weight. In late 2008, we noticed it took some effort to curl his legs under him to lay down, and got up more slowly than usual. The following March, he started needing our help to get up the three steps to the front door after being outside. We'd have to lift his back legs so he could climb the steps. Still, he seemed to be hanging in there pretty well. Then the week of March 16, he didn't seem to be eating much. Rex grilled burgers on the 19th, and he didn't even touch his half a burger. So that was not a good sign. The next day, I couldn't pull him up out of the indentation he'd been laying in outside all day. Rex pulled him out and literally had to carry him into the bedroom, where he remained, no longer able to move his back end -- apparently the same fate that befell Farley in '03, though it came on more gradually. He also would not ingest anything but water. Rex had seen this happen before, not just with Farley but other dogs at his employer's kennel, and he knew Colby was beyond a vet's help except for that last final trip, which happened today, March 21, 2009. As I write this, Rex is outside building Colby's coffin. We will miss Colby terribly. He was a fun, unique dog and a good companion to Heidi and Archie. We are thankful for the 7+ years we had with him.

Heidi, taken August 12, 2002

Heidi (standing) and Colby (August, 2002)

Heidi was very pretty (looked like a young, trim Tessa) and was never been a mean dog, just the most relentlessly stubborn and pesty dog we could have found. She showed her affection by pawing us repeatedly until petted and fussed over. When I was online, crocheting, or reading, I would need both hands (I learned to type or read with one hand when she wanted attention - can't crochet with one hand though!). Her behavior improved somewhat when we acquired Colby; she needed the company when we were at work. But I'm glad to say her behavior improved quite dramatically when we adopted Archie (more on him below). He liked to wrestle with her, and as Rex said, "What she needed was a pesty little brother to take her down a notch!" She still pawed me, but she didn't often claw at the walls, run through the hall or the other earlier "wild" behaviors. She would lay her head on my leg and just stare dreamily up at me. I really bonded with her in the past couple of years, in a way that early on, I didn't know would be possible. (I even forgave her for spilling water on my former laptop in April '03 and frying the motherboard!)

As the years went by, I became more and more bonded with Heidi. I thank God every day that Rex didn't listen to me in those early months when I told him we should find her another home. She is really the only dog I have had except for Gus who would come up to me most every day to be loved and petted, and show such desire to be near me and just spend time with me. I grew to love her so very much and it was such a huge scare to find a very large, ugly-looking cyst on her side in fall '08. It was thankfully benign and the surgery to remove it went very well, and she was fine for the next 13 months, trim and frisky. As her milestone 12th birthday approached, she seemed to be doing great, aside from some stiff leg joints that caused her to sit more slowly than before.

That milestone 12th birthday was not to be. My girl slipped on the kitchen floor on Nov. 18, 2009, was unable to get back up, stopped eating or going potty not long after that, didn't respond to pills prescribed by our vet (as we hoped it was just a bad case of arthritis and she would recover) and passed away a couple of feet away from me on Sat., Nov. 21st. We'll never know just what happened internally to cause this turn of events, but it doesn't matter. Knowing the cause won't bring her back. Oddly enough, it was 18 days short of what would have been her 12th birthday on Dec. 9th -- the exact same age as Tessa. There are more details about Heidi's last few days on today's entry on my blog. This just happened a little over two hours ago as I write this, and I am still in shock. People try to tell me that almost 12 is a full life expectancy for a Great Pyrenees. But she was so full of life till 3 days ago that it never entered my mind that my "Swatgirl" would not be here for her 12th birthday, or even for Thanksgiving turkey. I will love and miss her forever.

Colby on July 4, '06, and Archie the day before (he usually isn't allowed in the bedroom, but doesn't he look cute??

Colby, taken August 12, 2002

I felt, ever since Gus died, that we didn't get to spend nearly enough time with him, and hoped God would send us another dog similar to him. It happened on 7/26/03, when Rex drove to Vancouver, WA to pick up a young (19 months) male Great Pyrenees he found an online ad for, who was named "Earl" by the shelter. He has a Great Pyrenees "bear" head, but those first few months, his slender body, shorter wavy coat, and lovey (clingy) temperament were so much like Gus, it was spooky. Then something happened: he began to thrive and grow over the next several months. Once that happened, his head no longer looked too big for the rest of him. His head took on a squarish shape and his body became muscular and solid (Rex says he is built like a football player). So he now looks more like Farley minus the dark ears and has really turned into a beautiful dog. He likes to bark more so than the other dogs when he hears other dogs, including dogs on the tv! We couldn't agree on his new name till, after we had him a week, he started getting into Rex's chair by himself and sitting there like it was his chair - AND literally climbing into Rex's lap when he's in that chair; he literally thinks he's a lap dog (at 103 lbs. when he came to live with us, and now at closer to 140 lbs., he still sits in Rex's lap). Rex commented casually that maybe we should call him "Archie" because of his fixation for the chair (similar to Archie's chair in "All In The Family", an all-time favorite show of mine), and it was a name I'd already had in mind. He is a cutie with a great personality and has fit in well with the other dogs (Colby was initially jealous till he realized he was still "bedroom boy"; we try not to let Archie in the bedroom since he likes to chew shoes and my teddy bears -- he did sneak in there a couple times, as illustrated by the pic above!).

UPDATE, 2015: Only 2 months and 5 days after losing our sweet dog Jesse (more on him below), our precious Archie also went home to the Rainbow Bridge. Even though Archie lived to the advanced age (for a giant breed dog) of 13 years and over 7 months, this came as a great shock. Though we could tell his joints were getting stiff, he was a happy fellow, and Rex called him "the Energizer bunny" since it seemed he would go on and on. But, the evening of July 21st, the same situation happened as with Farley, Colby, Heidi and Jesse: his back end no longer worked. He did manage to move into another room a couple times after that, then could not get up again to leave the living room. This time, I was home for the mobile vet to come over and do the procedure. She was very compassionate and he seemed to go to sleep peacefull. But it was horribly painful to lose our two senior boys only 2 months apart. Our gentle giant Archie will forever be in our hearts. I still can't believe he's gone. I will post a few Dec. 2014 photos of him to my blog.

This was the online picture that introduced us to Archie. As you saw above, he really grew since that was taken.

Jesse, taken July '06

We went from two dogs in '92 to (briefly) five dogs as of April '04 (which went back to four dogs when Tessa died 3 months later). We hadn't been actively seeking a third dog just yet when Gus became available. When we lost him, we hadn't intended to add a fourth dog after Heidi, but it was necessary at the time due to the early problems with Heidi. Four has been a nice round number, and we figured on keeping it there, not planning to add another family member till Tessa went. But God had other plans. I came home from work that Friday night and was told by Rex that he had gone to the feed store earlier in the day to get dog food and saw an ad on their board for a free male Great Pyrenees to a good home. He added that he went to meet the doggie and that he was only 14 months old and very nice. His owners were seeking a new home for him only because they had decided to travel in their RV. I said, "What, another dog, NOW? And another boy?" But he knew I couldn't say no. So he drove a few miles down the road and picked up the boy. He was smallish (to us), only about Gus' size and with a similar soft, wavy coat. He was very sweet but shy; his former family apparently had forbidden him to come inside. So he wouldn't come in the first couple of weeks. He would stand on the second step and look longingly, but go no further no matter how we coaxed. He has since gotten over that!

He came with the name "Zeb", but we didn't care for that. I wanted something with a similar vowel sound so that he would easily get used to it. So I suggested "Jesse", and Rex instantly agreed. Jesse is a well-adjusted boy without the "baggage" Heidi and Archie came to us with. He has no wild streak or chewing or digging fixations. The only problem we have had is that we have needed to separate him from Archie at mealtime, as they will get into a food fight. They do get along otherwise, and wrestle playfully with each other like doggie brothers enjoy doing. We assume the food fights are because they are both young males and will pass. He gets along great with the other two dogs. He has beautiful topaz-color eyes, lighter than the dark brown eyes of the other dogs. His other physical characteristic that I love is that he has a very full, long tail that is held straight out and constantly wagging, like a propeller. (Our other dogs tend to curl their tails, but his is always waving full-length like a flag.) He prances like Gus did when he walks, and he has already started to nudge my arm with his nose when I am typing on my laptop, just like Gus did. So I do almost feel we have Gus back, even more so than when Archie was younger.

In autumn 2011, we had quite a health scare with Jesse. His left eye was looking quite strange -- it was bulging and the white of his eye was no longer visible. Hubby took him to the vet and diagnosed him with cancer of the eye socket. Jesse had surgery to remove the cancer and the vet thought he got it all. But a few weeks later, Jesse's eye started looking strange again. Back to the vet he went and the verdict was, the cancer had returned and there was not really any choice to remove all the cancer but to remove the eye. This was a scary prospect and our hearts broke for Jesse, but we had to do what we could to save our boy. The surgery went well, but Jesse tore open the stitches a few days later and had to go back a third time. This time, he had to wear a big cone-shaped collar for two weeks till the eye socket healed. I am writing this in June 2012, and we are amazed and inspired by how great Jesse is doing. The socket has healed beautifully (makes him look like he is winking, so hubby now calls him "Winky") and his attitude and energy are just as unbounded as ever. The only other update is, despite my saying above that Jesse had no digging fixations, that has not been the case. He has pretty much ruined our formerly lovely carpet with his constant digging. I long for the day when I can have hardwood floors instead of carpeting!

UPDATE, 2015 -- Our Jesse passed away on May 19, 2015 at the age of 12 years and a little less than 3 months. As has happened with most of our other beloved large dogs, his back end stopped functioning. The mobile vet came to our home and said it was his time; nothing could be done. I hope he had a happy life with us; I think he did but I sometimes wondered in his later years. He did adjust very well to losing his eye in 2011, but he never really became buddies with our other dogs, and he wouldn't stop digging up the carpet (or what was left of it). Then he and our new dog Titus who we acquired last Dec. (I'll write more about "Ty" on my blog) got into a scary fight a few months before Jesse died. In spite of his issues, we loved and miss Jesse very much.

The newest canine member of our family joined us on December 9, 2009 -- which, ironically, would have been our Heidi's 12th birthday. When we unexpectedly lost Heidi, I knew I wanted another cuddly girl, and soon. I wanted the new girl to be young, but not a pup we'd have to housebreak, and I wanted her ulimate full grown size to be manageable enough to walk (which I couldn't do with Heidi). We'd had success finding Archie on Petfinder.com, so I spent time there looking for dogs that were at least part Great Pyrenees (which I knew Rex would want). I found a year-old girl Pyr in the Yakima area who I thought we were supposed to have. But it was between paychecks and we wouldn't have the adoption fee for over a week -- if then, since it would also be tricky to get to that area in Dec., depending on the weather. That shelter wouldn't hold that girl for us. But there was another girl who'd caught my eye and was closer by, in the Olympia area. She was said to be a Great Pyrenees/Border Collie mix, and had been rescued from a home where someone was hoarding animals and she wasn't getting enough care and attention. I liked her description and her "smile" in the pic, so I completed and returned the app to the shelter. Other people had also applied to adopt Susie, but the lady at the shelter and the lady at the foster home both liked our app best. So they agreed to wait over a week till we had the adoption fee.

Rex drove to the Olympia area that day to get Susie; it was a Wednesday. I happened to be home from work with a bad cold, and part of me wanted to come along for the ride to get our new girl. But we agreed that wouldn't be good for my cold. So I stayed home, thought about Heidi on her birthday, and hoped Susie would help heal my heart. When he arrived with her, the first thing I thought was, "She is so small and scrawny -- and scared." This was understandable, since this was her 4th home in her short life of 15 months - the hoarder, the shelter, the foster home, and now us. But I didn't expect her to be so (to me, being used to our big dogs) little; she only weighed 43 lbs. She spent that first night cowering by the front door, being afraid to come over to us. We brought her in the bedroom to sleep with us, and she promptly made her mark on the beige rug. But the second night, we brought her in the bed with us for awhile to cuddle and reassure her. We thought it would take her some time to get acclimated. But that took us longer than it took her! Jesse got used to her fairly quickly and they became buddies, and after awhile, Archie did grow to at least tolerate her, to where we can feel safe leaving them in the same room.

I wasn't sure those first couple weeks if Susie would work out, or if she would become attached to me the way she was to Rex (who does spend more time with her due to his work schedule). But I remembered I felt that way about Heidi at first and knew I needed to give it time. As I write this, Susie will be 2 years old in 2 weeks (Sept.10), and we have grown to love her. She has a lot of energy and personality, and her own special quirks that have endeared her to us. She is actually 1/4 Great Pyrenees and 3/4 Border Collie, which explains her smaller size, but she has filled out nicely (probably closer to 55-60 lbs. now) and to me, she is just the right size. I walk her in the evenings after work, and I call her "slurpy girl" or "kissy face" because of the kisses she gives, which is something our other dogs didn't do. She loves to have her belly rubbed, and to stand with her two front paws on my recliner. She is also a terrific little watchdog, since we can't move a muscle without her noticing or reacting! I'll keep trying to get pics of her that really capture her personality like the Petfinder pic below did; she's not sure what the camera is for so I usually get a blank stare, as in the pic from May. I hope God will let us have this special girl in our lives for many years to come, and I am convinced she is in the forever home where He intended her to be!

UPDATE: After we had Susie a few years, I have no idea why, but she apparently decided she no longer loved her mama (me). I must have said or done something that spooked her, and I don't know what. But she's continued, as of 2017, to keep her distance, and it breaks my heart since I have no clue how to resolve it. She'll allow me to pet her if I walk over to her. But she no longer comes to me to rub her belly or kisses me. I guess I'll never know why. Ironically, she continues to show affection to my husband, though it was I who insisted we adopt her. I wish she understood that -- and that she realized I've never stopped loving her.

Susie's pic from Petfinder.com, age about 15 months

Susie, May 2010, age about 20 months

UPDATE, 2015: Susie is no longer our newest dog. In fact, this December she will have been with us for 6 years. Hard to believe! Last December, hubby brought home Titus ("Ty"), a beautiful 2-year-old male Great Pyrenees with a striking physical resemblance to Heidi. We've had him for 8 months as I write this, and he has been quite a challenge! His original owner died suddenly and apparently did not train him much, if at all. I'll have more to say about Ty on my blog and will also post a few photos of him there.

UPDATE, 2017: Titus, now 4 years old, is now exclusively an outdoor dog. He gave us no choice, but he does appear to be content outdoors. We tried for over two years to train him to behave indoors, but he is very territorial and has remained a one-person dog (my husband). Things became a lot more peaceful in our home once "Ty" moved outdoors. But since Susie has remained aloof and distant for reasons unknown, I continued to ache for a dog who would love me the way Gus and Heidi did. My prayers were answered on April 17, 2017 when we adopted Jasmine ("Jazz"), a small but beautiful purebred Great Pyrenees (born June 5, 2014) who was owned by a couple who was moving out of state and couldn't bring her. We bonded instantly; she is the "Velcro dog" Gus was and kisses me the way Susie used to. I love her SO much! She did have one scary fight with Susie in July, but other than that one instance, she has been very calm and loving. I have a few photos of her on my Facebook and may try to add them here when time permits.

The long, beautiful, white fur of the Great Pyrenees needs to be brushed regularly (at least a couple of times a week) or it easily becomes matted. This became more of a problem with Farley and Tessa when they chose to live outside most of the time. Having come from a family with horses, Gus' coat was in beautiful condition and, since he was an "inside" dog, we were able to keep it that way. Heidi, Colby, Archie, Jesse and Ty likewise came to us with beautiful coats, although Colby was so furry that he got matted easily, and he didn't like to be brushed. Farley and Tessa didn't like to be brushed around their butts and tails where they got the most matted. Regular brushing also keeps them from shedding so profusely, although Pyrs and "Sammies" ARE going to shed a lot no matter what, especially in August! When you have these breeds, you get used to using tape to try to get all the white hair off your black slacks before you go out (and usually not succeeding!). Thankfully, so far, Susie doesn't seem to shed much, though Jesse and Archie more than made up for it! (And so does "Jazz" -- I'm updating this page in August, and I think she has now eclipsed the other dogs' shedding record!)

I could probably go on with other stories, like a mother would over her human children, but you get the idea. Dogs are SO much fun, love you so unconditionally and when you come home after a long day, treat you like you were the center of their universe (and suspiciously sniff Rex from one end to the other when he invariably encounters other dogs on his sales calls! He always assures them, "You know you're my favorite doggies!")

Our dogs don't seem so huge to me now since I am so used to them, but everyone else's dogs seem small to microscopic! I like all dogs, but my best friend's Pomeranian and Chihuahuas look like mice to me! I have to be careful not to step on them! At this point, I'm used to a BIG dog I can get my arms around! If I ever did get a small dog though, I think it would be a Pug. They are rightly called "a big dog in a small package"! I feel it is very important to have a pet you feel comfortable with; big dogs aren't for everyone! I feel everyone should read Dr. Tortora's book before buying a dog (or seeking a similar book if you prefer a cat or bird or whatever) to make sure you will have the right companion(s) for years to come!

P.S. I don't know whether my favorite aunt in Chicago, or my late uncle, would appreciate this, but I used their names for Farley and Tessa's middle names. Tessa was actually "Tessa Bernice" and Farley was "Farley Ralph". I gave Gus the middle name of "Karl", Rex's late dad's first name, since his dad's middle name was "Gustav". Heidi's middle name was Margaret and Colby's was Ernest. (Rex has suggested Heidi's should be "No!" and Colby's should have been "Cheesehead" -- or "Shut up!" when he got yappy.) I suppose Archie's is "Earl", his name when we first met him, and I never thought of one for Jesse, Susie, Ty or Jazz. I didn't use Farley and Tessa's full names often unless I was very annoyed with them. :-D But all our dogs behave most of the time. They usually do not follow any of the following Rules for Dogs - except those dealing with barking, sniffing, holes, and doors! Pyrs do like to bark just for the sake of barking, though we didn't have that problem with Gus. He didn't bark much; we think he either had a debarking operation or may have hurt his throat on the cable his former family chained him on. But the others often barked enough to make up for him!

I would like to end this salute to my furballs with a charming story written by Marty Becker, DVM, which explains the special relationship between true pet lovers and our fur babies. This story appears in the book, "Chicken Soup for the Dog & Cat Lover's Soul" by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Marty Becker, D.V.M., and Carol Kline. Copyright 1999 Canfield and Hansen. All rights reserved.

15 Minutes of Fame

I dashed out an exit at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago and ran towards a waiting cab. I was greeted by a cab driver with a three-day-old beard, an old baseball cap and arms the size of tree trunks.

As he tossed my bags into the trunk, he spotted my luggage tags and said, "What kind of doctor are you?"

"A veterinarian," I said. Instantly, his grizzled face broke into a smile. This happens to veterinarians all the time, as people love to talk to us about their pets.

The doors slammed, he put the car into gear and hit me with this opening salvo, "My wife claims I love my toy poodle Missy more than I love her. Just once, she wants me to be as excited to see her as I am Missy. But doc, it ain't gonna happen. Ya see, when I get home from a long day in the cab, dead tired, I open the door and there are the two of them looking at me, Ma and Missy. Ma has a scowl on her face and is ready to tear into me. Missy, on the other hand, is shaking all over, she's that happy - her face is grinning so wide, she could eat a banana sideways. Now who do you think I'm going to run to?"

I nodded my head in agreement because I understood only too well what his point was. He loved his wife, but he simply wanted permission to savor his 15 minutes of fame. Everybody gets 15 minutes of fame once in their lifetime. We pet owners get our 15 minutes every time we come home - or even return from the next room.

A few days after I saw the cab driver in Chicago, I returned home. I was tired from my travels and looking forward to seeing my family. Pulling into the driveway, I peered through the windshield, straining to catch my first glimpse of my loved ones. My two children, Mikkel and Lex, are very close to good ol' dad but I didn't see their faces pressed against the window looking for me. Nor did my beloved wife, Teresa, come running in super slow motion across the yard, arms open wide ready to embrace me. But I didn't despair. I knew I was still wanted, a Hollywood heartthrob, hometown hero to my two dogs, Scooter, a wirehaired Fox Terrier and, Sirloin, a black Labrador retriever!

As soon as I exited the pickup, Sirloin and Scooter charged to meet me. Their love-filled eyes were dancing with excitement, and their tail turbo chargers whipped them into a delighted frenzy of fur.

Was this affection-connection routine, ho-hum for me? Was I cool, calm and collected? Heck no. I turned into a blithering idiot as I got out of my truck and rushed to meet the hairy-princess, Scooter, and Sirloin, the fur-king.

There I stood, all the false layers stripped away, masks removed and performances cancelled. It was my true self. Extra pounds, bad hair day, angry people, travel strains, no matter. Scooter and Sirloin came to the emotional rescue and allowed me to drink in the sheer love and joy of the moment. I was drunk with contentment. I was glad this took place in the privacy of my own home. What happened next might have spoiled my polished professional image. I immediately smiled, and raised my voice an octave or two, exclaiming, "Sirloin, yuz is daaaaddies boy, aren't ya?" And, "Scooter, have you been a good girl today? Yeah you have, you've been a goooood girl!!"

They responded by turning inside out with delight, pressing themselves against my legs and talking to me. I felt as if I could tap directly into their wellspring of positive, healing energy. Gee, it was great to be home!

I bounded up the steps to find the rest of the family, heart open, stress gone and spirits restored by my fifteen minutes of fame.

Please go to Furballs Page 1 to read about our dearly departed Farley, Tessa and Gus.

Please go to Furballs Page 3 to meet our past and present guinea pigs.

My furballs and funstuff pages were created in the fanciful font "Minya Nouvelle" by Ray Larabie. If you don't have it, get it here for free; you'll love it!
Music MIDI from Jack's MIDI Music