From time to time, Canine Pawsitive Touch shines a spotlight on a special pet that has brought joy and love into their lives of their humans. Some come into our lives from a breeder or a friend, while others come into our lives as rescue animals. No matter how they wiggled their way into our lives, there is no mistaking the teachings they impart or the paw prints they leave on our hearts.
In August 2013, I started volunteering at a no-kill shelter that was home to over a hundred dogs. I convinced my husband, Steve that it was time to look for a new family member. As we walked through the aisles of barking dogs, one dog caught Steve’s eye. And so began our relationship with a unique breed of dog, the Australian Cattle Dog, aka Blue Heeler, or Queensland Heeler. Sheila was a purebred who had been dumped at the SPCA and rescued by the no-kill shelter. I later red that ACDs are often euthanized the way pit bulls are because of owners who don’t understand the breed’s characteristics. ACDs are very protective, territorial and they love to herd! They herd, as we later found out, people, cats, pretty much anything that moves and they do it with INTENSITY!
Our cats soon learned that when Sheila stared at them she meant business! She will get inches from our sassy calico, Sonya, and Sonya will actually back down. This in itself was a miracle of sorts. You have to admire a dog who will challenge Sonya! The other method of herding that has been bred into these dogs (their “Plan B” should the stare fail to work) is nipping. They usually go for the heels and attempt to move the animal (or person) along by placing their mouth around the back of the heel. Sheila, true to her breed is totally loyal, and easily fits into the classification of “Velcro Doggie”, always preferring to be right at your side. Sheila is working out well with the cats. She and our black male cat, Simon, play with each other. They wrestle and have a great time! Sonya has learned to head butt Sheila and try to stay on her good side. Schatzi, our grey tabby still wants nothing to do with Sheila, but with time I think she may come around.
My first recommendation to people who are looking to adopt a dog is to know your breed. Even a mixed breed will display some breed related behavior. Don’t set yourself or the dog up for disappointment and failure by adopting the wrong breed. There is a breed for everyone and every situation. My second recommendation is to give your new dog some time to settle in. Dogs suffer some post traumatic shock from spending time in a shelter. They may forget all about previous training and have a few accidents indoors. They also might not seem to affectionate at first, as they feel betrayed by their previous owners abandoning them. Above all remember you have saved a life and created a forever bond.
AJ came into our lives because of a video on WFAA. On Saturday mornings, they have a tail wagger segment, spotlighting dogs from the SPCA. When we first got married, we had a dog, who was half lab and Shar Pei. His name was Alex and he was the best dog ever! We lost him to cancer when he was 10 years old. That was in 1998. Now fast forward to Feb 2010. This puppy was featured on WFAA’s tail wagger and they said he was half lab and half Shar Pei! I looked at my husband and said I want him! So I went out and adopted him! He is a wonderful dog and is especially gentle and loving to our grandson, CJ! He has now been a part of our lives for four years and we could not ask for a better addition to our family!!!
I would like to celebrate and share a bit of the life of my little cat Caspie (Casper). She has been by my side for about 14 years and without a word, has taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. Caspie came to me when she was about two, from a friend and co-worker who had rescued her. She never left my side. She was there when I was studying massage in Texas and she even learned how to massage and worked on me every morning. When I was preparing to record my first CD she would sit in my lap and listen to me play for hours. She was a healing cat in many ways; she seemed to know when something was wrong and where it was. She also was attuned to three levels of Reiki. I called her my little nurse cat. She was there when I opened the Salon and Day Spa. She had a special window where she could overlook everything. Then came her brother Revi, who she learned to love, and they became best buds. She was with me through three stays in the hospital and nursed me back to health every time. I will miss her dearly.
My name is Rocky. My mom was going to write about me for Spotlight, but I told her “I” wanted to tell my own story. I was about a year and half and was owned by a couple with a little boy. They were not very nice to me. They would go off on the weekend and leave me without any water or food. The fence wasn’t fixed and I kept getting out because I was thirsty and hungry. Unfortunately I cut myself up pretty good on their old fence. A nice man across the street talked to me every day when he went out to get the mail. And the lady even talked to my owners about helping me fix the old fence, but they wanted no part of the nice people’s help. One day when I got out the lady that I liked saw me. It made her mad that I was bleeding and super thin (I can’t say what she really said, but it wasn’t very nice.) She took me to her house and cleaned me up and fed me. She decided to put me in “her” yard with her two dogs. Everyday my owners saw me there ’cause I was behind a chain link fence but they never came to get me. They moved two months later and I never saw them again. I was so rejected. I couldn’t figure out what I had done that was so wrong. The lady told me not to be afraid, that she would find me a good home. Well…. the man and the lady fell in love with me and became my true mom and dad. It’s been almost 10 years and I have had a wonderful life full of love and care and am a member of a truly loving family. Over the years, my brother and sister crossed the Rainbow Bridge and worst of all, I lost my dad. It makes me happy though to know that they were waiting for him at the bridge when he got there. My mom and I continue to be a family and she takes care of me now that I’m getting a bit older and slower. I have a new brother that she rescued. He is a bit of a pain, but not bad for a kid brother. There are good people in this world and mom is one of them.
Bearly is a 4 year old Golden Retriever who is extremely lovable and loyal. He will sit beside us for hours. When I came home from a hospital stay one time, he took my hand in his mouth and lead me around the house to show how much he missed me. We got Bearly from some friends in California who had to move and needed to find a good home for him. Bearly quickly adapted to our home and followed our other dog, Moose, right out the dog door to play in the yard. Bearly and Moose are inseparable. They chase squirrels and birds, but never catch them. We love Bearly very much are very fortunate to have him as part of our family.
~Bill & Cindy
From the first minutes I laid eyes on NY Vinny I was a goner, hook, line & sinker!
Seven months ago, I got the message I had been waiting for. A greyhound that was OK with cats was coming to Dallas from Amarillo and could I take him to foster? He had wandered into a garage there in Amarillo weighing only 30lbs with bite marks on his neck looking like perhaps he had been mauled. I was like a kid at Christmas. It seemed to take forever for him to get to Preston Park Animal Hospital where I was to pick him up. The minute he came around the corner I knew he was mine forever. He had been given the name Vincent by the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas (GALT), the group I work with. While you are fostering, you aren’t supposed to change their name, but he just didn’t fit the name Vincent. The poor guy had been nicknamed “Skinny Vinny”. His dada is from NY and I’m from New England, so he became NY Vinny.
From the very first night, it was clear that life as I had known it was no more. Who knew there had been so much lacking in my life and that parts of it had been totally boring and barren? Apparently Vinny did and he set about making sure that all was going to change. He is smart as a whip, with a desire to please as grey as all outdoors. He learns most things way faster than I can teach him. We are however, having a disagreement with the concept that ‘most greyhounds don’t bark a lot”. At the moment, we are compromising and he is learning to whisper. He opens and closes gates, sits, stays, lies down, comes to “Yo Vinny”, gives you his paw when you say “Right Heah” (gotta have the NY accent), touches, pushes, does “drop it” and “leave it” and is working on several more. Our goal is to become a therapy team and make hospital/VA visits, be called out to disasters and be part of Ms. Cheryl’s literacy program. His favorite partner in crime is Ms. Truffle Berner, who is also on the same track. They go to class together with Ms. Cheryl and it is totally amazing how all the things Tuflie’s mom, Barbara and I have trouble communicating are picked up during a single session with Ms. Cheryl.
Vinny posts on FaceBook regularly through Canine Pawsitive Touch. He lets me do they typing, but the thoughts are his. If ever there is a dog with a mission, that looks at life with wonder and as a total adventure, it’s Vinny. He has a lot to say about his take on things and updates on the foster dogs starting to come through our home. He has started work on a children’s book that follows some of his adventures and comes full circle with positive twists.
Daisy (Racing Name DOT CALM)
Daisy and her littermate Emily (EMILY SMOKE) adopted us in May of 2010. We were failed fosters. On July 10, 2010 they celebrated their 11th birthday. Daisy and Emily had been racers, then brood mamas. They had been adopted, but were returned to Greyhound Senior Sanctuary because they would have accidents on the floor.
Yes, when they joined our family they peed on the carpet – until they felt comfortable with their surroundings and had established routine. At that time we were also owned by a big, red fawn boy named Velcro (the name says it all) who was often mistaken for a deer. We lost Velcro to the dreaded “O” that same July.
Daisy is very calm and laid back. She doesn’t roo, roach, or play with squeakies or stuffies. She loves to eat and sleep. Sister Emily was full of spunk and mischief, the polar opposite of Daisy. We lost Em to osteo in July 2013, a few days shy of her 14th birthday.
With her sister gone, we were afraid Daisy would retreat even more. But she loved the added attention she was getting and slowly became more outgoing and affectionate. Now at age 15, Daisy spends her days “helping” my husband, who works from home. She can supervise with both eyes closed! She has arthritis in her back end and can no longer go down the stairs. Luckily her daddy is big and strong and can carry her down, so she gets to spend the night with us in our room. She no longer gets up to greet me when I come home from work, but she is still happy to see me. She gently noses my hand and looks at me with that special look greyhounds have.
She still tries to do zoomies when it’s potty time, but she stumbles a bit and usually ends up on her butt. She demands ice cubes in her water bowl and animal crackers at bedtime before she will go lay down. When she fluffs her blanket she talks and yells at them in a voice that sounds like a moan. If you didn’t know that was part of her routine you would think she was in terrible pain. She wears daisies on her collar that her daddy sewed on, and sleeps on a quilt he made for her also. Yes, she is quite the daddy’s girl! Maybe because he gives her ice cream??? Hmmmm.
We know Daisy won’t be with us much longer, the odds grow shorter every day. We know she will let us know in her gentle way and by the expression in her beautiful eyes when she is ready to go to the bridge to reunite with Sister Emily. Until then, she is our Lazy Crazy Daisy and she rules our house. And we wouldn’t have it any other way!
We love you, Daisy Dog!
Hola, meet Neve. A Galgo Espanol or Spanish Greyhound.
Neve had a very long journey to find her furever home. Possibly a litter of pups born in a field or server drain in Spain. She miraculously survived on the streets for a year; rescued by her loving foster mum. She now would begin to learn warmth and love. Galgos Del Sol funded her while in Spain. Then brought to the U.S. by the Sighthound Underground.
I had been wanting a greyhound for a very long time. Recently started applying to different programs and looking at the many choices. Then I found that pair of eyes that stared into my soul, Neve. I knew I had to have her, she was the one! So, I made my journey to Virginia to bring Neve to her furever home in West Virginia.
Neve has been in my life for 6 months now. She is such an enrichment to me. Full of spunk and playfulness. She is an absolute lover and completely affectionate. She is always by my side looking for fun or a cuddle. Her very favorite activity is a 2 hour hike at Coopers Rock State Park. She has become quite the clothes wearing fashonista and resident food connoisseur. Her role is “Princess”, if you could not tell, which I willingly allow and play along with. She blends well with four other rescue dogs, two cats and two human sisters.
Bringing Neve into my life has opened my eyes to the Galgo world. The Galgos are used for hunting in Spain. Once the season is finished, they are disposed of in unimaginable inhumane ways. We support and educate for the Galgo cause as often as possible. We now have friends all over the US and foreign countries. Very importantly, I have a most special bond, filled with a love I have never had before. All because of Neve.
Many Thank You’s to Vinny and his mom Jackie for the chance to share!
Hello, I’m Meg. My momma and daddy sometimes call me Meggie, but I like being called by either name. I recently celebrated my 1-year anniversary with my family. See, I was once a rescue dog. I was found wandering the streets of Dallas just over a year ago. No one really knows what happened to me prior to being rescued, buy my momma told me that the look on my face said that I was a very lonely and sad-looking girl. I was less than 2 years old when I came to the shelter. DFW Cocker Spaniel Rescue sprung me from the shelter and brought me into their program. They found me a foster home, and had me looked over by their vet. Turns out that my foster home is the home I’m in now. My mom and dad are what’s known as “foster failures” – that’s when someone takes a dog, like me, into their home, while getting him/her ready for his/her forever home, then decide they have fallen in love – like what happened to me, because they love me and I sure do love them. I have a big family – I have two brothers and a big sister. We love to play together and I’m a “tom-boy” at heart because I like to get into anything that my brother gets into.
Did you know that there are thousands of dogs in shelters and rescues all over the country? Half of those dogs never find loving homes and are euthanized. I know that’s a bad thing, and I was one of the lucky ones. DFW Cocker Spaniel Rescue has many beautiful Cocker Spaniels, of all ages and even if a Cocker Spaniel isn’t for you, if you are considering adoption, whatever kind of dog you adopt, they will love you forever. If you’re not ready to make a life-long commitment just yet, consider fostering or even donating. Your donations help other dogs in need.
So, from our family to yours – Happy Holidays!!