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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dogs: Past, Present and Future

Today's post was originally all about my little southern boy.

That's right, Gus is a Georgia boy.  Atlanta, to be precise.

Gus is our first rescue puppy.  And our first non-golden retriever.  

But as I started writing about Gus, I kept making references to Rosie and Gracie, the dogs I had before Gus.     After many editing attempts, trying to keep to the subject of Gus, I decided to just start from the beginning.

We've had two goldens.
First, there was Rosie.  

Why did I get a golden retriever?  I wanted a dog, a big dog.  I didn't care what kind of dog, as long as it was big.

I don't know if Mr. Terrific wanted a dog.  I didn't ask him.  I did know that he liked golden retrievers.  I logically came to the conclusion that getting a golden retriever would fulfill my wish for a big dog, and that there would be no protests from my husband because the dog would be the breed that he loved most.

Rosie was awesome.  When she was a year old, Caitie was born.

Rosie didn't seem to mind.

Then came Sean.  Great!  Two playmates.  And then Erin came along.

Three was never a crowd as far as Rosie was concerned.



As long as she had kids to play with, she was happy.

Even when Caitie and her friend, Michelle, decided to dress her up as "Little Red Sox Riding Hood," she was still happy.


Rosie's special little trick was her ability to take herself for a walk.  As soon as I'd clip her leash onto her, she would nudge it around on the ground with her nose until it was folded accordion-like, then pick it up and hold it in her mouth.  We'd walk up the street like this, Rosie with the leash in her mouth, me alongside her.

We had Rosie for 12+ wonderful years. 

About a year after Rosie passed, we were ready for another dog.  Rosie was such a great dog, would we ever find another dog as wonderful?  It was hard to imagine that we could get so lucky again.

And then we got Gracie. 

 She was sweet, and wonderful, and everything else that Rosie was and more.

Gracie's special little tricks? 1. She would sing along whenever someone played a harmonica. 2. She could detect changes in barometric pressure that predicted severe weather conditions.  It took us a while to catch onto her weather-predicting abilities.  The first few stormy times we reacted, "Oh, so THIS is why Gracie has been hiding behind the washing machine all day."  Then we finally came to the realization that when Gracie would go down into the basement and hide behind the washer and dryer, it meant that there was a storm coming.  But most importantly 3. She could sense when my son's blood sugar dropped in the middle of the night.  Sean has diabetes, and sometimes his blood sugar gets low.  When he's awake, he can recognize symptoms that his blood sugar is dropping, but when he's sleeping he could sleep right through it.  Gracie would wake him up, or if she couldn't wake him she'd come and wake me up.  I have no idea how she was able to do this, it was not something that she was taught.  

I will always have a special place in my heart for this amazing creature.

And when Gracie was about 5 years old, we decided to kick it up a notch and get another dog so that she would have a companion, only this time, instead of getting a dog from a reputable breeder we would adopt a rescue puppy.

Erin would be the one to pick out our new puppy.  My only stipulation was that the dog had to be big (50+ pounds) when full grown.

She would log onto petfinder.com every day, eagerly searching for our next puppy.  And then she found him.

This was the picture that melted our hearts.  Found in an abandoned warehouse in Atlanta, along with his brother, it was estimated that he was 3 to 4 weeks old.


Named "Camden and Charleton" when they were rescued, here is a photo that their foster mom sent me when they were 7-8 weeks old.  How could anyone just throw them away?


The puppy transport brought him north when he was 9-10 weeks old.  We drove to Connecticut to meet them and brought our little southern boy home.

Gracie was very excited to have another dog in the house.....for about an hour.  He wore her out.  Then she went and hid from him.  By the end of the day, if she could have talked, I'm sure she would have said, "take him back, he won't leave me alone."

Eventually, they found common ground.  Gracie put up with more activity, and Gus learned to lie around and nap.

He soon appeared to like to lie around and nap as much as Gracie did.

Maybe he liked to nap even more than Gracie did.

Almost two years ago, we lost Gracie to hemangiosarcoma.  She was only seven years old.

Now you know about my dogs, past and present.

And the future?  It's been almost two years since Gracie passed, and we are ready for another golden.

I contacted the breeder who owns Gracie's father.  She has been breeding golden retrievers for 40 years.  

Last month, Gracie's half-niece gave birth to puppies.  We are excited to be getting a puppy from Gracie's bloodline.  One of these 12-day-old little beauties will be coming home with us next month.  

Hopefully, we will have agreed on a name by then!



8 comments:

  1. Ohhhhhhh! I love a good dawgie story :) Your pups are all just wonderful!

    Our Jenny Lou came up from Louisianna, abandoned and found wandering, she's our third rescue, We had our Grizzy for 11 years (he was no spring chicken when we got him, either!) and our sweet basset hound Chuck ws the most lovable dog ever! He died at 4 of cancer and my heart was broken, all of our hearts were broken. We went back to the same shelter in New Orleans for another basset and Miss Jenny Lou arrived almost 2 years ago (on the dawgie transport, too!) We adore her so much. Rescue dogs are the B*E*S*T!

    I loved reading your story!

    PS: I'm in Connecticut, not sure where you are, but I-spied a Red Sox banner???!!

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    1. Jenny Lou is too cute! And yes, I'm a die-hard Sox fan! I'm in the Boston area now, but I grew up in Connecticut.

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  2. Oh Fran! I so love dogs, and your story is just the BEST! I love all your doggies just reading about them. There is nothing like doggie love, LOL! Doyle is only our 2nd dog, and has absolutely stolen our hearts. Our 1st, Sadler was also a Brittany and he lived just 2 months shy of his 16th birthday. Amazing! We found him through an ad in the paper. He was 9 months old, his owners had wanted a "show" dog, and he had an anomaly that nixed that. Can you imagine getting rid of a dog you had for 9 mos? We loved him in a day. Their loss, our gain. My heart still hurts whenever I think of him, he brought so much joy into our lives. Sorry for rambling, LOL!

    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful Rosie, Gracie and Gus!

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    1. Wow, 16 years! How lucky you were to have him for so long. I really enjoy seeing your pictures of Doyle at the end of your posts! I enjoy your "rambling".....from one dog lover to another! :)

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  3. What sweet dogs you have had, they sure are part of the family aren't they. Congrats on getting the new puppy...do let us know what you decide on a name.
    Magie x

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  4. Oh how I enjoyed this post Fran. The dogs are all just precious! I am a dog lover although we no longer have a pet. Hubby and I like to take off to much and it's hard to have an animal to be cared for. I love the pics of the younguns with your first dog. They are priceless. Amazing talent of the 2nd dog to awake your diabetic son. My oldest daughter was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 11. Can't wait to see your new dog. The pictures of the two lounging on each other are awesome also.
    Hugs,
    Jann

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  5. I love this post.. I grew up with Goldens and my parents still have one.. They are the BEST and most loving dogs ever.. We love our Lady.... enojoy your puppies..

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  6. what a lovely post. I so enjoyed reading about your beloved dogs.
    I AM here because I'm looking for recipes but the pictures of Clyde are adorable and then...I decided to go into the archives to look for more recipes.
    Sweet!!!

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