Friday, October 4, 2013

Ten Things of Thankful: Gone to the Dogs Edition

This week, the brilliant mind behind Ten Things of Thankful, Lizzi of Considerings,  asked for each co-hosts to contribute a paragraph about pets, for a future group post.  I was happy to participate, then I thought, why not make my entire post about dogs in my life?  So, this week's TToT is the Gone to the Dogs edition.  I'm thankful for:


1.  Jingles.  He had jingle bells in his smooth-as-silk ears. I don't think his ears started out so slick, but years of rubbing them between my hands caused a loss of fur.


I didn't play a lot with dolls, but stuffed animals were another story.

 2. Bowser.  I don't remember many details about my first real dog, but I remember how delighted I was to have her in the family.

No comments from the peanut gallery.  This isn't a fashion blog.
3.  Parents who indulged my interest in dogs.  My dad brought this treasure home for me:

A kid-sized poodle who loves to read--can life get any better?
My mom made more than one dog-inspired birthday cake during my childhood.

I've long lost contact with my next-door neighbor, so I couldn't ask his permission to show his face.


4.  Lassie--not the collie, the beagle.  I was so happy when we went to visit my uncle's wife's parents, and found they had a litter of puppies.  I was utterly (not literally) blown away when my parents said we could bring a puppy home!



Unfortunately, we lived on a busy road, and I learned from an early age that cars and puppies don't mix.  My parents learned, too, and we eventually fenced off part of the backyard, and also put in a dog run. 

5.  My sister.  She now can be trusted with surprises.  She didn't always have that skill.  We still laugh about the family dinner where she asked, "When are we getting the dog?  You know, the dog we aren't supposed to tell Mom about?"  Fortunately, the answer was "after dinner," so she didn't spoil the surprise too early.  

6.  My brother.  One of his first questions for John after we were engaged was, "When are you getting a dog?  You know, Kristi loves dogs!"  Somehow, the topic of dogs hadn't really come up before, but thanks to my brother, John had a heads-up that dogs might be in his future.

7.  John's support of my interest.  I was at a Relief Society meeting at church one evening, when John and our two (at the time) children came and motioned for me to come out of the room.  I gathered up my purse and hurried out, wondering who needed stitches this time.  (Please tell me I'm not the only mom whose active kids necessitated E.R. visits!) I was relieved, surprised, and happy to learn that we were actually on our way to go meet a puppy.  Holly was a wonderfully patient and gentle puppy, who grew up to be a wonderfully patient and gentle dog. 



8.  John's willingness to venture into multiple-dog ownership.  When Melmo followed me home from a walk with Holly, he knew right away I was going to suggest keeping her.  From then until a few years ago, we always had two dogs.  Melmo lived sixteen years, and was a sweet, calm, peace-loving dog.

Melmo and Lucy
John even indulged my interest in basset hounds.  Our first was a mutt that was low-slung like a basset.  He was car-sick the whole way home from the shelter, and so we named him Ralphie.  We never could teach him to stay off the furniture when he was alone in a room, and only marginally succeeded in teaching him to stay off the furniture when we were in the room.  He was kind of cute curled up on the couch or on the bed, but not so cute standing on the kitchen table.  He was an exasperatingly naughty dog, but we loved him.



Ralphie
Lucy was my real-life Jingles, minus the bells (and I never rubbed the fur off her ears.)  Though she had her Marley moments, she endeared herself to me.  



9.  Guide Dogs for the Blind.  After Lucy died, we found ourselves dog-free.  It seemed unnatural to me, and quite peaceful to John.  John wasn't sure he wanted to sign up for another 16-year commitment to the furry ones, and I wasn't sure I could go without the wiggly tails and adoring eyes.  Enter Guide Dogs for the Blind.  We can raise a puppy for a year or so at a time, enjoying puppy antics, without a long-term commitment, and with the knowledge that we are providing a valuable service.  It's a win-win situation.  Yes, we get attached, but I'm more attached to my children, and even they grow up and leave the nest.  




Reno all dressed up and ready to go
If I didn't raise guide dog puppies, I wouldn't get to enjoy Drexel's "frog legs" pose.  Silly puppy!
10.  Other organizations that provide service dogs.  Though I volunteer with Guide Dogs for the Blind, there are many different groups who meet needs of various clients.  Sometimes, Guide Dog puppies "career change" to some of those other organizations.
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Thanks for furry friends.

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This is a post for the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop.  Won't you join us by linking a post of your own?  Tell us what you are thankful for this week!

Ten Things of Thankful


 Your hosts

42 comments:

  1. I have a literate poodle too!!!!!! I love Lucy...Ive always wanted a Basset...don't tell skips.

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    1. Poodles are smart, aren't they? Some people say that bassets are not, but they are actually just stubborn. I smile every time I see one, though.

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  2. oh yeah. meant to say... were you an adorable kiddo or what!???? even in that mixed up get up! so cute!

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    1. Well, if you're calling me cute, I guess it's OK to mention the outfit. :-)

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  3. Absolutely beautiful shares of your life with dogs, and how wonderful it's been. I love that you've found such an amazingly positive way to keep having dogs in your life, and support such a massively important cause. Kudos to you :) Love it.

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    1. I'm so pleased to be part of this organization. I love the fact that the dogs are provided free of charge to the blind, and I've been so impressed with the quality of the puppies and the level of support given to both raisers and clients.

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  4. What a wonderful post - I love the photos :)
    I grew up in a house where only cats were allowed, so didn't have a dog in my life until one adopted myself and my then future husband - and we've never been without on since - at one time having 23 of them all together - mind you, 6 of them were puppies! :)

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    1. Twenty-three? Wow, that's a lot of tail-wagging!

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  5. It was that picture of Lucy that drew me to your post. Even with her grayed face, you can still her puppy eyes! Thanks for sharing your story about all of the dogs in your life.

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    1. Oh, I'm immediately drawn to bassets, too! Lucy was full of energy to the end. Bassets are portrayed as big ole couch potatoes, and they do love to snuggle, but often they also run a daily "basset 500." Watching a low-slung dog running in a huge figure 8 cracks me up every time.

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  6. Such a gorgeous post! I love that you have so many photos to go with the stories. The pictures of you when you were little are so adorable and I love that kid-sized poodle. wow, you've had a lot of dogs! Bowser and Lassie were so so tiny when you got them ... I guess I'd forgotten how small puppies really are! Love Lucy's ear :) I didn't know about the Guide Dogs for the Blind program - what a fantastic thing you and John are doing for both the dogs and for their future owners.

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    1. Guide Dogs for the Blind is an incredible organization. If you live in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington or the Dallas/Ft. Worth metropolitan area, you could be a puppy raiser, too.

      Basset ears are the best!

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  7. I love,love,love this. Have 2 myself and know what a blessing they are! Thanks for sharing!

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  8. I love this post!! From your first dog, with the jingle-ears and the smooth ears to the naughty dog who wouldn't stay off the furniture to the awesome photos of you as a little girl to the funny captions on the photos. I was smiling the whole way through.

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    1. OK, the praise is going to my head now. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

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  9. Dogs are so amazing. My daughter's greatest wish is that we move somewhere that allows pets so she can have a dog - until then, she makes do with dogs of the stuffed variety, of which we have many.

    Love that you help to raise future guide dogs. That is such a blessing, and a really brilliant idea.

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    1. Stuffed dogs are fun, too, but I hope your daughter gets her wish sometime! (I'm not sure if you want her to know this, but children as young as 9 can by puppy raisers for Guide Dogs for the Blind.)

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  10. My girls would love this blog post, because even last night they were talking about getting a dog. My younger daughter is truly obsessed with dogs and see many dogs in her future, too. So, you are right dogs are definitely a thing to be thankful for!! :)

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    1. Your daughter sounds like a younger version of me. I hope dogs are in her future!

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  11. I did not know you were raising puppies to become guide dogs for the blind! I just love that!

    I am also a huge dog lover, but my husband is allergic, so no dog for me in the near (and far) future.

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    1. Much as I love dogs, I would choose my husband over a puppy, too. Guess you'll need to find your own Jingles or paper-reading poodle!

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  12. I love the pictures of you as a little girl with the mom-cut bangs (takes one to know one!). And love the picture of the kitten pummeling Holly's tail while she lies placidly on the rug. Love how Ralphie got his name and can't imagine how a low-slung dog like that managed to get on the kitchen table! And you know I love your puppy-in-training! We always enjoyed seeing them out and about when we lived in California.

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    1. Well, you called that! In my mom's defense, I was the oldest child, plus I had a cowlick. Mom actually got better with the haircutting. :-)

      We learned to keep the kitchen chairs pushed in under the table. We were definitely shocked to see him on the table (eating our dinner, no less!)

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  13. very lucky people (who will get the dogs you raise), so much of (a) dogs adult personality is shaped by their early puppyhood.

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    1. One good thing about Guide Dogs for the Blind is that they provide great training support for puppy raisers. We all use the same techniques and commands, and expect the same behavior from the puppies. That, combined with a great breeding program, really produces generally well-adjusted dogs.

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  14. Oh, thank you for being a guide dog puppy raiser! I have two friends who are totally blind and have both had guide dogs. They are so awesome. I'm also visually impaired so I just love anyone who helps with this sort of thing.

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  15. What a great idea for a list! I loved the little stories about all of your pups. I have a student with a guide dog - it is the most amazing thing. So thanks to you and others who do what you do for the guide pups and their people. (And if your head didn't explode after that last sentence, good job!)

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    1. Aren't the dogs incredible? No exploding heads here, but that might be because I write similar sentences sometimes!

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  16. What a wonderful thing you are doing, raising puppies so they can become guide dogs. It definitely seems like a win-win for you and your husband!

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  17. I would love to have a dog someday. But right now I live in an apartment and work too much. Hopefully soon!

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    1. One of the advantages of raising guide dog puppies is that the dogs are allowed to accompany raisers to work. Also, some of the volunteers in our guide dog group are puppy sitters; they babysit a puppy when one of the raisers needs some dog-free time. However, I have to commend you for thinking through whether or not you really have time for a dog right now. Too many people don't understand just how much time and effort pets take.

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  18. Love seeing all your wonderful pets, both stuffed and real! And what a wonderful service you provide raising the guide dogs. Thank you for this fun link-up.

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  19. Love the story! I had a little stuffed dog as a kid, too. It's poor ears are rags now, that's how much I rubbed them. I never had a pet as a child, but hubby grew up with cats, and I love all the stories he tells me about his cats, so we can't wait to have pets once we move into our house! Have a great new week, Kristi!

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  20. I love the pictures of the dogs! I have such happy memories of our dogs that we had when I was growing up, and my kids absolutely love playing with our dog. So so special!

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  21. Oh how I LOVE dogs!

    ...and Bowser looks just like our neighbor's dog "Panther"...

    I am also glad you weren't *literally* blown away ;) *tee-hee*

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  22. Oh. I miss my dog. They are amazing secret keepers. Truly.

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  23. You are inspiring me. We lost our beloved Shih Tzu a year ago June and our house hasn't been the same. Dog-free seems unnatural to me too. But we travel a lot and I don't think it is fair to get another dog at this time. So we dog sit a friend's dog whenever she needs a sitter. And it is helping me adjust. I'd never thought of doing guide dogs or volunteering for a period of time. That might work for us. Thanks for this great idea and possible temp solution to my dog loneliness. Linda Atwell at Out One Ear http://outoneear.com (Am adding this since your site only allows me to comment under Google. :-)

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  24. LOVE all your dog memories. My little sister signs every email with this quote: " Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened." So very true!

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  25. I just read this now. Adorable dogs!!! Love your post!

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!