Several years I found a brown chihuahua on the patio, just sitting there, doing nothing. Most of our neighbors, like us, had dogs, but I knew that none of my immediate neighbors owned one. I had no idea where he came from, but he appeared well cared for and was wearing a collar, surely someone was missing him. Continue reading
Our German Shepherd, Kelly, did not understand the concept of weekends. So that summer Sunday morning when she woke me at 6:00 a.m. I got out of bed, took her outside and put her in her kennel. Kelly had a morning routine that consisted of announcing to the entire world that she was happy, that she was outside and that it was a glorious day. Continue reading
In December 1983, a week after my husband, our daughter and I moved into our two-story home in the country, our son was born and our family was complete. Or so Steve and I thought. Two months later our friends came to visit and brought along a year old dog named Rags. Continue reading
Whiskey was the first puppy Lainey and I found, but he wasn’t the last. In October, 1975 during one of our regular walks, we found a 5 or 6 month old Beagle puppy on the lower dirt road that led to the lake. Just like Whiskey, he was not wearing a collar. That time of year, the summer cottages at the lake were deserted but because of our previous experience with Whiskey, we knew the drill; try to find his family and if his family could not be found, find him a new one. Continue reading
“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them.” – Thom Jones
I grew up near a lake with mountains, woods and fields all nearby ready to explore. It was a great place to be a kid. But the best part about where I lived was that my best friend Lainey lived right up the dirt road that ran past my house. We were inseparable. We rode the bus to school together, went to the same church, went to Girl Scouts together, were cheerleaders on the same squads….we did everything together. Continue reading
I was about four years old, sitting on the floor in the kitchen playing with our puppy, Micah. My mother was at the stove finishing cooking supper when my father came into the kitchen and told me to wash my hands because it was almost supper time. It was a family rule – we had to wash our hands before we ate. Continue reading
Several years ago I heard a story on National Public Radio about a man named Leo Grillo. Like many before him, Mr. Grillo moved to Los Angeles to work in the movie industry. Unlike many others however, in addition to acting, he ended up rescuing dogs. A lot of dogs. Over the years, he’s rescued hundreds of them which are cared for at an animal sanctuary he created, D.E.L.T.A. Rescue. What struck me about his story was not the fact that he does such work, nor the fact that he does it on such an epic scale – D.E.L.T.A. Rescue currently provides care for more than 800 dogs – what struck me was the way in which he finds the animals in need.
It began in the 70’s when he kept having a dream about a black Doberman. After several such dreams he saw the dog he had been dreaming about, skinny and alone, walking on the side of the road. He stopped the car and rescued the dog, who he named Delta, meaning “New Beginning”. In the radio story, Mr. Grillo spoke about how it was easy for him to find dogs in need. He said to find them, he would just send a message out to the universe, “Cross my path”. He and Delta would go for hikes or walks and he would think, “Cross my path and I will help you”.
Throughout my life, I’ve had many animals cross my path. While a fair share of them were dogs, I’ve had a variety of other animals as well, both domestic and wild, wander into my yard and life. I never realized that this was unusual, in fact for many years I thought such things happened to people all the time. When I would share a story about the latest animal to show up and people would act like it was odd, I assumed it was happening because of where I lived. I thought that maybe I just lived in an area where people did not control their animals well. In 1997 when my husband and children and I moved to a new home I remember telling them, “Well, this should put an end to our strange animal adventures”. Three weeks later there was an ostrich in my front yard.
It was at that point that I re-evaluated the whole this thing only happens because of where I live theory and realized that this type of thing has been happening to me my whole life, regardless of where I live. Animals show up in my yard or cross my path often, even though I’ve never put the thought “cross my path” out to the universe. In fact, to be blunt, given the amount of animals that have already crossed my path, I’d be a bit fearful to put such a thought out to the universe because I don’t know that I could manage as successfully as Mr. Grillo. Although I’ve helped those I could and most of them have left my care for the better, there were a few instances where I could not help. My friends, who have listened to the stories about the various animals that have come and gone, have encouraged me to write the stories down and share them with others. Some of the stories are heartwarming, some are funny and some are heartbreaking. It is through this blog that I hope to share them all with you.
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