But let me start from the beginning. When Butch and I got together I had an American Eskimo named Tully. Tully moved to North Carolina with me when he was 3 months old and he was my buddy. However, a year later it was obvious that he was not happy in an apartment with me gone all day. Butch had a fenced back yard so Tully moved to Roanoke Rapids 4 months before I did. Actually I believe that Tully was instrumental in bringing about this relationship. In April of 2001 we decided that he needed a companion so we went to the local rescue where we found Angel, the POW (Pet of the Week). She had been deserted as a small puppy and although she was probably a year old by this time had never had a home. She had lived at the vet and then the rescue until we came along. She walked into our kitchen and sprawled as if to say, "Finally!" She grew into a 40-pound lap baby. Couldn't understand why I was uncomfortable with that!
The following year we "inherited" Tuxedo from my sister-in-law's father who no longer wanted the responsibility. At this point Tux weighed ~25 pounds and could be quite feisty, grabbing my leg in the hall during the night or popping me on the head repeatedly when he wanted to be petted and I wanted to sleep! It took a while but the three adjusted to each other and eventually became quite close. One day Tully just wasn't acting "right" so Butch took him to the vet. When he showed up in my office and said, "Let's go" I knew something was terribly wrong. Somehow Tully experienced a neurological "something" and we lost him the next day. I was devastated . . . beyond devastated.
Butch insisted on checking out websites and found one called Safe Haven where they listed an American Eskimo named Nanuq. He had been found loose along a highway on Christmas Eve and had been at the Haven for a year recovering from heart worm. He looked spookily like Tully but his eyes were flat and scared. For any of you who haven't read A Dog's Purpose, I am convinced that Tully sent Nanuq to us. I know this to be true. It took about 6 months but several years later he is a happy smiling boy as you can see below. My beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy!
Within a year we lost Angel to a congenital skin disease. Poor thing, one day I looked her in the eyes and she let me know that she was ready to go. What a horrible decision that is to make but we really had no choice. So we said good-bye. I cry just thinking about it. Tuxie just didn't know what to do. His two initial companions were gone and he didn't understand. Once again Butch insisted on looking for another furry baby. This time he found Sasha who was living with 5 Rottie rescues and holding her own, I will tell you! She is a spunky one, our diva girl! She thinks that Nanuq's tail is there as her very favorite toy. She jumps on him and wrestles until he calls, "Foul!" Tux, however, never quite recovered from the losses. Within a couple of months and just as quickly as Tully we lost him to liver disease. I still miss that beastly cat climbing up on my chest and nuzzling me with his little white nose. As an aside, my lap has not been my own since we first started this family!
As you can see, Sasha is very sure of herself! And I was certain that we were done! These critters grab your heart and wallet and don't let go! Especially those who have been through hard times and love like no other living being. However, Butch had gotten involved with a group who transports rescues from place to place to new forever homes. In the process he was cruising some of the sites of people with whom he had been working. (I really should take the computer away!) He found a couple in town who have a huge backyard, a warren of kennels beneath the house and a laundry room full of crates and kennels where they keep rescues until a foster or forever home comes along. And sure enough, check out the next picture.n
This is Sugar. She was a puppy mill rescue, had lived in a cage for 6-8 years. The first time her feet had ever touched grass was when we brought her home because . . . .of course . . . .we fell in love with her instantly. She danced through the grass with her ears just flying! It took some getting used to for her although the other two were thrilled. She did not like anyone coming up behind her unexpectedly and she had no clue how to be snuggled or petted. Well, times do change. Sugar cannot get enough of being loved and touched. She curls her body into a little comma that doesn't stop wiggling. And she is persistent to the point of driving me nuts at times, whimpering and wiggling and letting me know I need to stop whatever I'm doing and love her. Her happy dance when Butch is fixing dinner for the kids is hysterical. Twirls and whirls and skittering all over the floor. Who knew food could taste this good and there were actually beds to sleep in!?!
That's our family! That's their couch! So much contentment until Daddy leaves the house and then there are some very upset doggies until he returns. I don't think the same thing happens when I leave but when I return the reception is fit for a queen!
Now that we have refitted the expansion for the local vet, we are done for awhile! But I'd better see a name plate over the door!