Charlotte, Georgia, Deanna
If you are visiting this site, you probably love animals and dogs. You may even be thinking about adopting and raising rescue dogs, or perhaps you already have dogs and want to learn more about how others are raising them. I have raised several puppies and dogs throughout my lifetime which included Terriers, Beagles, Golden Retrievers, and crossbreeds.
Along the way, I also rescued several other animals–wounded birds, baby robins, stray cats and dogs. And, like raising dogs, I made some mistakes and learned through trial and error about how to best take care of these little creatures.
My greatest challenge, however was still to come with my new rescue dogs! So, I am hoping you can learn a bit about finding and raising your own rescue dogs through my experiences.
When I was a kid growing up in Iowa, we had a family dog named Skipper. I adored that dog! He never seemed to mind hearing about my day and wild adventures. Skipper was the first to hear about the new horse I discovered on my bicycle ride or the leaf fort I created in the front yard. I loved to tell stories and he loved to listen. It was a perfect match!
As I grew older, I wandered through life trying on different careers and experiences. I became a CPA in Arizona, but several years later, I moved to California to attend a theological school. In seminary I learned to write, speak/preach, and reflect on the meaning of life. After some time in ministry and chaplaincy, I returned to more administrative work. I led a social services nonprofit organization for many years supporting low income families and homeless people. Eventually, following a long career, I retired and started up a home-based consulting business.
Oh yes, and I became a dog mom again!
Dogs Are Special
What does all of this have to do with dogs and their stories?
Well, I believe that all creatures are very sacred beings. We can learn a lot from our encounters with the natural world, and my doggies have taught me a lot! I have laughed at them, with them, and at myself, as we all learned how to get along together. And, believe me, adopting and raising rescue dogs truly expanded my view and perspective of how to live in this world!
Finding the Perfect Dog
About a few years ago, I was ready for a new dog. Since I was working at home, I had the time to take care of a new furry friend. It had been several years since I had a dog in my life, so I wanted to be thoughtful about the type of dog to adopt.
Many years ago, I was basically a Beagle person and certainly not a poodle fan, just like I had been a Chevy versus Ford patriot, a Coke versus Pepsi loyalist, and a Budweiser rather than a Miller kind of a gal. Of course, those were long ago preferences. In more recent years I became a Honda versus Toyota fan, and I currently swear by my Kia Soul. I now drink red wine, which I prefer over white. Perhaps now, I would like a different type of dog in this new chapter of my life.
So, I spent some time reviewing the breeds and studying their different attributes. I was now quite the neat-nic and didn’t want a dog that would shed a lot. My townhouse had a small yard close to neighbors, so the dog couldn’t bark a lot. And of course, I didn’t want a really big dog because I could not pick her/him up off the couch when naughty. But I knew that I did not want a fluffy little dog, a tiny toy yapper, a heel nipper, or anything that looked like a stuffed animal. I wanted a real dog, like a Beagle, but maybe not a Beagle, something Beagle-like, but different.
My Mixed Mutt Duo–Two Dogs, Not One!
To being my search, I started looking online for dogs at the Marin Humane Society. Unfortunately, they featured mostly cats. Now cats are ok, but in no way are they anything similar to Beagles, and you can’t take a cat for a walk. Other pictures featured great Danes (again too big to lift off the couch), Pit Bulls (too muscular and heavy), small yappy Chihuahuas, and that was it.
But wait, they had affiliates who were sheltering dogs that had been rescued! More Pit Bulls, yappers, and cats, but on page two, there they were—two medium sized, Beagle-like dogs sitting together at attention, posed for their picture—a tan one with alert, upright ears, and a black one with short floppy ears. So cute!
The listing said they were five years old, sisters, and very bonded to each other. They needed a nice quiet home, probably best with a senior couple and perhaps older kids. They were house-broken, easy going, sweet, mellow dogs. And they were believed to be a Pug/Cattle Dog mix.
Two dogs! I only wanted one. And, did I really want to adopt and raise any rescue dog, let alone two? But these two sisters needed to stay together, and they were so sweet. They could keep it each other company, when I was doing consulting. Afterall, I had raised two Beagle littermates in Arizona. Surely this would be similar.
I hesitantly called the number to inquire, assuming no one would call me back, so the risk was low. To my surprise, a very sweet person named Tiffanie called back almost immediately!
As I held my breath, she told me the story of how she owns a kennel, K-9 Country Club (sweet), and how she used to rescue Pugs. She initially rescued these two pups and their Pug Mom, and adopted out the pups. They were the only two in the litter, but healthy and well. Sadly, after five years, their human Mom had to return them to Tiffanie due to an unfortunate change in her life circumstances.
Okay, so this really got me, not to mention that Tiffanie, due to her honesty and sweetness, also got me at “hello”.
Charlotte and Georgia
So, it came to pass that I adopted Charlotte and Georgia. They are the new loves of my life, and we now all live in a townhouse that is big enough for me plus two. The description of them on the website was not fully accurate, as I was soon to learn. These girls were anything but mellow! They seemed to be full of boundless energy and so demanding of my time!
Yet, we all get along famously as you will see in my posts, which I started to write in a room by the sea, when they were at doggie summer camp.
I have learned that there is no “perfect dog or dogs” to adopt. Instead, take home the dogs you fall in love with! And, like in any relationship, there will be trial and error, hard times and good days, but lots of love, fun, and adventures.
I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I enjoyed writing them! And be sure to visit Tiffanie and her crew at K-9 Country Club if you live near Petaluma, CA and need a great doggie/cat daycare or kennel.
Deanna, Charlotte, and Georgia