Finding a touch of humanity behind a concrete wall.

Perhaps it’s just another facet of getting older and seeking to be wiser with years. I now find myself seeking examples of humanity, especially in the midst of all the chaos and nonsense we’re faced with seemingly every second of the day. 

To that end, I am always thankfully amazed at the lengths some people will go to in order to help an animal. Think about it. Billions of people on the planet, surrounding billions of creatures that far too often we have taken for granted. To find those single and often solitary moments where such effort and time is expended to help one single animal life, well, it does give me pause. It also gives me hope for the future. 

One dog is missing, and a group of people spare no time or expense to find it, and save it from a terrible fate. 

Heroes are indeed among us. All we have to do is pay attention.

The “SHOWTIME” that is coming home, and the best part of parenting a dog

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of being a dog parent, you know all about the “SHOWTIME” that is coming home. As if they haven’t seen us for years and we’ve only been gone a half hour or so, our fuzzy kids let us know, without question, what it means to have Mom, Dad, Sister or Brother home. The exceptional part is when we have been separated for a length of time, and we, as humans, fear our kids will have forgotten all about us.

Not a chance.

One day I’ll have post the videos from when we come home to Magnus and Bailey. The sounds are those of wonder and magic.

What dog owners have known for generations

After a very long COVID-19 hiatus, it’s time to get back to this site and bring back the good stories about our fuzzy kids. 

This one was an easy restart. With no offense to anyone who loves their cats, monkeys, snakes, birds, llamas, horses or any other animal friend, there is absolutely nothing to compare with the love and interaction of a dog. There are times I know our kids are more attuned to us than other family members, and the reason is simple.

Dogs ‘just get’ humans in ways other animals can’t, evolutionary scientists conclude

They don’t pay texas, they don’t get into silly arguments, they don’t seek to gain an advantage over you, they are there just to depend on us, to care for us, and to be our partners for as long as they can. 

I know that someday my kids will depart, and I already dread that day. It’s why I always stop to tell them how much I love them, hug them, smile at them, and thank them for what they bring into our lives. 

The dogs of 9/11: Heroes with paws.

The events of 9/11 left an indelible mark on the world, and from a personal standpoint, myself. There are stories and insight I will likely never share, as the memories are just too painful. Suffice to say that every year when the commemorative date approaches, I become much more thoughtful, much less angry, filled with faces and places that I can never forget.

19 years later, there are stories that must be told. These are the ones that we must never forget. Stories of bravery. Stories of heroes, Tails of those who did everything they could to help bring America back.

Yes, I wrote “tails”. For this is about those devoted 4-legged heroes, and the dogged determination they showed in being part of the effort at Ground Zero that terrible day.

There are so many stories already available, I thought to link a few of them here for your reading pleasure. Ones that I gave found to be of interest, comfort, and some peace.

We tell ourselves to “never forget”. This has been a cry of freedom for many generations, each time meaning something a little different. In this case, we must never forget the men and women who sacrificed time and, in some cases, their lives to bring America some closure. Let us not then ever forget the work of these magnificent pups, all of whom have moved on to greener, ethereal pastures.

They live to serve, but they also live to love. In their cases, the did their jobs without fear, knowing they were doing what they were trained to do. Be our partners. Our friends. Our rocks to lean on.

Good boy. Good girl.

Know how you SWEAR your dog knows what you’re thinking? Here’s your answer.

From the way Magnus cocks his ears when he hears certain words, to how Bailey knows exactly the right time to snuggle up when we’re having a bad day, I have always known that dogs have got to be the most perceptive animals on the planet. Emotionally speaking, our kids are tuned into our lives in every aspect, and I’ll wager you feel the same way about your dogs.

It took being a fur Daddy for me to really experience this. When I was a kid and had dogs, never gave it a second thought. But it was when I was going thru a very tough time professionally and personally when Magnus and Bailey showed this side of themselves. I also see it with my Dad and his dog, Gunnar. They’ve been together 11 years now, and there is not one single doubt Gunnar’s mood is 1005 affected by that of my Dad.

Which is why I found this study and article so engrossing.

Dogs used to be pets way back when, but no more. They are family, they are friends, they are companions, and they in many ways become our rocks thru very tough times. Our kids certainly have been that. I could never imagine a day without them, and while they may not understand every word I say, I know they understand the meaning and when to pull in tight.

We need them, so often, more than they need us. Either way, we keep each other whole. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Good kids.


The pup nobody wanted, the boy who needed someone to understand

I will be the first to admit, it’s tough to go into an animal shelter. It’s heart wrenching when I enter those walls and realize how many wonderful lives are there, just waiting for someone to give them a forever home. However, I sally forth and believe in what they do, and that for every little boy and girl, there is the perfect dog. Often, found right here within those walls.

For Bentley Boyers, nothing could be more true. Born with a facial disfigurement that without a doubt made him self-conscious while at the same time having to undergo so many surgeries, you get the feeling all he needed was someone to understand.

That’s where a chance encounter at a shelter between his Daddy and a little girl that no one else seemed to want, changed everyone’s life.

Bentley and his buddy will grow up together, share so many adventures, and be able to look into their eyes knowing they understand each other. When you have the right friend, the best friend, it makes any challenge easier to face. 

A boy and his dog.

Good girl.

Pipsqueak conquers the pandemic from halfway around the world

COVID19 has changed the life of every single person on the planet. More than people, it has impacted those who walk on more than 2 legs, and are just as much family as if they were born into a Mother’s waiting arms. This story about a little girl who started life across the Atlantic, wound up in America, and had to wait what had to seem like an excruciating period of time to reunite with her parents, brought quite the smile to my face.

The perseverance showed by by Pipsqueak’s family is touching, and very understandable. How many of us would go to the figurative “ends of the Earth” to bring our kids home? I would. Cost would be no barrier. I would go in hock deep to reunite with Magnus and Bailey. My guess is many of you feel the same.

We all want 2020 to be over, hopefully returning to some semblance of normalcy. Granted, whatever that “normal” is, it won’t be anything we’re used to. We are all going to have to adapt to a new way of life.

However, our fuzzy and furry kids will be the mainstay. They will be there through it all, looking to us for snuggling, treats, care, MORE TREATS (which is the Bailey way of life), and to them, life will all be as it should.

It was just destined for Pip to find her way home. Here’s to hoping every dog never has to wonder where Mom and Dad went, because they will always be right there for them with a loving touch.

And a treat, of course.

Good girl.

CLEAR THE SHELTERS 2020: When America truly shows it’s heart

Here we go, making that push to help those who truly have nowhere else to turn to than look into our eyes and hearts for changing their lives, and ours, forever.

August is “Clear the Shelters” month across America, where most animal shelters are bending over backwards to make it easy for adoption. Now, to be honest, I have heard some isolated stories about some shelters who are really not doing their best to get behind the effort. Some are even making it difficult to adopt. Fortunately, fro what I’ve been able to tell, this is the exception rather than the norm.

NOW is the time to find your furever friend and member of the family. The COVID19 pandemic has been a nightmare for many animals, as people are dumping their kids into shelters, onto streets, miles away from civilization to rid themselves of the responsibility they agreed to.

The animals can’t help it. One day they have a bed, the next day it’s dirt, bad weather and no food or water. One day they have what they hope is forever love, and the next minutes it’s gone. They have no idea what they did wrong, why it’s happening, how to get back to their family.

What they need is a new family. Someone who will love them forever, no matter if they have days, weeks, months or year remaining. And yes, there is a cost in human dollars. But the return in unconditional love is worth every penny.

Dogs, cats, rabbits, (and I have a real love for those little guys), and every type of animal needs your help, and your heart.

So here are some links to stories from across America on these efforts to clear the shelters. No, my aim is not to shame anyone. My purposes is to help everyone see why this is a positive thing to do in a world that, lately, doesn’t seem to have many positives.

Be part of the solution. Bring a new member of your family into the fold. Love unconditionally, and get that love in return.

From disaster to a dog just waiting for Mom & Dad to show up

Honestly, this is one of those things I always think about when the kids travel with us. They have their own comfortable back seat, restraints, and we’re always ensuring they’re OK. When we’re moving at any real speed, windows are up and i will NEVER allow Magnus or Bailey to hang their head out of an open window. The horror stories of digs being injured by flying debris are just too frightening. Hey, it’s one less thing to worry about and it keeps them safe.

I read this story and had to wonder how often it happens to people. Just a casual drive, an accident you could not prevent, and your precious pup is seriously injured or even wanders away. In this case, their pet Roo was actually ejected from the vehicle! A francit post-crash search no he was nowhere to be found. Add emergency room visits, the clamor of paramedics trying to save human life, and all of a sudden, you find yourself wondering where that boy went, was he injured, how do we find him, so many things get to work.

What started as a terrible tale turned into a positive. but not without a lot of concern and I’ll wager panicked moments. Hell, when Magnus wandered away from the house we were living in when he was only a couple of years old because I left THREE doors open for him to walk out, I was a madman scouring the neighborhood. Luckily, he was about 4 houses down just at the lakeside watching ducks. You better believe there hasn’t been an open door at ANY time since then! But I will admit, he’s a perfect gentleman now who just sits and waits for Daddy.

Now, the story of Roo, and a reason to smile. Oh, and what he was doing hen they found hm?

Good boy.

The love affair with Max, and why our fuzzy kids mean so much

Boy, this one had me really holding back the waterworks.

I friended Max Graf back in 2009 on Facebook. His posts were always friendly, upbeat, funny and brought a smile to my face. I always wished him a Happy Birthday, and even responded a few times with a smile of my own.

Max never really answered back on his own. After all, it’s hard to do without opposable thumbs

Max was the constant companion for a South Florida family that made him the “spokesdog” for their pet business. Max was always there as an ambassador and part of the sales staff until he retired last year. I always told myself, “You need to get there and shake his paw”. I never did. We always believe there is more time in life than we are granted. I also didn’t know Max was getting up their in years.

Max passed away this week, quietly and peacefully with his family. The departure of a furry friend is unlike anything related to a human farewell. They cannot speak to us, tell us they are in pain or discomfort, because to them this is just another day in life. They do, however, in so many ways, tell us when the time is right for them to go. Max had apparently sent the signs, and his family knew the time was here.

On his Facebook page, his Dad wrote the following tribute to his friend and kid. I read it, and could not hold back the tears for several minutes. It is, without question, the kind of farewell we all should have in our life.

Max Graf, September 4, 2003 – August 17, 2020.

Max Graf, aka Fuzz Face, The Moo, Mr. Moo, Little Moo, Tough Guy, Stinker Butt, Snorkle Puss, and Little Junior, passed away August 17, 2020, with his loving doggy mother and father at his side.

Born September 4, 2003, Max was an orphan left to fend for himself on the mean streets of Hialeah, Florida. Utilizing his dazzling charm, his rock n’ roll star good looks, and his gregarious nature, Max forged his way into a rescue group and, ultimately, to his forever home.

A confident canine with plenty of ‘pinions and a keen intellect, Max studied hard to become the best dog he could be; graduating Magna Cum Laude and earning his Good Canine Citizen degree.

His studies prepared him well for future success and he showed great prowess in Sitting, Staying, Leash Walking, Rolling Over, Butt Sniffing, Rolling in Stinky Stuff, and his favorite, Duck Chasing.

In 2009, Max partnered with his family to open a retail business in Plantation, Florida that specialized in healthy foods and treats for dogs and cats. Over the years, Max helped the business grow and thrive, serving in key roles like Taste Tester, Chief of Security, Store Greeter, and Quality Control Manager.

During his tenure, Max never missed a day of work and took pride in his ability to win over new customers. Many would come to the shop just to see him and ask for his advice about what food or treats they should get for their pup. Max retired in June, 2019 and settled into enjoying life at home with his family and loved ones.

“all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.”

Rest in peace, my beautiful friend. There will always only be you.

Love, Dad …and Mom too.

God rest your soul, Max. Yes, we know you have a soul. Those who love as deeply as you did, and who engender such love in return, have indeed the perfect soul.

Good boy.

Fun and entertaining dog tales from around the world