Even without eyes, it’s easy to see Kyle and Katana’s bond

Love is not something we have to see in order for it to be right in front of our faces. Love is not something we need to hear in order to understand it’s often unspoken language. Love is not something we need to put on display to understand the bond it creates between two people. 

Or, in this case, one man and his dog. 

Kyle Rohrig is an experienced and well known hiker, having published several books on the subject. He’s also companion to Katana. the Shiba Inu. Often they would go on hikes together, where she would play along the way and experience what is that simple joy of just being a dog and just being with her Dad. However, at the age of 5, Katana lost sight in one eye, the other 3 years later. She lost complete sight just a short time before Rohrig  was set to strike out on a long hike and, of course, Katana was set to be right alongside. 

There was never a question the 2 of them would make the trek together. Which is why Rohrig decided that he would carry Katana when the times dictated such on the hike. Oh, she did her fair share of walking. But at those times the terrain demanded sight, Kyle ensure Katana would have no issues. 

There’s one picture from the hike that really caught my attention. The one where Kyle is holding Katana up and letting her “see” all around her. Of course, for Katana, there is nothing but darkness. But imagine sniffing those familiar smells, and her mind bringing up the pictures of what they’ve always been associated with. This truly shows the love of one man for his best friend. 

Kyle is going to continue living his dream, and I have no doubt that dream includes having Katana with him for as long as they are both allowed to share their love for each other. 

Well played, Kyle. 

Good girl, Katana.

Music does indeed have charms to soothe the hopeful pups

Remember the phrase “music has charms to soothe the savage beast”? In this case, there is nothing savage to note, merely one person taking time out of their day and their life to see that those less fortunate can experience a moment of calm. 

Think about animal shelters for a moment, and no matter what you do, it has to be incredibly stressful for the animals. Think about spending the entire day, sometimes weeks, in a small caged environment. Sounds echoing off concrete walls would be enough to drive most humans insane, and in this case, dogs have no idea why they are there, what will happen, how long if even possible they will see the outside again. 

Many, of course, never make it. This is their last stop due to no fault of their own. While what shelters do are admirable and the conditions are as good as they can make it, this is still a stark and sometimes foreboding reality. 

Until someone like Cheryl Wallace comes along and decides to put her heart and soul into just a few minutes that change those lives, even for a short spell. 

There are so many wonderful people who take time out of their days, their lives, their families and careers, to do something so wonderfully humane for the animals in need. Cheryl Wallace is one of those people. For a few minutes, these dogs are removed from the stress of waiting for freedom. They can just be dogs, relaxing in a soothing musical environment that might allow them to dream of better days. 

Perhaps even dream of that forever family that is just around the corner, and will take them home to a warm bed of their own, and the sounds of being surrounded by love. 

Thank you, Cheryl Wallace.

Sleep tight, my 4-legged friends. Someone will soon be there to rescue this one little and very deserving life. 

The stray dog that “bowled” everyone over to save his life

Oliver was on his last step, another stray dog right on that verge of being euthanized. A sweetheart of a rescue, Oliver seemed to have sensed what was happening and decided he’d make certain everyone knew one thing. 

He wasn’t going anywhere without his bowl. 

Funny how little things like this attract so much attention. Folks at the animal shelter in Memphis TN had never seen anything like it, so of course, they took out their cameras and started snapping pictures. 

Within no time, the world knew all about Oliver, who like the character in the famous movie was seeming to say, “Please Sir, I want some more”. 

In this case, all he really wanted was a home. 

Thanks to those who took the pictures, posted them, and the outlets that picked up the story, Oliver is already home with his new family. 

Bowl included, of course. 

Often, it is indeed the little things we notice, the little things we do, that make a difference. Oliver is just one stray dog in a world filled with millions, but because someone took a special interest in him and his own unique way of letting everyone know a special member of the family is right in front of you, we get to recall what I believe is a simple thought for every day. 

Seek to save one life every day. Just one. That’s where humanity begins. 

Good boy, Oliver. Enjoy every morsel from that bowl for the rest of your life. 

When Buster got a bedroom to call his own

God bless the people that foster dogs seeking a forever home. I don’t know if I could do it, simply because I would fall in love with every single one, and in no time our house would be packed to the brim with dogs. Foster families provide such a wonderful service to these fuzzy kids looking for a new family, but sometimes, it becomes more than just a temporary place to call home. 

Buster, like many dogs of his breed, had a difficult life. At 10 years of age, all he needed was the right home and family to spend his senior years. Sean Farrell knew there was home in Buster’s future. He just didn’t realize that place was right inside the walls Sean called home. 

Farrell noticed something about Buster. Seems as if with all the love he had to give, those life experiences had made the dog more than a little skittish in some situations. It seemed to Sean all Buster needed was a little corner of the world to call his own. 

The idea for Buster’s bedroom was born.

Farrell didn’t just head out and buy a doghouse. Nope. This creative man had something else in mind, and it didn’t take long for Buster to truly have a place to put his head down and watch the world go by. 

Go ahead. Try to tell me that’s not a smile. 

Many of the dogs that find their way into shelters endure unimaginable horrors in the outside world, or simply never feel a loving hand as they are tossed aside by a world seemingly too busy to give them what little affection they crave. It’s the people such as Sean Farrell that prove there are good people out there, merely seeking to do the right thing. 

Save one life. Just one.  In the process, put a smile on a fuzzy face and give that dog a new life that proves, all anyone really needs is love and a good home. 

Well played, Sean.

Good boy,Buster. 

The hero who has given his life to saving dogs

When I launched this website, I promised myself it would only be positive stories about dogs. It’s easy to find the negative ones, as they populate the Internet and the airwaves much more often. As with stories in our human existence, the good ones are often buried because they are not sensationalistic enough. I was dedicated to bringing a smile to the faces of all who came to this place. 

This story is difficult to write, and it does sadly come with a terrible downside. However, it needs to be told, over and over again. It needs your attention and that of every caring person in the world. While it begins on dark notes, it reaches a conclusion that there is good in the world, and only we can help make it happen. 

I met Michael Chour thru a story on the Internet, then later interviewed him for a podcast focusing on his work at “The Sound of Animals”. Michael has surrendered his entire life to the effort of saving dogs from the Southeastern Asia dog meat trade. Every day, every single day, he rises and with the help of his wife, local people, and those from other countries who fly to his farm and volunteer their time, Michael saves another life. 

Michael Chour is a hero. Plain and simple. Trust me, I’ve been around thousands of people who call themselves heroes or who are both rightfully and erroneously called such. They pale in comparison to what he does every single day. 

So let me ask everyone who reads this to do three things, three positive things. 

Read about Michael and his work here at his website. Understand the depth of commitment and work he puts in every day. 

Listen to the interview I did with him late last year. Hear from his own lips how he very day seeks to make the world a more positive place. 

If you can, then please donate. A few dollars, whatever you can. The charity is 100% funded by donors, and they almost daily live on the edge. They, he, cannot move forward without your help. 

I’m proud to know Michael Chour. We likely will never meet in person, but the man makes me proud to be a human being who cares about animals, about dogs, every single day.

He is the best of us, and deserves our help and attention. 

Because every day, he is seeking to bring smile to the faces of those who have known only pain, and he does so without a selfless bone in his body. 

Thank you, Michael. Thank you for bringing light to a very dark place.

The pitbull named Sharky, still teaching lessons of love

I am always drawn to stories about pit bulls and their related breeds, as they do, without, question, get a bad rap from humankind. What these breeds also endure is how man uses them for fighting, teaches them aggression, and in most every case turns them into something of a darker nature. 

If treated with love and affection, pit bulls are like every other creature. Some may react negatively, some may be born bad, some may never be able to overcome their own nature. It’s the same thing in humans, who supposedly are at the top of the genetic chain. 

Pit bulls are also forced to overcome generations of negative breeding by man. They were a much different dog decades ago, until man decided to turn them into something evil and dangerous. Naturally, they are being bred properly again today, and one day will be a much different animal than the one being abused in our lifetimes. 

Which brings us to Sharky, a young man who only knew kindness and love for creatures around him. This pit bull had a difficult life, as many of them do. Yet he was able to show everyone around him what a true inner love these animals have, and how when treated with love, they respond in kind.

You will notice the past tense in my writing. That’s because while the post above was made here in 2019, Sharky left us several years ago. At the age of 9, his life was ended after a bout with cancer. As happens so often here in the viral world, many stories are told and posted that are actually from a much earlier time. It would have been nice to know that Sharky was still caring for his menagerie, but the true evil that is cancer took him from the world much too soon. 

Still, we have his memories. We have his dazzling smile, and numerous stories of how he overcame a reputation and showed love to all around him, down even to the smallest creature. 

Here we are, five years later, and Sharky is still teaching us lessons of life we all need to understand and accept. 

Good boy, Sharky. Good boy. 

When tragedy strikes, look for a soft and caring paw

I lost an old friend yesterday, someone I’ve known and worked with for many years. He was taken from us far too soon, victim of an auto accident. When I read the news, I gasped. The breath left my body. I had spoken to him just a few weeks ago, and we were going to have him on my show and podcast to just tell old stories and have fun. 

That will never happen now. He was busy, I was busy, we both thought there would be plenty of time. 

There wasn’t.

When I came home and told Lady Shannon, I started to cry. Not a lot, but the words were coming out in pieces with tears between them. She reached out to hug and comfort me. 

Then, the power of my furry kids. 

Magnus the Norwegian Elkhound and Bailey the Beagle ALWAYS greet us when we come in the door. Gone for 5 minutes or 5 days, they are there, tails wagging, big hugs and licks. Some “experts” say it’s not good to do this every time, but screw ’em. It’s a wonderful moment of true love. 

When she released her hug, Magnus did something he NEVER does. He jumped up, front paws reaching out for my chest, big smile on his face. Shannon said, “he’s trying to comfort you. Let him”.

She was correct, He sensed my grief and wanted to help. I kneeled down, we rubbed faces, as always, I buried my head in his voluminous fur, and it was as if I was bathed in sunshine. A few seconds later, there comes Bailey  sticking her nose in between us and putting her paws up around my collarbone. 

My kids, my furry kids, were changing my life yet again. 

I mention this in light of today’s post. It’s a story from last year, but it could have come from any day, any place, any time,  About a woman who saw first hand what happens when a dog is in the mix to help someone deal with tragedy. In this case, two dogs named Snickers and Tabor. In this case, it was she who needed the assist. 

What Nancy Trepagnier experienced is not unique. Dog therapy teams have been around for some time, assisting the elderly, the affirmed, the mentally ill, those recovering from great injury, the list goes on. But is is a growing trend to see such groups, then experiencing the emotional power they have. 

I found out, first hand. 

Would that we all could understand the emotional power and love from a creature that does not speak our language, passes thru our lives in such a relatively short amount of time, and is so sensitive to our feelings, they only want to be there as comfort. No reward. Nothing in return. Just to be there. 

Magnus and Bailey taught their Daddy a lesson I won’t soon forget. They are, no offense to human professionals, the best there is at what they do. That emotional therapy when needed most. No office visits. No prescriptions. No judgement. 

We need to learn more than a few lessons from them, and realize that in times of crisis and need, a helping and loving hand is sometimes all we need. 

Or in these cases, a loving paw. 

Good dogs. 

Lights, Camera, Action: From trash pit to Hollywood star

Another excellent story from the “Ed got tied up in life and missed a few, so he’s playing catch up because the story is too good to not feature” file. 

Hollywood is filled with the most improbable stories of how movie stars were accidentally discovered or rose from the most humble beginnings to be on the silver screen. Fait to say none of the human actors ever had to endure what a young girl named Shelby had to go thru in order to get her big break. 

Shelby was just another dog, abandoned and found living on the streets. When found in Tennessee, she didn’t have much trust for humans, and who could blame her? So many times animals are found in the world and one can only guess the life they had been leading to that point and what brought them there. 

You’ll be able to read the story in a much more concise fashion by accessing the link here. Suffice to say Shelby went from abandonment in Tennessee to stardom in Hollywood, and as of this writing she can still be seen in some movie theaters and certainly on any number of home broadcast services as star of the film, “A Dog’s Way Home”.

Think for a moment about that. A stray, a dog with no formal training whatsoever and left to survive on her own, is so damn smart that she’s able to pick up some extremely difficult training and work in the movies. I’ve been on those sets before, and the human actors sometimes don’t hit their marks as often and as smartly as the animals. 

This is more than just the rescue of a little girl who faced a bleak existence. It again speaks to those animals that are rescued, and what they become thanks to that act of kindness. I have no scientific evidence, but I swear these dogs, these animals, understand the second and even third chance they’ve been given, so much so they will do whatever it takes to never go back to their former lives again. 

They have a bond with humans after their desperate times, one that is so inescapable and tender. They appreciate that opportunity, and make the most of it. If only we as humans could learn to do the same thing. 

Thank you to the people who gave Shelby her chance, as we will all be able to live thru her eyes and actions in a movie that will no doubt be a family favorite for generations to come. 

Well played, Shelby. 

Good girl.

Spencer “signs off” every year on Marathon being “#BostonStrong”

Having lived in Boston and calling it my adopted home, I can tell you from experience the love and emotion that pours forth every year come Marathon time. Every memory comes flooding back of that terrible day when a binding sports event became a moment in infamy. 

Boston is one of the most resilient places I have ever been, and once again here in 2019, the “signs” were everywhere during the Marathon about how this community still refuses to knuckle under and allow evil to command their lives. 

These specific signs I speak of are courtesy Rich Powers and his dog, Spencer. 

Inclement weather doesn’t stop Spencer from his appointed rounds, being right there early in the race urging the runners and cyclists forward as they face the grueling marathon course. He dutifully holds his signs of strength and honor, as he has now for several years. His sister, Penny. doesn’t make every year because she just doesn’t like the rain. 

Spencer has become part of the race, now. Athletes now look for him, and more than a few have commented on how that wonderful just holding signs clamped between his teeth gives them an extra push forward. 

I’ll admit, there are tears flowing as I write this because it’s so difficult for me to talk about the Marathon anymore. The damage done to Boston will remain for generations. However, they are also tears of joy thanks to Spencer and those like him, whether 2-legged or 4-legged, who believe in the spirit of honor, love, and staying forever strong. 

To all that have the spirit of Spencer within them, thank you. 

To Spencer, good boy. 

One speck in the ocean, one mighty will to live

Imagine being on a ship, and then by some accident, tossed overboard. Perhaps no one knows you’re even gone. Perhaps there’s no way possible for the ship to stop and come to your aid because it has simply become too late, too fast. 

Now imagine facing that scenario with four paws and 130 miles from land. 

No one will likely ever now how this little guy came to be bobbing about the Gulf of Thailand, such a tiny speck in such monstrous seas, Imagine it from his perspective, what with only his four paws to keep him going, no idea where he was, no ability to call for help. When out of nowhere, someone spots this dot in the water and chooses to investigate. Damn near frightening, especially for a human being. 

Somehow, this guy managed to beat the odds. Stranded in the ocean, eventually resigned to no longer being able to keep himself afloat, likely another victim of the sea. Not this time. 

The dog, now named “Boonrod”, was saved by ingenious workers on an oil rig, who decided that one life was enough to warrant going that extra mile and doing whatever they could to save him. He’s now back on land, perhaps never to go near the ocean again, and hopefully one day soon he will find a forever home, 

A story that speaks to the humanity that resides in all of us, to have that chance, and to save just one life. In this case, a life that perhaps deep in his doggy soul, he will always remember to thank the men who reached out in the daring seas to give him another chance at barking and playing.

Well done, gentlemen. 

Good boy. 

Fun and entertaining dog tales from around the world