The power of the pooch amidst the pandemic

Anyone who has ever had a canine companion accepts certain things rather quickly. They are loving, warm, often difficult, sometimes exasperating, but more often than not they become our little place of solace and peace. There is nothing to compare with the bond between dog and human, especially in those simple moments of just being there for one another.

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed so many lives, and in many ways these are lives that will never be the same. Ever. We are all being forced to transform, find a new normal, perhaps when all is said and done we can become a more compassionate people.

That’s where dogs enter the picture, and in this case, a dog named Watson. In a world filled with so much hustle and loneliness, Watson quickly became more than a “day at the office” for Apple Mandy, who came to New York City from China.  NYC can be a tough and unforgiving place, take it from one who grew up there. However, from the hard sidewalks and often even more hardened people, there can be found those small moments of wonder. In the end, it seems as if Watson was there all along, just waiting for Apple to come along and for them to find each other. The rest, as they say, is kismet.

The pandemic has caused far too much grief, been the reason for spilling far too many tears, and made us all think long and hard about who we are and what we do with regard to those around us.

In this case, all it took was for one dog to show there is light at the end of this long tunnel, and peace can be found in a panting, inquisitive ball of fur.

Good boy.


The world’s most famous Beagle: Snoopy NEVER gets old!

Now wouldn’t this have been the perfect lede story to bring back the website! I might be a day late, but I’ll be darned if I’m going to miss noting Snoopy’s birthday, celebrated on August 10th. Here’s the link.

Snoopy has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. “Peanuts” may have been the first comic I fell in love with, and was always a little disappointed when he didn’t show up, usually bowl in mouth looking for food. Little did I know that decades later we would have our own version of the dog that never ceases to seek food, as Bailey could be his long-lost daughter! Her bowl is a bit too big for her to carry, but she sure knows when Mommy or Daddy are getting “brefast” or “din-din” ready. Little brother Magnus the Norwegian Elkhound is a bit more subdued.

We have so much Snoopy around the house, and I even have one of the original “Snoopy Spacedogs”, dressed in his Apollo flight suit. I wouldn’t part with it for anything in the world.

There is nothing like a beagle, and nothing can ever compare to Snoopy. He never gets old, is one Hell of an excellent ice skater and hockey player, and teaches us all about the simple act of loving a dog.

Happy Birthday, Snoopy! Thanks for everything!

Max proves it’s good for some politicians to be “ruff” around the edges

Every day, social media and our basic conversations is filled with anger and screaming about politics and politicians. Without question, the individuals bring it upon themselves with a heaping helping of questionable behavior and comments. Wouldn’t it be great if there was just one politician out there who didn’t engender rage? One that every day proved you don’t even have to say a real word to be admired.

Meet Max, the second generation of lovable mayors in a California town. Duly elected and serving his term with dignity and pride, Max proves some politicians are OK to love, even talk nice to. After all, it’s difficult to be angry with anyone who notes his trips the local Dairy Queen.

I think I’ll start a petition to have Magnus or Bailey serve a few terms. After all, the worst they’ll do is raid the kitchen at City Hall.

For this Eclipse, every day is just a walk in the park

Most of us want to believe our furry kids have a real sense of intelligence outside of just being able to fetch or do tricks. Every now and then, one of them surprises us by doing something we just shake our heads at and smile.

Eclipse is one of those cases. I don’t know about you, but I would be panicked if one of my kids took off on their own. In her case, she can probably teach humans a thing or two about responsibility. Also having more than a little fun during the ride in life.

This Dog Takes the Bus by Herself to Walk Around at the Park

Atta girl.

Parkland therapy dogs remembered forever in yearbook photos

One day, many years from now, older adults who had their young lives torn into by the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida may indeed reach back for their yearbooks. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t cracked mine open in more than 30 years. Never had a reason to. 

These adults will, the brave ones who still want to revisit those days and that time when their life, and the lives of everyone in America. changed yet again because of someone seeking to do harm. 

I’m going to guess these pages will be looked upon many times in the future, and when they are, there will be the smiling faces of friends lost, and those who helped them thru some of their darkest days. 

The therapy dogs who were there, mixing with the students and teachers solely for the purpose of bringing them a little comfort, show them a little love, and hopefully make things a little easier in difficult moments. 

The rescue dogs are forever remembered on their own yearbook page, a wonderful idea to honor these four legged heroes. I saw them at the school, and wept watching them work their magic. I’ll wager more tears will be shed in the future when these pictures are viewed. Hopefully, tears of joy. 

Animals, especially dogs, have this innate ability to make our lives just that much better, They do indeed sense when we need them, and they never ask for anything in return save a hug and a nuzzle. 

Here’s hoping that many years from now, when the dogs themselves have passed on and these students are seeking a quiet moment to remember a time of healing, they will turn to this page, these photos, and share a smile with their fuzzy friends. 

Good dogs. 

When the rescuer decided this rescued pup was his all along

Fate is an interesting mistress. She comes along when we least expect to see her, and while she is not always kind, every now and then she leaves us wondering why we were the person who came to be in a certain spot at a certain time. 

Paul Bryant of the North Charleston Fire Department now knows exactly how that feels. 

As a veteran firefighter and first responder, Bryant has been at the tip of the spear in many a rescue operation over his career. None, however, was quite like the manner in which he met his new forever friend. 

That little pup who somehow got trapped under a pile of rocks? No one could free him until Paul was called, and from the moment that little guy emerged, you could see there already was something special going on here. 

No one came to claim this wiry and energetic youngster, and that’s when Paul decided fate had stepped in. He was called to that rescue for a reason, and the reason included a new member of the family. 

Watch the video and see the joy in both of their eyes at the eventual reunion. Rocky, the perfect name for this little guy, could not be happier. He’s one of the lucky ones, not spending much time at all in shelter and off already to his forever home. So many others await to be chosen, and somewhere out there, we can only hope fate has a positive ending in store for them. 

Life could have taken a difficult turn for Rocky, but now, he and Paul are off on new adventures and lifetime of love. All because one man was lucky enough to be called at just the right time. 

Here’s hoping the positive hand of fate touches many more humans and pets as they seek their lives together. 

Well played, Paul. 

Good boy, Rocky. 

Firefighter shares the rescue tale of how Bella changed his life

It’s probably one of the more salient things to say about rescue dogs and rescue animals. When we look back on our lives together, we always need to be asking “who really saved whom”? Far too often these pups are the ones who do the saving.

Meet Bella. 

Gregg Favre came across this little pup in need of rescue some 11 years ago at a St. Louis firehouse. Something clicked, and he knew she was coming home with him. Not only did she become a member of the family, she became his inseparable companion. Even Gregg was astounded at the bond between the, how tight it was in so many ways, how it seemed as if he and Bella shared the same mind. There was nothing they would not do for each other. 

Sadly, the one thing they couldn’t do was stop the cancer from invading Bella’s body. As is the tale with so many wonderful companions, this insidious disease is the reason why Gregg non longer wakes to the wagging tail of his girl. 

However, his social media posts have been a source of joy for so many, and have brought renewed interest in giving to those organizations seeking to bring about a change in canine cancer. It’s the least Gregg feels he can do for Bella. 

The story is a simple one, as is the conclusion. Treasure every moment with those we love, no matter if they have 4 or 2 legs. Revel in those moments, for one day, they will be gone, and we will want more. 

Bella was an exceptional dog for Gregg and his family, I’ll wager there are a lot of Bellas around the world, possibly even just a few feet from where you are now, and they are ready to teach us all the lessons of simple, unconditional love. 

Well played, Gregg. 

Good girl, Bella.

The dog that his new family believes had to be sent by God

Headlines featuring God more often than not tend to make people shy away, at least that’s been my experience in the news business. It’s looked upon as just an emotional tug to get people interested. However, one has to wonder at times if indeed the hand of something greater than ourselves is at work. 

Meet Oreo, just another stray dog in the neighborhood. No one likely paid him much attention, perhaps throwing him some scraps every now and then. Until this incident, no one even knew his name or gave him one. 

One day, a little girl was running across the yard and another strya bursts from a wooded area and seems to be heading directly for her. No one really knew the dog’s intent, however there is the “better safe than sorry” angle when a child is approached by an unknown animal. 

That’s when, for some inexplicable reason, the dog now known as Oreo got involved, putting himself between the charging dog and the little girl. Oreo came out of the exchange worse for the wear and had to be treated for injuries. 

The family wasn’t looking to adopt a dog. Yet after watching Oreo put his safety on the line for this child, his new forever home was secured. 

Why did he do it? Who knows? It could have been simply a reaction to seeing another dog. It could have had nothing at all to do with the little girl. 

Then again, it could have been all about one dog understanding a need to protect, as so many of them do every single day. 

Oreo is going to spend the rest of his life pampered and loved. He will be by the side of this child as she gets older. And he will always have the love and affection of a family that sees him as a God-given gift. 

Good boy, Oreo. 

Idaho family ensures love to senior dogs in their final days

How can people do this? No, I’m not criticizing. I’m asking with a level of honest wonder and gratitude.

This is not the first story about people who make time, spend their money, raise cash all in the idea of helping senior dogs in their final days. A few of these stories have wound up on these pages, and there seems to be more organizations of every size popping up around the country to house, care and feed these senior pups.

I ask that question because these people like Kimberly Cooonis in Idaho are to be admired for their dedication and compassion. What they do isn’t cheap, and for me personally there’s a line with death. I don’t know if I could handle dealing with it every day, every week, as last days turn into farewells. Emotionally, it would rip me to shreds.

Thankfully, there are much stronger people like Kimberly and her family. They do it all out of love for dogs that, very likely, came from tough years and faced the prospect of final days on a cold floor facing a needle, or a garbage dump somewhere scrounging to survive. AT her home, they have food, water, grass, smiles, and people to love them.

I don’t know how they do it, but thank God they do. We all deserve a level of dignity in our older years, and while their time is short, they go into the unknown having been loved in those final days.

God bless you, Kimberly.

One man’s dying wish for the strays he loved and cared for

I have to say, this one left me more than a little misty-eyed.

By the time you read this, Richard Ewers may already be gone. He’s been in hospice for about a week, the cancer finally taking it’s toll and forcing him from his home.

Ewers is one of those people who didn’t have much. His home was little more than a roof over his head, and it wasn’t in great shape. Yet Ewers shared that home with the dogs no one wanted, the ones left at dumpsters struggling for a life. He brought them in, cared for them as best as he could, and did everything he could to find them a forever home. Now, his forever has reached the end.

But thanks to people in and around San Antonio TX, there will be another day for the dogs still remaining. Volunteers and just neighbors who cared have been showing up to care for the dogs while Richard takes his final breaths. Thus far, more than half of those he took in have found homes.

Ewers is, obviously, a man who doesn’t have much. We don’t know his life story or how he came to live in this house with so little to show for his life. Yet, in his final days, all he wants is for someone to give his dogs, those with nowhere else to go, a home. 

This is a world filled with so much despair, so many people living in tough times. Yet when I find someone the likes of Richard, it seems to indicate there is hope. Somewhere. All we have to do is find it. 

It’s going to be  tough life for these dogs. All they’ve known is struggle and this old man who showed them a little love and affection. Their new families will have to have patience as everyone adjusts. 

In their canine minds, they will always wonder where that man went. They have no sense of time, so they will believe he will be coming right around the corner any minute, a treat in his hand. 

Someday, hopefully, they will see him again. Someday, we here on Earth will find others that give so selflessly and show us there is indeed the humanity we all should be seeking and emulating. 

God bless you, Richard. 

Thank you. 

Fun and entertaining dog tales from around the world