Monday, November 9, 2009


It was the spring of my ninth year. I was quiet and shy, she was loud and feisty, and I knew from that first meeting that she was destined to be my BFF. For the next sixteen years we were best friends. She was there for the celebrations of my triumphs and the one I turned to for comfort when I was sick, disappointed or nursing a tender heart broken by a careless teenage boy and I was there for her at the end, holding and comforting her as she passed from this world into the next. Her name was Trixie and she was my first Best Fur Friend.

Four other dogs have joined my family in the years since Trixie passed on. They have all had unique personalities and endearing quirks that have made them special. There was Bandit, a sweet, 98 pound Lab mix who never quite figured out that he wasn't a 10 pound puppy. He was terrified of bugs but fearlessly faced down a snake that threatened his mama (that would be me). One of his favorite games was playing in the sprinkler but he refused to step one paw outside at the first sign of rain and he never did get the hang of which leg to lift while standing on the side of a hill.

I remember the first time I saw Velvet at the shelter. My husband rubbed his hand across her fur and said she felt just like black velvet. She left us too soon, from cancer, at the age of six but she filled every single day of her six years with love and joy and filled many hearts with precious memories.

Bandit wasn't sure what to make of the interloper that had taken residence in our home, but Smokey settled right in and made a place for herself, making friends with her big brother and finding ways to be helpful. The most recent of my beloved friends to cross the Rainbow Bridge, Smokey was the smartest, most intuitive dog I've ever known. There were times when I swear she understood every word I said. She also understood, or at least tolerated, my passion for a point. As soon as the 11pm news was over she would stand in front of me and give me "the look", as if to say, "Okay, I've been patient but now it's time to close the book and come to bed." I'd usually be given a

couple minutes to get the message before she moved on to Plan B, which involved heaving a deep sigh and then flipping the book closed with her paw.
She was my loyal friend for 13 years. I guess she figured she had earned the right to make her feelings known!

Cassy is a 3-year old Lab/Shepherd mix who adopted me from Project HALO, a wonderful non-profit, no-kill rescue organization in Charlotte, NC.  She's a total sweetheart but she's also young, energetic and playful...very playful...which leads me to my current dilemma. Cassy needs a playmate. I've been the playmate of choice since June and though I hold my own pretty well, I'm no match for a young, energetic dog so the search has begun for a another fur friend to join our family. Since most of my dogs have chosen me, I have no idea what breed/color/size our next family member will be but I'm excited to have her, or him, join us!

Tell me about your pets. Are they fur friends? Feathered friends? Or, perhaps, your BFF is of a more exotic variety. Did you find them or did they find you? Do they indulge your reading habit or, like Smokey, do they let you know when enough is enough? 

One random commenter will win a copy of "Too Good To Be True" by Kristan Higgins, one of my favorite contemporary romances of 2009, featuring a memorable West Highland terrier by the name of Angus.

~ PJ


  1. What a lovely post PJ !! It reminded me of my own "relationship" with Linda, my canine BFF (a boxer). She was already with my parents when I was born and, like in Peter Pan, she literally adopted me. She was my game companion and sometimes nanny. I loved her very very much. When She died I cried for days. It's been 25 years but I still remember the pain. Even my parents refused to have another dog for a long time afterward. Linda your were a super fod and you're still missed !!♥♥♥

  2. Emmanuelle, Linda sounds very special. They leave such an imprint on our hearts, don't they?

  3. PJ What a wonderful story truly dogs pets of any kind are the best of friends. I have had many over the years my Mum used to say that any stray dog or cat could find me I even had an elephant follow me home from school when I was 6 years old true story is got away from the circus that was in the park next to my school.

    At the moment we have 3 dogs Blocker who is a cross kelpie but has lots of fur is the biggest softie and my grandchildren can do anything with him and he loves them then there is Brandy who is a cross Aust terrier who is scared of any loud noises but will sit and "talk" to you all the time then I have Tootsie who is a Mini Fox Terrier, Tootsie was my Mums dog and when we lost Mum 7 years ago she came to live with me the two of us are so close and where I am she is she sits on my lap while I am reading or at my feet and when I am at work she will sit on the chair by the front door waiting for me to come home and she rules the roost here at home.
    I would never be without a pet I couldn't imagine life without one.
    Good luck on getting a new friend PJ it is sure to be fun.
    BTW Blocker and Brandy both came from the Royal Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

    Have Fun

  4. What a wonderful post PJ. Like you I was lucky as well. For 18 years I was blessed to have the best dog in the world as my friend. G was named after a street and was small enough to hold in the palms of my hands when we got her at 3pds.

    She was sharp as a whip and it was clear from the get go she was MY dog. Not my husband's, not my kids, but my dog. I could tell you so many stories about her they would fill up pages. The most heart wrenching of all was the day I had to take her to the vet for the last time.

    For many writers who final in the Golden Heart, the day they get that call is one of joy and excitement. For me, it was anything but, it was the day I had to put G to sleep. I had no choice. She was in pain and I couldn't let her suffer any longer, even though I didn't want to let her go.

    I held her in my arms as she quietly left this world, and I sobbed as hard for her as I did when I lost both of my parents.

    She knew when I was sad and would just come lay on my lap to comfort me. She refused to eat whenever I went away on a trip, although after three days she would at least nibble. When I returned, she would be all over me with excitement. All of the dogs I've owned have been special, but no dog will ever be able to replace G. She was that rare gift of unconditional love that I feel truly blessed to have had. Just writing about her has me in tears.

    Your post tells me I'm not the only one lucky enough to have experienced the love and friendship of a BFF.

  5. Monica, you have me in tears too. G sounds like one of those "once in a lifetime" dogs that are perfectly attuned to their human. Smokey was mine. I'd say you and G were mutually blessed. Thank you for sharing your memories of her with us. (((Hugs)))

  6. Helen, I've heard the story of the elephant following you home before but it never fails to put a smile on my face. What a picture! :)

    Blocker, Brandy and Tootsie all sound like wonderful fur friends! Dogs are so unconditional in their love, aren't they? Like you, I can't imagine life without one.

  7. Oh PJ, you have such a talent for writing; your post brought tears to my eyes! I know how much you loved your pets and I enjoyed seeing the pics of them as babies! I keep saying no more; but time and time again I think that I couldn't imagine my life without a Kelsey. She has brought so much joy to our lives and when we almost lost her 2 years ago to diabetes a piece of me was going with her. Good luck with finding a playmate for Cassy!! (((hugs)))

  8. Awww...What a cute post. I've always been an animal lover and now my son is. We have a dog, three cats, a couple dozen chickens and of course, fish. Now, I will probably get booed here, but I'm a cat-lover. I have these two calico sisters and they are nearly impossible to tell apart except one has green eyes and one has yellow. They have totally different personalities and when the want in the house, they "knock" on the back door and peek in the window. We don't have a litter box. We they gotta go, they stand at the back door and meow. I just love them and know when the day comes it will break my sons heart to see them go. Hopefully they will still be around when he goes to college and I won't have to deal with all that sorrow.
    Anyway...great post!

  9. Thanks, Beth! I remember when you almost lost Kelsey. I'm so glad she's still going strong and bringing so much joy to your family.

  10. Morning, Kimberly! No booing of cats here. I love all animals. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to cats so I just admire them from afar.

    when the want in the house, they "knock" on the back door and peek in the window. We don't have a litter box.

    Okay, you really need to get that on video. I'm sure I'm not the only one who would love to see it!

  11. Whenever there is a conversation on dogs, I'll join it. I have 2 rescues- Merlin, who's an 11year old wire terrier, and Scout, a 2 year old cockapoo. Merlin is my heart and I can't imagine my life without him. Scout is the loveable one who makes me laugh, lays her head on my keyboard, and chews anything she can find, including my graduate book. Luckily, she only got the cover and not any of the important parts. They make me laugh and give me such love, my life is so much fuller with them in it.

  12. Wonderful post, PJ. Growing up, we had a miniature white poodle named Mitzi and she was such a sweet dog. My mom got her right before she married my dad and she lived to be 16. Mom was so devastated that she didn't get another dog for 9 years, a Dalmatian named Domino. Domino was the best dog ever and the only dog my son (who is on the autistic spectrum and skittish around dogs) was ever fully comfortable with. She was a very special dog. Unfortunately, her life was cut short due to her vet's negligence. Mom now has two Dalmatians (sisters) that are very active, but also very sweet. As for me, we don't have any pets because of my son and my husband, who isn't a dog person (but I don't hold it against him-lol).

  13. Oh my, I was in tears reading your blog and the comments as well. Growing up I always had dogs mainly because they were outside. I loved them all and they were many, the most beloved of all being a collie mix named Lady. She was faithful and true to the day she died, it was several years before there was another BFF to come into my life. Right now I have two cats, who are beautiful and I love very much but are not the loving friends my dogs were. I once read a little joke that is so true it bears repeating. "In ancient Egypt cats were worshipped as Gods, cats have never forgotten this." I know mine hasn't.

  14. PJ, I always enjoy your postings and comments. Super job today!
    We have a little dog named Bear that is half Yorkie and we're not sure about the other half. He was definitely a cute puppy. It was amazing that he fit right into the palm of my hand when we got him at 4 weeks old.
    I am not much of a dog lover, but Bear is growing on me. :)

  15. Hi Kit! Aren't rescues amazing? I think they must instinctively know that they've been saved.

  16. Andrea, it sounds like you've known some amazing dogs too. I'm so sorry that Domino's life was cut short through a vet's negligence. That breaks my heart.

  17. I once read a little joke that is so true it bears repeating. "In ancient Egypt cats were worshipped as Gods, cats have never forgotten this." I know mine hasn't.

    Dianna, I think every one of my friends who are owned by a cat would agree with this sentiment! lol

  18. Deb, dogs have a way of snuggling right into your heart when you aren't looking. Sounds like Bear is well on his way to owning yours. ;-)

    Thanks for dropping by today!

  19. Ahhh, Tommy is my best friend. He is the only "man" in my life at the moment. And, he's the one that's never let me down. Unconditional love. He gives me hugs and kisses, spoons with me, and makes me exercise daily. He's playful, sensitive, and can always make me laugh. He is a MOST extraordinary beagle!

  20. *waving* Hi PJ! As you know, there's little I enjoy more than talking pets.

    You're thinking big dog, yes? What about contacting Project Halo again? Maybe they've got a new furbaby for you. Are you thinking puppy? Or older baby? How 'bout a lab rescue? There's got to be one around you somewhere.

    You know I've got Roxie-the-Doxie. I'm one of those combo dog/cat people, so Roxie's company is in the form of Stella the Tortie cat.

    Either way, I'm jealous of you, I love, love, love the search for a new fur-baby. And I love the fulfillment of giving a good home to one in need. Good luck!

    PS - No need to enter me in the contest, I have my very own copy of every book Kristan has ever written.

  21. Lovely post, PJ.

    I'm afraid I'm not much of a dog person. I grew up in a house with both cats and dogs but much prefered the cats over the dogs. At one point, my brother brought home a stray who immediately had kittens. So we had eight cats (mostly kittens), a dog and a bird.

    Now, it's just one cat for us. Luckily I married a cat person instead of a dog person. We have a Siberian cat who is a hoot. She's just over a year there is still a lot of kitten in her. Although as I type this, she is snuggled up on my bed under the covers. Normally, she sits in my office window and watches the birds at the feeder.

  22. Tommy sounds like a very lucky guy...and so does Tommy's mommy!

  23. Hi Kati...and Roxie...and Stella!

    I'd like to find a dog about Cassy's size (50 lbs). I've always gotten puppies before but, this time, I'm hoping to find one that's old enough to start playing with Cassy right away. (Not having to potty train will be an added bonus.) I'll be visiting with the dogs at Project HALO next time I'm in Charlotte.

  24. Such a wonderful post, PJ! You know I share your love of dogs, and I don't know what I'd do without my rescue dogs. Since you've met them, you know how fabulous Rufus and Frodo are! :-D

    When I'm reading and they are getting impatient, they each have their own way of getting my attention. Frodo paws at my leg, looking pitiful. Rufus pushes his nose under my book, newspaper or magazine until he's looking me in the eye as if to say, "Hey, what about me?"

    They never fail to make me laugh even when they do something they shouldn't. I love both of my cats, too, but my dogs own my heart.

  25. Hi Christie! Your cat sounds like a real sweetie. Wouldn't you love to know what thoughts are swirling through her mind as she watches that bird feeder?

  26. Helen, I love the story of the elephant following you home! Not many people can say that. ;) And your dogs sound lovely! A home without a pet just doesn't seem the same, does it?

  27. Monica, you had me crying reading your post. Your G. sounds like the pet of your heart. I'm sure she's always with you in spirit. (((hugs)))

  28. Kimberly, I have 2 cats as well as 2 dogs. It makes for a crazy house, but it's full of love....and hair! *g*

    Kit, I think our lives are much fuller when we share them with pets, too.

  29. Dianna, one of my cats, Mr. Bean, is very lovable, more like a dog. Our other cat, Farouk, definitely embodies his the spirit of his Egyptian ancestors. ;)

  30. Hi, Kati! I always love hearing about your Roxie and Stella! We pet lovers adore sharing stories about our fur babies, don't we?! :)

  31. Such a wonderful post, PJ, one guaranteed to strum the heartstrings of everyone with a past or present best fur friend. I know you brought back memories of all the dogs in my life, beginning with Lady, a German shepherd who was my first babysitter.

    Over the years, we've owned a dozen different breeds, but when we found our first Aussie, we fell in love forever. Our Skye, a lovely, aristocratic blue merle and our third Aussie, died this past summer at 14. We're only now ready to start thinking about another dog. We have begun checking the Aussie rescue sites and I know we will find our next dog soon. Meanwhile, we're dogsitting until July for Indy, a lovable St. Bernard, who has won her own place in our hearts and become a favorite of every kid in a ten-mile radius.

  32. Life would have been pretty boring without the pets. Oddly enough, they've all come to us free, from other people.

    I barely remember our first dog, Patches, but I remember all the puppies she created. We never kept any of the puppies, and my mom ended up regretting that because some of them had some interesting personalities! A dozen puppies and each one so different!

    Cindy was the first dog I can really remember with any real clarity because she was part of my life for 16 years. She was a cocker-poo wire-haired terrier mix which meant she was funny, smart and resourceful. Nothing got by her.

    You know your dog is smart when you have to keep inventing new codes to keep them from figuring out what you're saying. She caught on to what walk meant, so we'd spell it. Hey, sometimes you just want to say when you're going to take the dog for a walk. The problem was, every time Cindy heard the word walk, she wanted to go and would badger you until you took her. She did cute like nobody's business and it was impossible to deny her. Thus the code.

    However, somehow, she figured out what we were spelling, so we had to get creative. But that wasn't the only word that couldn't be spoken or spelled in our house. Cookie and bones were two other words. It got to the point where we started calling cookies, "the round things in the white container on the cupboard!"

    And darned if she didn't figure that out eventually! It got to the point of mental speak. If Cindy got even the hint of the idea of a cookie, you had to give her one. Again, she had the cute thing going on and could lay it on really, really thick!

    I will always miss her.

    Our second dog, Xena, is a shepherd/chow mix. Beautiful (when not shedding winter coat), stubborn, loyal and very tolerant.

    She is our first dog that would talk back and had lots of attitude. Needless to say that it stunned my mom when she told Xena "No!" and the dog barked back in protest and shook her head to go along with it.

    If she's really talkative, you can have entire conversations with her, but she likes to get the last word in. It's really hard to deny her, but she hasn't quite got that cute thing going on or figured out how to use it to her advantage and it's not for lack of trying.

    She's still with my parents. My nephew would crawl into her kennel with her and close the door, and she'd treat him like one of her litter mates and would like his face and or fingers clean.

    We were stunned at how Xena would let him play in her food dish while she was eating. That was new to us. Our other dogs preferred to be left alone when eating.

    Yeah, both dogs strangely found us and they have been very good experiences.

  33. i have two fur babies. cricket is a siamese mix and rumpleteazer was a foster kitten that i kept. tehy both prefer to lay on a book, especially if i am trying to read it. great feet and head warmers in the winter too!

    meaghan_koci (at) yahoo (dot) com

  34. You know, I've known several people with labs and they seem to do well with cats.

    You could also get another lab or shepherd, but you'd have to be careful of the dog hierarchy. A smaller variety might work.

  35. Thanks, Janga. I know losing your Skye was heartbreaking. I remember that it was shortly after my Smokey died. They will always live on in our hearts.

    Aren't St. Bernards fun? One of my neighbors has one and I've never such a kid magnet!

  36. PJ, I'm not sure I'd want to know what's swirling around in my cat's head. Misha will suddenly get wild and start running through the house with a low growl. She literally bounces off the back of the sectional sofa in the great room. Yeah, I really don't want to know what she's thinking about.

  37. Carrie, thank you for sharing stories about your fur friends. Xena sounds like quite a character. lol! I love how she treated your nephew as a litter mate. :)

  38. Hi CaliforniaMeaghan! Thanks for telling us about Cricket and Rumpleteazer. Love those names! I'm guessing you're a fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber's fabulous musical, Cats?

  39. Carrie, some former neighbors had two cats and two Golden Retrievers that all thought they were litter mates. The dogs used to take the cats for walks around our cul-de-sac. I'd see them walking along the edge of the yards, in single file, with one dog in the lead, the other bringing up the rear and the two cats in between. I wish I had taken a picture!

  40. Carrie, I'm lucky that Cassy is very laid-back and sociable. She loves other dogs and loves playing with them - doesn't have any alpha tendencies at all.

  41. I grew up in a household of pets--dogs, cats, birds and various aquatic life. I loved them all and cried with each animals passing, but none compared to my Chelsea.
    My husband and I got her before we were married. We lived close to a seedy part of town and he had to travel quite a bit. I needed company and some protection. She was a rescued dog who stole our hearts with her quiet, gentle demeanor when we first met her.
    She was my loyal compaion and no matter where we moved, or how often, I always had someone to walk with and who would listen to me. She was my best friend.
    Chelsea knew I was in labor with my first child before I did (she did this for my closest friend too) following us into the bathroom, poking us with her nose and crying. She loved each of my babies and let them do whatever they wanted to to her.
    When my husband was deployed she would get up a couple of times each night and do a walk through our house. Then she would spend time in each of my kids' rooms before finally returning to her bed next to mine. Mike had a hard time believing this --because when he was home she stayed in bed all night snoring to wake the dead.
    On my husband's last deployment she suddenly decided to start sleeping with my daughter. It hurt my feelings. She was MY dog--MY best friend! I think she was trying to get me used to the fact of her not being there. Unbeknownst to me my dear friend was sick with cancer.
    She got sick and went down hill quickly. The saddest, most heartbreaking day of my life was our last trip to the vet. I held her and cried. I cry as I write this. The vet told me that it was a matter of time and the kindest thing I could do was to put her down. She was in soooo much pain.
    I will remember all my life holding my dearest friend as the life slowly left her body. It left a hole in my heart that will never be filled.
    For the first time in 13 years I went home to an empty house and then faced a move without her. Her picture is up with the kids pictures on the mantel to this day. She was my first baby.
    I think I am finally ready to welcome a new member into ur home. Just don't know how to go about it, so I hear you PJ.

  42. I'm always glad to hear from others that I'm not the only one totally over the moon for my fur child. Harley Sue and I found each other from a posting when I lived in Arkansas and she was a shelter pup in Oklahoma. They brought her to me to see, and she was this tiny little, car sick, stinky bundle of fur who sold me immediately when she burrowed under my chin the second I picked her up. She's charmed her way into everyone's hearts, even when she initially "messed" all over just about every family members' house she visited at first. She's come so far in almost 5 years, from this timid, shy, abused puppy to our always-entertaining, slightly crazy, sort of klutzy, loving companion. She'll be 5 years old in just a couple weeks, time to start planning the party :)

  43. (((Cyndi))) Chelsea sounds like one of those "once in a lifetime" dogs. Thank you so much for sharing your memories of her with us. I'm sitting here sobbing as I read your comments and feeling the pain of your loss. It's so very hard to make that decision to let go but you listened to your heart and did what was best for Chelsea and I have no doubt that you had her love and gratitude for making that difficult choice.

    When you bring that next fur friend into your home, I want to hear all about it!

  44. Cyndi, there are so many wonderful animals at shelters, foster homes and adoption centers, just waiting for a forever home. is a great site for finding available dogs in your area.

  45. Hi JWZ! I never tire of talking about fur babies! Harley Sue sounds like a sweetie. How lucky she was to find you...and you, to find her.

    My Smokey was found along a highway when she was about 7 or 8 weeks old, half starved, full of fleas and ticks and scared to death. I don't know if she had been abused but she had definitely been abandoned. She was missing huge clumps of hair and one day away from being euthanized when I found her at the county shelter. It was love at first sight.

  46. PJ, don't enter my name in this contest. I already have TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. I loved this book, and it is on my keeper shelf in an area designated as comfort reads. I highly recommend this book to all the readers here.

    As for pets, we had a dog for 9 years that we got from the Humane Society. She became such a big part of our family that we were devastated when she got cancer and had to be put to sleep. That was 5 years ago. I haven't had the heart to get another pet since then.

  47. Hey ladies!

    PJ-I'm so happy to hear you're getting a new fur baby! When Smokey passed I cried right along with you.

    My babies are all furry and very demanding. Yes, they rule the roost but I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Congrats to all of you on the wonderful new blog! Its awesome.

  48. My best friend is Panda, a black and white short hair cat. She loves to play fetch, watch the birds and open all my cabinet doors. She is there whenever I need her and is always ready to give me loving encouragement. She greets me when I get home and she gives me a sense of joy whenever I see her. I enjoyed your blog today. Furry friends are the best.

  49. PJ
    Nice post, always good to hear someone else's pet stories.
    I had 2 cats growing up. One day, the female just vanished, we never found her. Mom and I decided someone took her home and made her a loved indoor cat ( beats the alternative). My fellow, was missing one morning, Dad found him in the bushes, he'd been hit by a car. Took him to the vet and days later he was home safe and sound. He ended up with this hug bald spot on his side, the neighbor boys started calling him "scar cat".
    Scar and all he was my guy till he went to "kitty heaven".
    Nice memories. Thanks =)
    Catherine c

  50. Janga, good luck finding a new Aussie. I know that the right dog will find you. They always do!

    Christie, my cats love sitting by the window watching the birds. They are no doubt wishing they could go outside and catch one. ;)

  51. Carrie, I really do believe that our pets find us.

    Meaghan, pets make the best foot warmers, don't they?

  52. Cyndi, I'm sitting here with tears rolling down my face thinking about your Chelsea. She was such a sweetheart, and I remember talking to you the day we arrived in NC after our cross country drive and you telling me about her passing. My heart just broke for you.

    There's a new fur baby waiting for you, and if you, Mike and the kids decide you want a Golden, remember that I have connections. ;)

    All of these stories remind me of the reason why I sob every time I watch Marley and Me!

  53. Hey, Kim!

    You have adorable fur babies and they do doubt run the show like mine do.

    Thanks for stopping by!


  54. What a wonderful story! It was so touching to read. ^w^

    I actually have 3 furry friends and 6 fuzzy friends. I have 7 year old Dog Named Lady Louisa, a 3 year old Golden Retriever named Izzy, and a 8 week old beagle puppy named Daisy Sue. I got Lady Louisa from a old lady with a broken leg selling puppies outside of Wallmart. Izzy came from a farm and was my "healing dog" after my bunny Hanan died suddenly from cancer. Daisy is new and thinks Izzy is her mommy.

    I also have 6 bunnies or fuzz butts. They came around when Lady Louisa was going through a false pregnancy and she adopted a abandoned baby wild bunny. Course that wild bunny had to have a friend and eventually it lead to my bunch. The wild bunny was let go and lives under our shed with her other bunny friends.

    My animals affected my reading habits because they've made me much more attune humanitarian and environmental literature. I can't really read anything where animals get hurt without getting upset. If an animal is in it and is a character i almost always read it. I loved the cat that was featured in Suzanne Enoch's "Lessons in Love" series.

  55. Hi Cheryl! It's very hard to give your heart away again after losing a beloved pet. I had made up my mind I wasn't getting another dog after losing Velvet to cancer. The grief following her death was devastating for both Smokey and me but about a year later Cassy came bounding into our lives when we least expected it. She brought so much joy to both of us that I can't imagine the last three years without her.

  56. Hi Kim! I love the stories you tell about your furkids. They certainly keep you running circles! lol

  57. Hi Tracy! Panda sounds like a wonderful friend. She opens cabinet doors? I didn't know cats did that!

  58. Hi Catherine! Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for sharing your story about your "Scar". I'm so glad he was okay and there for you for many more years after the accident.

  59. Hi Jedisakora! What a lovely fur and fuzz family you have! I'm the same as you with the books that I read. I can't stand it when an animal is hurt in a story. It just breaks my heart.

  60. PJ, this is a fabulous post!!

    I grew up around many different dogs. But there are three that stand out to me.

    Rusty was a little dachsund that I had when I was around 7 years old. Rusty was a little bundle of joy and he loved to play with me. The only problem I had is one day he chewed up some of Barbie clothes. But other than that we had a great relationship. Unfortunately, Rusty was stuck by a car.

    Then came George, our girl doberman pincsher. She was something else! She had flopping ears and a long tail (we didn't clip her) and huge paws. We had a swimming pool and she would get in a little boat raft and float around the pool while I played. I remember one day Mom had just baked cookies and they were cooling on the kitchen table. George smelled those yummy things and walked right up to the table and grabbed a few. She was as tall as the table! LOL! She was fun.

    Happy was the last dog my parents owned while I was at home. We had moved from Florida (thus giving away George). Our new neighbors had this sweet little dog -- half dachsund, half cocker spaniel. She was long and hairy - LOL! Anyway, Happy ending up spending so much time at our house that when we moved from there, the neighbors told us to take her with us. She was a sweet companion.

  61. That was a great post, PJ.... made me smile, thinking of my BFF's.. my last BFF, Abbey was a golden retriever afraid of wind. Ah yes. On a windy night, you would find me outside, holding her paw so she could go potty fast and run back to her bed.

    I still miss her. Though her spirit drops by occasionally to check in with me

  62. Nice digs you have here, ladies.

    My furry friend is a white Boxer named Blizzard. We've had her for three years now and it's a mutual admiration society over here. Blizzard is a lover of people, most especially my DH and kids. I'm the alpha or mamma here to her.

    I love her for leaning into me when I pet her. I love how she trots outside and watches for the kids to get on the bus in the morning. She paces around waiting for them to come home in the afternoon. And, no matter how few or many hours have past since she's seen my husband, she greets him like a love struck teenager when he comes into her world again. Heck, even I don't react like that when he comes home anymore. Just kidding, darlin'!

    She won our hearts from the first time we saw her at the breeder's house. We can't imagine how our house would feel without her.

  63. Growing up, we had a Dalmatian named Domino. She was the best dog that anyone could ask for--sweet, gentle, and loving. After she passed away, my mom decided to get two Dalmatian puppies. Star and Phoenix are sisters and Star reminds me so much of Domino and I am very thankful for both of them. I love dogs and they are there for you through it all. They provide uncondtional love--what more could you ask for?

  64. Hi Dishy Ladies!

    What a GREAT new site! Love it.

    PJ, you brought tears to my eyes writing abut your furry BFFs. I have a soft spot for any small (or large) animal, but I've always been a dog person. I've had 8 furry BFFs over the years, counting the two I currently have.

    My "girls" are both rescues. My Yorkie Unholy Terrier came from a local private rescue agency where I volunteered after losing my BFF of 16 years. I only brought her home because nobody else wanted the crying, dirty little rag mop. Three days later, the head of the rescue agency called to say she had a potential home and I told her NO WAY was I giving her up. My Pug-WaWa I found 3 months later at the city pound. She was the dog I'd been looking for when I brought home the Yorkie. She was 2 years old, already spayed, potty, leash, and crate trained -- truly a little jewel! She would defend me against anything. :-)

    Go for a slightly older dog, PJ. You absolutely will NOT be disappointed!


  65. What a wonderful blog about pets, Patty. I’ve owned five dogs, a myriad of fish, six hermit crabs, three lizards, two snails, and one snake. The snake was a gift to my DS from one of my sisters. I still haven’t gotten even with her for That. Each pet has a special place in my heart. And yes though I hate to admit it … that even includes the snake.

    I was six months old when one of my dad’s students gave him a puppy, a three day old puppy. I’m sure that my mother was not very happy. But the poor Labrador retriever pup was one of 11. The runt of the litter, he would have certainly died if my dad hadn’t brought nim home & bottle fed him. Every three hours my dad got up to feed the little thing. I grew, Sam the dog grew, we literally grew up together. I learned to walk by holding on to his tail. My earliest childhood memories all include Sam. Memories of lying curled up next to him or watching him while he trained with my dad. My dad was a teacher. He couldn’t resist testing his teaching skills on his dog. Sam quickly mastered the voice commands. Then he mastered the whistle commands, the hand signals, and finally … he mastered the competition.
    Sam, Good Samaritan Sam, the runt of the liter, the puppy that nobody wanted, became a National Obedience Trial Champion.

  66. Buffie, what wonderful memories. Sounds like you've had some great dogs!

  67. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, Maureen. Poor Abbey. I hope you didn't live in a real windy area.

    I still miss her. Though her spirit drops by occasionally to check in with me

    This gives me the warm fuzzies. I like to think our dear pets are still keeping tabs on us. I know there have been times when I've "felt" Smokey or Bandit nearby.

    Thanks for visiting us today, Maureen!

  68. Thanks, Santa! I'm glad you were able to stop by.

    Blizzard sounds like a sweetie. I love when dogs lean into you like that. My heart just melts when a dog does that to me.

    I had to laugh at your description of how Blizzard greets your dh. Nobody does joyful greetings like a dog! :)

  69. Welcome, Aunty Cindy! Sounds like you have a couple of sweethearts. Isn't it funny how rescues seem to find us when we aren't looking?

    I've always had puppies but I'd really rather have a little older dog this time. Glad to hear adopting an older one has been a good experience for you.

  70. Wow, Julie! You've certainly had a variety of pets! Sounds like my house when my younger brothers were growing up...minus the snake. My mom wouldn't have put up with a snake.

    Aw, I love the story about Sam. That could be straight from a Disney movie. What wonderful memories you have. Thanks so much for sharing them with us!

  71. Hi Trisha! Domino sounds like he was a pretty special dog. I haven't been around Dalmations all that much but I've heard that they're wonderful dogs.

    Thanks for playing with us today!

  72. PJ, we have a cat - or maybe he has us. His name is Chaps and he has a bad attitude. Actually, he doesn't really, he's just obnoxious, but we have given him a backstory.

    Chaps believes he is a compatriot of Che Guevara and every month he tries to start a grassroots revolution. Sadly, the neighborhood animals are not quite as...enthusiastic as he is, so his revolution never gets off the ground.

    It's just as well, really. We're not in a position to host a revolution. I'm keeping an eye on the squirrels, though. You never know about squirrels...

  73. LOL @ Caren! I think I'd like to meet Chaps someday. ;-)

  74. Patty, I WOULDN”T have put up a snake either…
    Except that IT was A Rescue Snake, a poor, homeless, rescue snake. What could I say?

  75. When I was growing up we had a wonderful Saint Bernard named Sampson. He could drink out of a straw and was the coolest animal. He once french kissed my ex-husband when he got in his face. It was hysterical. We loved that dog. Unfortunately someone poisoned him and even though we thought we knew who did it we had no proof. I live in an apartment now and can't have any pets. I miss having a dog or cat.

  76. PJ, what a lovely post! And I love your photos of your beautiful fur friends. The comments here are moving me to tears...
    Life is empty without four-legged friend. Dogs, cats, horses and miniature cattle are all part of my menagerie. They are dearly loved members of the family.
    The sad, sad, thing is that we usually outlive them and have to say goodbye. I lost my beloved cat Kira a few months ago, just short of her 18th birthday. Her brother Albert is very frail and I am absolutely dreading the day when he passes. In the meantime I am cherishing every second with him. And he with me, I believe. He rarely leaves my side...

  77. Linda, thank you for sharing your memories of Samson.

    Kandy, it is so difficult to outlive our pets yet I wouldn't trade the time I've had with them for anything, even knowing the eventual pain of losing them.

    Many thanks to both of you for stopping by!

  78. I'm a day late, but the good thing is this book already holds a place on my TBR. I love these pics and this entire blog. I long for the day when my kiddo and I have our own place and can once again own a dog.

    But right now, I'm enjoying the love of my adorable 7 mon old orange tabby named Bumblebee. He's everything I wanted when I decided to adopt a cat. He's affectionate, never meets a stranger, adorable, entertaining, without a skittish bone in his body.

    He does test me. He's a master of crawling into the cupboards and has somehow figured out how to open the fridge. But I love him so much. I have a feeling he's going to be a big boy, and I look forward to the two of us growing old together.

    I've told you before, but the first dog I ever had was a black cocka-poo we named velvet. She was the best dog who ever lived, and I still miss her, almost twenty years later.

  79. PJ~ What a great post. I love the photos of your dogs.
    I got my first dog when I was 18. He was born right before Christmas. He was a mix between a Jack Russell Terrier and a Red Heeler. He looked like a little dingo. I loved him so much. Was my best friend for the time he was alive, and when I had my first child he was so protective of her. He would only let my hubby and I touch my daughter, unless we told him it was ok, and he really seemed to understand when we told him.
    In our house now we have 6 parakeets, they sound so nice when they chirp, but sometimes they like to start up at 6am when I want to sleep. :-)
    1 Double Yellow Headed Amazon Parrot (Norman). He was very skittish when we first got him because he had been abused, but now he is doing well. He loves to sing opera at the weirdest times, and if you are watching a comedy he will start laughing and won't quit for the length of the movie.
    We also have a Jenday Conure (Connor, after Connor MacLeod of the clan MacLeod). He does some pretty cool tricks, but doesn't talk. He does have a very loud squawk on him though.
    We also have a dog. He is a cross between a Border Collie and a Miniature Australian Shepherd, his name is Dozer. Since we live on the ranch we have been trying to train him to NOT chase cows, but since it is in his blood to herd cows its been a battle. Unfortunately if the dogs are caught chasing cows when they aren't supposed to be and can not be called off they are shot. This happened to Dozer's brother Tank last year when he was chasing a neighboring ranchers cows.
    Out of all my animals, Tucker (my first dog) is still my favorite. One of the things he used to do was curl up next to me while I read. He didn't care how late it got as long as when I was done reading he didn't lose his warm spot next to me.

  80. Dorothy - When my daughter was born 10 years ago, I had a Chow mix named Dozer and he was the same way, would not let anyone near my daughter. He was wonderful with her. I miss him so much!

  81. Hmm I recognize that girl with Bandit! Haha!

    What a lovely post :) I'll always remember the day all of us went to the humane society and Bill and Smokey found each other. It was love at first sight :) I've had so many BFFs between yours and mine and I cherish every single on of them. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think back fondly on Shelby and Penny.

    Right now I refuse to think about having to leave my cats when I move to Japan. The only solace i have is that they will have a great home with my parents :)

  82. keowee07Hi Terri and Dorthy! Thanks for stopping by and telling us about your pets. Sorry to be late in responding. I've been without internet for a couple days.

  83. Hi Jenn! I love that photo of you and Bandit. It's always been a favorite.

    I know you're going to miss the cats when you leave for Japan. I forgot about you having to leave them behind. :(

    Penny and Shelby were great dogs!

    I remember that day we all found Smokey like it was yesterday. Hard to believe it was almost 14 years ago!

  84. My BFF are my three cats. Their mother wandered into our apt the day we moved in. She came in the front door and laid down int the middle of the living room next to our dog Rusty.She made herself to home, and to make a long story short,had 3 litters before we could afford to get her spayed. Out of those 3 litters we took one of each cat.
    They have been my three companions for the last 10 yrs. During my vast reading sessions two of them(females) have taken turns crawling onto my lap and sneaking under my book or trying to bite the corner of it. When my son comes home from work the male cat(Squeeker) hollers at him for several minutes letting him know it's about time he came home.
    It would take too long to tell all the funny stories about my three felines but I know when it's their time to go we will be more than heartbroken. We had to put Rusty down(14yrs. old)a little more than 3 yrs. ago-I still miss him. He will be my last dog.