A LIFE WITHOUT A DOG IS A LIFE WITHOUT A SOUL

A LIFE WITHOUT A DOG IS A LIFE WITHOUT A SOUL

Saturday, October 22, 2016

DEEP THOUGHTS FROM A DOG



If you let me drive, I will let you stick your head out the window.

I chase my tail because it is always sneaking up on me.

I only eat one shoe or one sock because I like to save the other one for later.

I know if I stand under you in the kitchen – sooner or later you will drop some food – crumbs count.

I have a feeling about everyone who visits our home and if you watch carefully you will see it in my body language and my eyes and I am always right.

If you stuff my Kong with cookies and cheese I will wash the windows with my tongue.

I did not sleep under the sheets when you were out but I am wondering if you would consider flannel because I found the cotton a bit flimsy.

If you take me to the park I will show you how to make new friends. It starts with smelling stranger’s butts and it only gets better from there.






Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, G+ - I am all over the place - give it a break - will ya?

I am tired of walking around naked all the time so I try on your clothes while you are at work.

I know you told me not to use the computer but I haven't had a date in I don't know how long so I went onto a dating site and created a fake profile for myself and then I went onto another dating site and created a fake profile for you. Let's see who gets lucky first. 

I know when you are sad and I know when you are happy and when you are sad I am sad and when you are happy I am happy.

I know you saved me and I will spend the rest of my life saving you.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

TAKE A CHANCE ON A DOG



We take chances every day. Actually we take chances every second of every day - we just don't realize it and we therefore do not always weigh the consequences.

We take chances in allowing ourselves to fall in love for the first time. We are vulnerable and we let someone into our deepest, darkest secrets and share with them the most intense of intimacies - love making.





Many people believe that life is but a chance. It may sound Shakespearean but think about it... how many times has something happened to you that seemed like less than a coincidence? Maybe it all is one big chance sort of like leaping over a large puddle between the corner of the street and the road and you either end up in a smash landing or you make it safe and dry onto the sidewalk.

It's sometimes good to take chances because in taking them we change the path we are on and turn onto something new and refreshing and we even discover a part of ourselves that had been hidden or lost. Other times we take chances and well, we don't do so well with them but at least we tried.

When we were young, we constantly took chances - we were the greatest "risk takers" ever. That's because we were curious and we were doing most things for the first time. It's exhilarating and scary all at once to take a chance and to do something new. Chances help us learn. We learn what it feels like to fail and what it feels like to succeed. We take chances again and again no matter how many times things do not turn out as planned.

Sometimes we find ourselves asking a friend, "Should I take that chance?" Although usually when we are asking we already know how much of a chance we are willing to take.

Here's a little story for you about "Chance". Many years ago, a friend of mine (let's call him Harry)was driving to his cottage on a snowy, winter's night. He was on a dark road and the snow began to fall heavily, so much so that there was barely any visibility. He had a choice, he could either continue driving and take a chance of possibly having an accident or he could stop by the side of the road and wait the storm out. As he was pondering this decision, he saw a parking lot on his left. He recognized the abandoned property as a former B&B that his parents took him to when he was little for the best banana and chocolate chip pancakes.

He parked and chose to get out of his car and seek shelter under the awning at the front of the building. Once he was there, he chose to see if the front door was unlocked and it was so he crept inside lighting his way with his cell phone.

There was a ghastly stench of must and rotted food. He could see the breakfast benches and dining room had pretty much remained intact. Suddenly he felt something run by his feet and then he saw it moving under a table. He had a choice, he could run like hell and get back to the safety of his car or he could beam his flashlight app from his phone under the table.

He bent down and found a dog, his fur matted, his leg cut and bleeding, shivers running through him and no tags. He had a choice, he could leave the dog there and not bother with him or he could carry him out to his car. He chose to take the dog with him. He carefully lifted him and carried him in his arms. The snow had subsided and the road was clearly visible. He placed the dog in the back seat and put the heat on full blast. Then he got in the back seat and covered the dog with a blanket and held him close. The dog was shivering and short of breath. Harry hoped that he was not going to die in his arms but if he did, at least he would not die alone.

Within 30 minutes or so, the dog was almost completely respondent and sitting up placing his muzzle into Harry's neck. He was leaning his entire weight into Harry's side and he moved toward his face and gave him a big, wet kiss. Harry drove off and they arrived at his cottage shortly thereafter. Once the house was lit up and warmed by a crackling fire, Harry placed the dog in the bath tub and gave him a good scrub down, dried him and bandaged his cut. Then the dog suddenly appeared in his entirety and Harry was able to recognize that he was some variation of a Golden Retriever. He had chocolate brown eyes, a coat that looked like it has been sprinkled with brown sugar and a tail disproportionatally large for his body. His left eye was partially splashed with a white blaze that made its way down to his nose.

Throughout the next week Harry visited all the local shelters, police stations and posted signs but no one called to reclaim the dog. Harry felt badly for whomever had lost him but it seemed more likely he had been purposely left out in the snow to fend for himself. It didn't take long at all for Harry and the dog to grow closer. He decided to name the dog and in doing so to recognize that this was now his dog and his dog only.

He named him "Chance" because that's what he initially was - a chance that Harry decided to take. And for the "Chance" that choice saved his life.

I would have taken that chance - would you?

It's hard to say what chances we will or won't take because as much as we think we weigh the consequences, we are actually quite impulsive when our emotions are in play and when another "being" is part of the chance, it's all about emotion in the end.

I am all for taking chances. Most of life adventures have come my way because of the chances I have taken. I'm not afraid of losing because no matter how many times I do, it's the winning that brings me back to chance time and time again.

Chances...take them, don't take them, but never underestimate them because in doing so you are underestimating yourself. And who knows? There may just be a goofy, brown sugared Retriever out there waiting for you to take that chance.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

STUFF I TELL MY DOG



I talk to my dog all the time – in private and in public.

He is an excellent listener although easily distracted by squirrels, trucks and women – he is quite the Casanova.

I talk to him a lot before going to bed at night in the darkness when all of the sad / scary moments of my life past and present tend to creep up on me.

I tell him my fears – of being alone forever – of my chronic illness getting worse – of losing my last living parent.

I repeat the story of how we met at the shelter where I was volunteering. I arrived to walk as many dogs as possible – giving them a break from noise and discomfort. There you were being chased in circles and humped by a larger dog – all of your 12 lbs beneath a hefty 20+. I placed the other dog behind the reception desk and I picked you up and carried you around until you calmed down.

From that moment on you followed me throughout my shift. If my back was to you - you tugged at my shirt with your teeth and if I sat down you were in my lap within seconds. 

You were clearly telling me that I was not to leave the shelter without you. So I decided to foster you for the weekend as I had done with other dogs.





You turned out to be a “keeper” and a wonderful, warm gift. I saved you and you saved me.


I also talk to him about the other dogs I have had in my life and how much I miss them and how difficult it was to say goodbye.

 I think of each and every one of my dogs every day. I remember all of the wonderful walks, talks, adventures and all the love we shared in their way too short lifetimes.

Sometimes I tell him something funny or disturbing that happened in a given day and I talk to him about the upcoming weekend and all that we are going to do together.

I always tell him if a holiday is coming up that will lengthen our weekend and time together.

I ask him if he has friends over while I am at work or if he heads out and goes shopping for kongs and rawhide. 

There’s this magical moment that often occurs when I am talking to him. He looks me right in the eye as if he understands everything and he is so thankful for that moment we are sharing together.



"Whisky - you are my Saturday night, my New Year’s Eve, my weekend, my co-pilot – you are my everything and walking through life without you would be like walking through life without my soul".






What stuff do you tell your dog?






Saturday, October 1, 2016

I AM A SHELTER DOG AND THIS IS MY STORY




My name is Charlie.

I am a Retriever mix and an all around nice guy.

I wasn't always alone.

I had a family.

They bought me from a pet store when I was 4 months old and took me home and raised me and provided me with love and comfort.

I lived with them for 4 years and I loved them very much.

Three weeks ago my mother started to cry and continued to do so most nights before bed. I tried my best to comfort her but to no avail. Something was up but I had no way of understanding how it would affect me and how fast it was coming down.

Then that weekend came when they put all of our belonging in boxes. My mother and father were talking loud to one another and seemed distant. 

We went for lots of car rides from our house to another place that did not smell like our house. It was smaller and my bed was no longer in the corner of the living room by the window. My stuff wasn't anywhere.

Then it happened. My brothers and sisters kissed and hugged me goodbye and begged their parents for something but not the way they begged for candy or a friend to sleep over. It had to do with me because they surrounded me and tried to protect me.

My last car ride with my parents was to a noisy, smelly place where dogs were barking and yelping. I sensed sadness. I sensed an ending.


My parents had a long talk with a lady who gave off tired, sad vibes. She smelled the same as the place. My parents filled out some paperwork. My mother could not stop crying. I leaned against her and tried to comfort her but all she could do was hug me and kiss me - my father the same and then they were gone.

I was escorted to a small room and some guy came in and examined me. He was nice but he was short on time and also seemed ill at ease.

Then he brought me into a large room where there were all these other dogs - big - small - barking - howling - terribly unhappy.

I was placed in this pen - basically a tiny space with a dirty old bed and a water bowl and a gate blocking me from leaving.

One minute I was in the car with my parents and the next I was behind bars.

I was completely confused and felt this must be a horrible mistake and my parents would be coming back for me but hours turned into days and no sign of the people who had been my only family.

I reflected on the past few weeks trying to figure out if I had done something terribly wrong to deserve to be left at the shelter. I had destroyed a couch pillow one day out of boredom. I had barked at a stranger who was walking up and down our street late at night and that awoke my dad. I hadn't really done anything else that I could think of and I always made sure to go up to my mom and push my head into her chest and kiss her cheek whenever I was bad. 

I don't feel like myself here. I only get to go on two short walks - one in the morning and one at dinner time and the person walking me is usually on his phone the entire time. I don't get to go off leash and run around in the park and I am rarely hugged or kissed or even looked in the eye.

I don't get to play with the other dogs. We are all kept separate. I guess there is a reason for that but it is unfortunate because we are all in the same situation and could probably provide comfort and friendship to one another.

I wonder if they had families too and how they ended up here. 

I really want to go home. I want to feel the sun on my face and I want to breathe fresh air. I want to sleep in my bed and wake up jumping all over my parents - so excited to share another day with them. I want to lay next to my mom while she watches TV and pats my head. I want to go with my dad in the car to pick up burgers.

I can only hope that tomorrow will be better than today.

------------------------3 weeks later-------------------

I woke up this morning and there was this woman on her knees observing me. She was talking to me in a low comforting voice. I am not sure what she was saying but the intonation was friendly and inviting.

She left and came back with the guy who gives me my food. The best part was that he was holding a leash which meant I was going for a walk.

They both went outside with me and they were talking a lot and looking at me. We walked to a nearby park and they sat on a bench while I breathed in the fresh air and gathered as much as I could from all the action around me. I had forgotten what it was to be curious because I had not been stimulated in a while. I was so enjoying watching the kids play and the birds and squirrels. 

We walked back to the shelter and the guy went inside and me and the woman sat outside. She started talking to me. It sounded reassuring and positive although I did not know what she meant.

Then she walked me up to the same reception desk where my parents had abandoned me.

She also filled out paperwork and talked a lot to the lady there - I was sad to return to the shelter - I could not stand the smell or feel of it any longer and I really felt like giving up but then something wonderful happened.

The woman gave me a hug and a kiss and she walked me out of the shelter and into her car. She spoke in a high, excited, captivating voice and she kept kissing me and petting me.

We ended up at her house - I knew it was hers because I already knew her smell and the house had the same scent plus a million more - 

She already had a food and water bowl for me in the kitchen and lots of toys including a few jumbo Kongs filled with cookies.

I had this feeling I was not going back to the shelter and that was confirmed when she invited me onto the couch to watch TV. I wasn't sure if I would be able to trust a human again after having been abandoned by what I thought was my permanent family; but I had a good feeling about her and so I chose to open up my heart and my mind.

That night we went for a walk around the neighbourhood. We stopped to talk to lots of nice people and they all knelt down and introduced themselves to me. 

Then we returned home and although I had a bed set up on the floor - she invited me to sleep in her bed. So I hopped up and we cuddled and she kissed my head and I knew everything was going to be alright.

I guess there is a reason for everything.

I realize I am lucky that I was saved from the shelter while other dogs were stuck there behind bars.

I will forever be thankful to my new mom. I will love her everyday and be there for her when she is sad or confused or scared. I will put her above and beyond everything in my life because I am a dog and that is what I do.



                                       
    My first shelter dog - Buddy - adopted him at 4 months and he blessed my life for 13 years.


                         SAVE A DOG AND A DOG WILL SAVE YOU









Other blogs by Lisa Audrey Cohen      www.lifeisyourstory.com