Sunday, April 1, 2012

A is for Animal Shelter


http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

My first husband and I found the best dog ever at the Cincinnati animal shelter two years before I even thought about having kids.  We had just moved to a suburb that was in a rough part of town (understatement).  I thought a larger dog would make me feel safe and would provide protection for us and our little chihuahua. 

My husband immediately bonded with a very happy and energetic dog, who jumped up and down in its cage.  I kept walking.

At the last cage, I saw her.  She looked me in the eye and then shook my hand through the bars.  "This is the one," I said, and my husband agreed.  We named her Lucy.  She was a mix of lab, German shepherd, and golden retriever.  She was 80 pounds, a full grown dog, and she didn't jump once.

On the way home in our very small car, she got nervous and panted a lot, but she wouldn't go for the windows.  Instead, she perched herself in the floor of the back seat with her head between us on the center console.  I climbed into the back seat (yes, while the car was moving - I was much younger then) and hugged her for the rest of the drive home. 

She must have been happy with us because she went from 80 pounds to 110 very quickly.  Her neck was extraordinarily large, so we couldn't keep a collar or even a harness on her.  Instead of being an awesome watch dog, she loved people and would snuggle with anyone that came to the door while the chihuahua snarled and growled behind her. 

Even though she loved us and was happy, she executed countless escapes with our chihuahua.  Escaping was her passion.   




Lucy was the best dog ever.  If my kids read this, they will cry because they miss her even more than I do.

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This post is part of the A-Z Challenge, hosted by a whole crew of awesome people.  If you haven't heard of it, check out the list of more than one thousand participants at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.  Sorry - I'm a rule-breaker.   My next post will be shorter...probably...unless I post about my animals or my kids or something else I care about.

51 comments:

  1. All our animals are rescues, we love them all... but if you ask my wife... she would say I was the best save of all. Kidding she loves the dog Isabel the best.

    Great start... to the challenge "A" is for Awesome!
    Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
    A to Z Co-Host
    IZOMBIE: Visit the Madness

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    1. Rescue dogs (and husbands) are the best. :)

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  2. Awwe...this was sweet. I love my little guys and hate to see when they suffer but you already know that.

    Great post!

    I wasn't going to do the A to Z this year but I am over at my other blog. http://secondhandshoesnovel.blogspot.com/

    Shelly

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    1. I sounds like yours are getting old, huh? We're getting a puppy today - we'll see how that goes with my little guy. Maybe the rest of my posts will be about what the tiny dog destroys.

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  3. Awww. Our big girl is a Lucy too and our world will end when her time comes.

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    1. My daughter was doing an art project a few weeks ago. We dug out a box of beads from when she was 8 (she's 15 now). There was a Lucy dog hair in it. We both started crying like little girls. I miss her so much.

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  4. Wonderful! Love that.

    There are no real rules to the challenge. Write what you like!
    Heather

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    1. Well if there's no rules, that makes it much better. :)

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  5. Shelter dogs and mutts make the best pets. She was a beautiful dog.

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  6. This makes me miss all my past furry friends. Good post.

    Teresa

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    1. She's been gone a long time. Surprising how much I still miss her.

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  7. I'm crying and I didn't even know her!

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  8. What a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing that. Have a good month of A-Z!

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    1. Thank you. I can't find your blog....

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  9. This is an amazing post. Makes me want a puppy. Okay, I've wanted one for a while.

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    1. Thanks, Tasha. I think the older dogs are much easier. My kids' stepmom gave my kids a puppy today - an untrained puppy. To live at my house. We'll see how that works out....

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  10. Reading this post made me want to cry. My "C" post is about rescue and cairn terriers. I own two of them (not rescues) and I love them a lot.

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    1. I think animals don't have to be rescues to be special. Looking forward to your post.

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  11. Aw, what a sweet story, and a wonderful addition to the family!

    A-Z 2012
    http://bloggitwrite-a-z.blogspot.com/

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  12. What a wonderful story. I have a similar one about my late dog Dagney. I still miss her. Happy A-Z challenge!

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  13. Sorry you lost your beautiful Lucy. I love the photo! Good luck with your new dog! Julie

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    1. So far she's working out great. She climbed all over my preschooler, but in a good way and didn't jump or nip. And she only had one little potty accident. Not bad for her first day.

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  14. I'm so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful dog. I love the pictures.

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  15. We're still mourning our dog from last year. He was more welcoming committee than guard also.

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    1. Welcoming committee was it exactly. I wonder if she was always searching for her previous owner when she ran away.

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  16. Oh my gosh - I cried reading this post! One of my dogs is a rescue dog and she is my whole world (even though I have two others). As she gets older, I am starting to worry about what I will do when I lose her. Thanks for sharing this post and those pictures.

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    1. Ours was really like a family member. It's hard to watch them get old.

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  17. I know from personal experience the heartbreak of losing a beloved pet.
    Great opening post!
    http://gail-baugniet.blogspot.com Theme: A World of Crime

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    1. I'm sorry you lost your pet too.

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  18. That's a great "A" to start with! I can completely relate...our two cats were/are rescue kittens. They're 4 years old now, and we love them so much. You have a new follower and a great blog!

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  19. Everyone should bond with at least one good shelter dog. Their love is unconditional. :)

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  20. Lucy is a beautiful dog. Thanks for posting a picture of her and this was a nice tribute that you wrote. I got my kitten from an animal shelter, who grew like wildflower in just a few months. I was hesitant to adopt because fish were the only house pets I ever had before then but I'm glad that I did because this kitty or soon-to-be cat can be very entertaining at times.

    ~Nicole
    Blog: The Madlab Post

    @MadlabPost on Twitter

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    1. I'm terribly allergic to cats. I wish we could have one.

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  21. Awww, what a sweet dog! It's hard when you lose a good one.

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  22. Aww, what a beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes as I know how hard it is to lose a precious pet. Lucy was a beautiful girl and I'm glad she had such a great family with you. My pets have all been rescues too and I have had the same feeling, you just know when an animal is the one. I love that Lucy shook your hand through the cage, how sweet.

    Wonderful post!

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    1. I think she must have been treated really well before we got her. Someone definitely was shaking her hand. :)

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  23. Definitely hard to lose a valued pet. They're like family members and never quite leave our hearts even when they go.
    Great start to the A-Z!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  24. Lovely post -- we have several rescue cats here on our farm. We also have two German Shepherds --- so I was happy to hear that Lucy was part GSD. Great word for the A to Z Challenge, Tonja. :)

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  25. Our dog came from a rescue center, as did my cats. I volunteer too. Your dog looks like she was a wonderful friend. Still miss all my pets that have died.

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    1. Rescue animals are the way to go for sure.

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  26. Tonja,
    What a wonderful story about your dog. Our sweetheart was Jessie, a yellow lab. We had him for 11 wonderful years. My daughter would use him as a step stool to get up on the couch. He didn't mind a bit.

    The Write Soil
    1st Writes

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