A Dog’s Life

By Liz, looking forward to a beach day or two this weekend!

I’m a huge Mary Oliver fan – have been since I read her poem “The Journey” years ago. I recently picked up her book Dog Songs, a collection celebrating her various pups and the bond she shares with them. The poems are sweet, simple, and moving, and wonderfully capture the essence of the beautiful canine soul. She and her dogs clearly love the beach – it’s mentioned in many of the pieces, like “School,” where her dog Percy wants to roll in a dead fish on the sand. She justifies this with, “It’s summer. How many summers does a little dog have?…This is our school.” Which led me to reflect on my own pups and their many adventures. Having celebrated Shaggy’s “Gotcha Day” in July and preparing for her 8th birthday in September, it seemed fitting to do a tribute to her and her brothers. So here’s a chronicle of their lives, their summers, and their own schooling. Enjoy.

 

Shaggy's death row photo, 2009

Shaggy’s death row photo, South Carolina 2009, age 10 months

Her car ride home after her rescue

Her car ride home after her rescue

Finny at the farm after his rescue from South Carolina, age 1.

Finny at the farm after his rescue from South Carolina, age 1o months.

Giving Petey a bath after he arrived from the same South Carolina shelter as Shaggy

Giving Petey a bath after he arrived from the same South Carolina shelter as Shaggy

Her first toy

Her first toy

A bench break during a walk on the town green

A bench break during a walk on the town green

Petey, not long after his S.C. rescue

Petey, not long after his S.C. rescue

Enjoying a car ride

Enjoying a car ride

Petey rolling

Petey rolling

Owning the green

Owning the green

My calendar contest winning pic for Red Rover

My calendar contest winning pic for Red Rover

 

Waiting patiently for someone to throw me the ball.

Waiting patiently for someone to throw me the ball.

Celebrating her graduation from Canine Good Citizen class, 2015

Celebrating her graduation from Canine Good Citizen class, 2015

Hugs

Hugs

Loving summer on the deck!

Loving summer on the deck!

Rolling

Rolling

Her favorite rock

Shaggy’s favorite rock

At the beach

Got the beach all to ourselves

The gang

The gang

Sleepy Shaggy

I’m so tired I could sleep right on the floor.

Not sure I like this winter thing, Mom...

Not sure I like this winter thing, Mom…

I like the summer way better!

I like the summer way better!

Just chillin

Just chillin

Height!

Height!

Pretending to be a cat

Pretending to be a cat

Heading out on a boat ride

Heading out on a boat ride

I love mud!

I love mud!

On my swing

On my swing

Love

Love

Favorite bedtime position

Favorite bedtime position

Readers, share stories of your favorite dogs in the comments!

38 thoughts on “A Dog’s Life

  1. Great blog post!!! Who doesn’t love pics of cute pups!?! I will definitely be looking back at this throughout the day for a smile! My mom had two Weiner dogs and I used to take the sweet girl (Ilsa) and push her into the sleeve of my puffy coat until just her head stuck out the sleeve hole. She would wiggle around like a worm and look so adorable! No animals were hurt or tortured! She loved it and we all did too. Bless her little heart!

  2. I loved seeing this! How wonderful that they’re all rescues (they’re the best. 4 of our 5 are & 2 is a result of someone not fixing their dog. You’re obviously a living soul & that’s awesome! I sent my mom home with one of your books yesterday & I just preordered Custom Baked Murder as well.

  3. What great photos! One of the best dog memories I have is when we came home with our second dog, Billy. Susie was a year old and we didn’t know how she would react. For the whole weekend they played together, and were wrestling. I was like “OMG” what’s going on? I’ve never had two dogs so I wasn’t sure if this was still play. Susie’s groomer came to meet Billy and they were wrestling and she told me that Susie engaged in that type of play at the shop all the time (she did daycare weekly). I told my husband that someone is going to sue us because of Susie’s rough play (like a Shih-Tzu can ever engage in that rough of play. LOL). By Monday Susie had this look on her face and I knew exactly what she was thinking – okay, I’m done playing, he can go now. 🙂 They’re best of friends and I love every minute of it.

  4. Oh, just the sweetest. We’ve always had Westies – irrepressible, energetic and lovable. Our latest is my devoted pal Archie, who’s a great support as I write – keeping my feet warm under the desk in winter, listening to my complaints about the writing or the computer or my cold feet. Can’t imagine life without these canine soul mates!
    (Now, I have to go refresh myself on Mary Oliver – thanks!)

  5. They are adorable! Rescues rule!! Just like my 3, they were all rescued. We waited in a strip mall plaza from 10 AM until 11 PM for the RV to arrive with our Josie Belle!!

  6. We don’t have grandchildren–only granddogs. So we get to spend lots of time with them, dog sitting. They have such personalities, and we’ve come to really love them. When they walk in the door, you can almost read their minds, “We’ll come for a visit at grandma’s house.”

  7. Adorable dogs. I grew up with dogs (and cats) but have had mostly cats as an adult because they fit my lifestyle better. I have several Goddogs that I care for frequently, though. My most memorable dog is Buster. He followed me home from school one day (with very little coaxing ;>) ) when I was in first grade. We put up posters and placed an ad in the paper, but no one claimed him, so my parents said we could keep him — both my parents were suckers for anything with 4 paws, but we were between dogs at the time. The vet said he was about 2 years old and was a terrier mix. He became our fierce protector, but didn’t like strangers much. He slept on my bed, comforted me when I cried, sang along when I practiced my piano lessons and did my voice exercises, and kept me company when I was sick. He loved to go for car rides and would go fetch his harness when it was time for Mom to go pick my dad up from work. He loved to play hide and seek with our cat. He died the day before I went back for my sophomore year of college. The best dog ever!

  8. I love these photos, especially the last one! Our rescue cocker Jessie also came to us at 10 months. Is that a thing? The story we got was that the original owner was a single mom with two kids who said having a puppy was like having a third kid and she just couldn’t do it. I always felt badly for her, because I knew if she’d hung on just a couple more months, the worst of the puppy behaviors would be behind her. But her loss was our gain–thirteen wonderful years worth.

  9. I love seeing your pups every day on facebook. They are always a favorite for me. Love all of these photos too. Tyler is my rescue who rescued me and my family when I lost my service dog/partner Rufus to heart failure. Although Tyler has not succeeded at training for service dog work he did get his cgc and is amazing. This boy is the best of both my million dollar boys – Rufus and my 21 year old gentleman giant Samson. You truly could not ask for a better boy. Quiet, playful, attentive, fun loving, gentle, you name it – Tyler’s got it.

  10. Love those pictures. My dogs have always been rescues. Our Sophie has been with us four years. She was six (best guess) when we got her. She came with some emotional baggage, lots of fears, but we help her work through them and most of the time she’s a happy girl.

  11. Oh the adorableness!! Love the dog pictures. My mom rescued a dog that looks like your Petey. His name is Cosmo and he’s the sweetest little dog ever, healthy and happy now.

  12. Awesome!! What a great story and love all the photos, especially the after adoption ones. One of our dogs loves mud too 🙂 Enough where sometimes we have to go home early because she has found mud on our hikes and rolled in it 🙂

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