Dog lovers unite!

Hello friends and fellow bloggers, especially those from the Slice of Life Story Challenge hosted by http://www.twowritingteachers.wordpress.com/. As an aspiring children’s book author, I like to read children’s books for inspiration for my blog. Up this week: dogs, dogs, dogs! More specifically, loving dogs because of their less-than-perfect behavior. I discovered a perfect book for this on Anita Silvey’s Children’s Book-A-Day Almanac, http://childrensbookalmanac.com/.  I can’t recommend this site enough if you are a fan of children’s literature. The book is called, Pinkerton, Behave! The title and the following illustration pretty much says it all:

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Reflections: I have a dog named Maggs, whom I love dearly. As silly as it may sound, Maggs has made me wonder if there is some sort of master plan to the universe to help us be happy. So many lucky things had to happen to bring her into my life: if the boy I used to mentor had never stolen that bike, then he would have never gotten caught by the police, then he would have never had an intake hearing in which I was the attorney at, and I would’ve never given him a lecture about truancy, and his mom would’ve never called me when she was worried about him missing class, and I would have never mentored him, which means I would have never found my dog while dropping him off at home one day. Wow, right?

Right now, Maggs is curled up next to me on the bed (don’t tell Matt!) while I write. When I think about many of her bad habits, I realize the main problem is I find them endearing. Still, I think that in the whole scheme of dogs, she’s very well-behaved. She doesn’t chew furniture….anymore. When she was about 8 months old (I found her at 6 months), I felt bad about her being in a cage all day while I was at work, so I let her out when I went to work. She did fine in the morning, but the afternoon was a different story…

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She doesn’t come when she’s called when she’s outside off-leash, but she doesn’t run away either. This is all it takes for Matt to despair of her. “What kind of dog doesn’t come for bacon?” he said to me one day as Maggs sprinted around our yard, ignoring him and his bacon entirely. Only Matt could think bacon solves all problems.

She is terrible on the leash. However, in her defense, I have never tried to teach her how to walk appropriately. I rationalize that when we are outside, it’s “her time,” so I think I’m being nice when I let her pull me in her excitement to explore. I also think it’s really cute that she spends the first ten minutes of our walks with the leash in her mouth, often tugging at it to make me walk faster. We get a lot of “who is walking who?” comments when we’re out:

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She doesn’t eat food off the counter…unless she is at my parent’s place, so I guess I understand why they think she has some behavior problems. However, she is nowhere near as bad as Ziggy, the dog we had growing up, was when it came to food. When I showed the following picture to Matt, he said: “So encouraging bad behavior in pets is a family tradition?” He also made me promise to put that in the blog.

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She would gleefully hunt and/or chase cats, squirrels, rabbits, and cows if given the chance. I thankfully wasn’t around when she chased our cows the other day (really is amazing that Matt didn’t kill her when she did that), so I don’t have a picture of that. But I suspect she would enjoy catching live animals as much as she does her toys:

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But in the end, none of that matters because she is the best. She even helps me work (or distracts me from work in really cute ways):

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I will end with a plug for fostering and/or adopting rescue dogs (or cats). Since most won’t be as lucky to find a homeless pet on the side of the road like I did, I’ll recommend a few organizations that do a lot of great work. For Wisconsin friends, Tailwaggers 911 Dog Rescue is a phenomenal organization that rescues dogs from a high-kill shelter in Georgia: http://tailwaggers911.com/. GRROW (Golden Retriever Rescue of Wisconsin http://www.grrow.org/) has a special place in my heart because they do a lot of rescue work with older golden retrievers (I love goldens- I thought Maggs was one when I first found her). For any IL friends, PAWS (http://www.pawschicago.org/) is a no-kill shelter in Chicago that rescues both cats and dogs. And of course, there is always your local humane society. I put in my application to start volunteering at mine, and I’m really excited about it.

Hope you enjoyed the blog today and would ask you to please share it with others who might want to join the conversation. Also, please share some of your own dog (or cat) stories below or your favorite rescue organizations near you. As this blog probably makes clear, I never tire of a good pet story. 

20 thoughts on “Dog lovers unite!

  1. My last two dogs were ‘rescued’-lovely small & large dogs-am thinking of what’s next-miss having a pet! This is very cute & she does seem so lovable, pretty too! My brother just retired from running a foster program in order to rescue all kinds of animals-did it for a long, long time. Thanks for reminding us about the importance of adopting animals already here!

    • Thanks for the comment, Linda. So great you rescued dogs and that your brother ran a foster program. I unfortunately can’t foster right now b/c Maggs doesn’t get along well w/ other dogs, but I try and help out in any other way I can. Such a good a cause.

    • Thank you for the comment! Yes, I agree- when I discovered the Pinkerton books, I thought about how much fun it’d be to write a book about Maggs. All dogs have such unique personalities- they always make for great stories 🙂

  2. I love this and I know friends who only adopt rescue dogs or take in foster dogs. I’m a dog lover. I’d love to be a dog owner but my life won’t work well with a dog. But I loved your rich dog story 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment! For the longest time, my life wasn’t dog-ready either- they are a time commitment! Moving to the country helped w/ that though- however, I just recently started having a busier schedule at work, requiring me to leave the house more often. She is NOT happy about it! 🙂

  3. I loved *Pinkerton, Behave!* – good choice to highlight! I’m looking forward to reading that to Alex once she is old enough to say, “Good thing Loki and Athena don’t jump out the window like that!” While I don’t find Loki’s ball-obsession bad habits to be endearing, I do adore her post-fetching eccentricities like flopping down next to the water bowl and drinking madly with her head resting on the bowl’s edge.

    • Aaron, I so wanted to work Loki and Athena into this post, but they are so well-behaved, it just wouldn’t work. I’ll have to read some book about really well-mannered dogs and then we can include pics of Athena and Loki.

    • Thanks for commenting, Tara, and so great that you have known the joy of rescuing pets as well. And glad you like the pictures. I was having so much fun of looking through my pictures that it was hard to decide which ones. “Oh be she looks so cute in that one too….” 🙂 I got a little carried away.

  4. I need the Pinkerton books!!! So glad to have the children’s lit site, thank you!

    With my grade 4/5 ELD class for intermediate language learners, I’ve been reading aloud cat and dog books and we’ve been constructing complex sentences with cat (independent) and dog (dependent) clauses.

    A teacher never has too many cat or dog books or stories. Perhaps on my blog tomorrow I’ll tell the story of my cat, Mickey’s, strange behavior last weekend.

    • I couldn’t agree more about never having enough cat and dog books! I had so many favorites when I was a child, but I am loving discovering new ones. I look forward to reading your blog about your cat. While I’m a dog lover (also mildly allergic to cats), I love the ways in which cats are quirky. Not a day goes by w/o my mother telling me a funny story about her cat, Puma.

  5. Where would we be without our four legged family members? Maggs sounds like several members of my family. Star, the dog who owns me now, is unabashed counter surfer and horrible leash walker! Such a fun post!

    • Thanks for the comment, Carol! I love the way you put it: “the dog who owns me now.” I forgot to include this in my reminiscing, but one of my favorite Maggs stories was when I took her to a new vet. The vet was great, but he was definitely more comfortable with animals than people- he only looked at Maggs while talking to me. He had a habit of slipping in hysterical, soft spoken condemnations of my dog ownership while giving me the usual dog education advice. My favorite of all these condemnations was: “your dog senses you are not a natural leader.” He was usually spot-on with his criticisms, so I forgave him his lack of social graces.

  6. Dogs are the best! As you know my dogs are goofy, always excited to see people, they are loving, loyal and would knock you over and lick you to death if you let them. Even when we tend to get upset with them, think about it……..they NEVER hold a grudge, they return nothing but love. I can’t imagine life without my babies. Although we recently had to put one of our babies down. He is home now, sitting on the mantle. Life without a Dog is just plain boring.

    • Thanks Jen! I can’t believe I forgot to link to you as a fellow dog lover when I posted this on FB today. I miss your dogs. I loved the way took over the furniture and half sat on you. Maggs does that too, but she’s a lot smaller than your pups.

  7. My favorite is that picture of that fuzzy face on the keyboard. I grew up with large dogs, but now have two small dogs. They will sometimes climb right up onto my laptop to intercept my line of sight to the screen. It is a great reminder that sometimes there are more important things to do…like pet a dog.

  8. We are gearing up to adopt not one, but 2 kittens/cats from PAWS in Chicago. I am really missing Howie! It has been almost six months since she died, so I feel ready to fill that hole in my heart with some new kittens. We have visited PAWS a few times already and it is so fun to see all those cats bouncing around together and cuddling each other. I am so happy that my new husband loves cats as much as I do (and perhaps has intensified my love for cats).

    • Marisa, that’s so great you’re going to adopt new kittens! Having 1 is fun, but you’ll love all the ways they interact when you have 2. A good friend of mine went to adopt a cat from PAWS and came away w/ 2 :). Can’t wait to see the pics of your new family members!

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