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Puppy power

April 27, 2016

Many of my fellow commuters are pet people; they would prefer talking about what their pets did over the weekend to talking about their kids or significant other. Everyone has great stories of the weekend adventures, and with the current turkey-mating season in full swing, some of the stories are quite funny—especially to dog people. We were raising two Corgis who just love to herd these big birds, or squirrels, or just about anything that moves. Our dogs have plenty of area to run on our 10 acres and have been trained over the years not to wander too far from home.

As pet people know, when one loses a pet it is like losing a family member. We lost our 16-year-old Dexter two Thanksgivings ago, and his companion Toby never seemed quite the same. She would go to his spot in the living room and would whimper for many months. Dexter was a great dog, and at 16, his age was showing and his quality of life was suffering. So was he. We chose to do the humane thing and put him down.

A recent injury has me homebound for quite a few months, and we both thought this would be a perfect time for a companion for Toby and me. Our children are all grown now and out of the house; we have our first grandson and another child on the way. We searched the Pet Finder website and fell in love with many of the little cuties that are in the rescue shelters. Many were gone soon after we made our inquiry. The more we looked and were too late, the more determined we became to make one of these pups our own. I will say it now: “What were we thinking?”

Toby is six now and we rescued her as a puppy. Dexter also helped in training her, especially to know the location of the cookie jar. Raising a puppy seemed like ages ago for us, and the memories are filled with the cute photos we took of Toby—which speak nothing of the terror that a puppy can bring to a household. We also told ourselves Toby would love the companionship and help with the puppy training.

We were lucky to find Pearl at a foster home in Sussex, NJ. She was just eight weeks old. She was in a litter of eight pups rescued with their mom from a kill shelter in Kentucky. Mom was done weaning her, and she had her first shots and was good to go home. As I held the pup in my arms on the drive home, she was cute as a button. Cuddling in my arms and kissing me with puppy kisses, she stole my heart before we left the foster home’s neighborhood.