My friend Carol and I were talking the other day, we both have had dogs for many years, and I realized that this week is the third anniversary of my officially adopting/rescuing my first dog “Tashi”. Carol was instrumental in helping me find Tashi, my Bichon Friese, through the Oregon Dog Rescue Organization. Carol is the proud owner of Zelda, the famous bulldog. Also, Nancy Truax made the connection, who has volunteered thousands of hours taking care of dogs in distress and finding them good homes. Tashi was not too sure of what was going on when I picked him up the first day, he looked bewildered and scared, but was so sweet at seven months. He had been in a home situation where there was illness and and the man of the house was starting to throw him around. They needed to get him out fast. So Nancy came to the rescue and let Carol know about him and that’s how I found Tashi.
Here’s a photo of him today after he was groomed. He gets a haircut once a month due to his having hair, not fur, and just like us, his hair grows a lot, just like us! Tashi quickly adapted to our home and our Beyond Words office where he is the official mascot. He visits several times a month and gets lots of love and hugs from the staff. He looks forward to his long walks with our warehouseman, Larry, and Emily and Jeanette who take him out for “strolls”.
Lots of us have had dogs during our lives, and when you don’t have biological children, they become like your children, and they bring us many joys and much sadness when they pass in their short dog time. I have had several dogs in my life and they were all wonderful, but I would say that Tashi is my smallest and most favorite so far. Carol and I like to call our dogs our “Angel dogs.” I’ve seen bumper stickers referring to rescue dogs that say, “Who rescued who?”
I remember that my first dog was “Carrie” a mixed breed puppy, probably mostly airdale who I found at Girl Scout camp when I was about eleven years old. I called my Mom and asked if I could bring it home and she said “No!” That was probably my first act of real defiance over my parents’ orders, but I brought Carrie home anyway and as soon as we got her home, everyone else in the family loved her. We had never had a dog in our home before that, but my Dad had grown up with dogs and he was supportive. Well, Carrie was the first of probably 6 or 7 dogs that my parents had until my Mom finally moved into a retirement residence about 5 years ago. She had to let go of Kula, her golden lab at that time, but found him a wonderful family/home and gets to see Kula just about every year. The family even put together a book of Kula’s photos so my Mom could keep it with her and invited her to their Son’s wedding where Kula was one of the participants.
I went off to College in California in the early 1970s. After your second year you could get an apartment on campus. They allowed dogs, so I got my first Old English Sheepdog as a puppy, Hanakukuleiei, (which means naughty in Hawaiian). He just went by Hana for short. Hana was a wonderful dog, took a lot of grooming and bathing in the bathtub! He had many trips including one private flight to Dallas, Texas, over Christmas, where my roommate (whose father owned the Dallas Cowboys at the time) had a large party and Hana attended. When he decided to poop on the carpet, they carried it out on a silver platter! Hana had to go through quarantine for 6 months when I returned back to Hawaii after college which was really hard on him. We moved to Maui, and he lived out the rest of his life there where we swam with the whales and dolphins occassionally. He loved the beach and was photographed for the Honolulu Advertiser next to me on the beach just wet from the ocean.
I got my second Old English Sheepdog shortly after I bought a farm in Oregon in about 1986. I told my husband at the time that I was going to look at OES puppies, and he said, “Please don’t bring one home!” Again I didn’t listen and brought home the cutest 3 month old puppy. His name was Ragamuffin of Pumpkin Ridge (where we lived). He went by Rags for short. Rags loved the farm and the office. He herded our five arabian horses and geese and chickens and anything else that would allow him to herd it. He also got along with the two outside cats we had at the time who were good mole catchers. Hana lived to the ripe old age of 13.
Many of us have dogs or will have them sometime in our lives, and they really are our most loyal friends always happy to greet you at the door and give you a lick. They also have a healing affect on us, and I’ve been happy to spend more time with Tashi this year and feeling that full affect.
Then there are cats, but that’s another story! Tashi likes to chase them!