Love Me Love My Dog

Somewhere between 7:30 and 8:45 every morning, without fail, I am woken up by a large tongue in my face. Nope, not nearly as titillating as it sounds. It’s Petey, one of my two dogs. Petey is a fairly new addition to our household, joining Milo, who we adopted in June of 2014 when he was only 8 weeks old and 2.5 pounds. Petey was originally a foster dog for us in June of 2015, and within three days of living with him we knew we couldn’t bear to see him leave.

Petey.

Petey.

While we got to train and mold Milo and see him grow up, Petey was already a year and a half old when we got him. He’d been living on the streets of Georgia for a while before being picked up and brought to a high kill shelter, which means that had In Our Hands Rescue not intervened, Petey would no longer exist. He came up north with our weekly animal rescue transport with the temporary name of “Ranger,” and was given a second lease on life.

I brought Ranger/Petey home because my husband and I needed a break from fostering puppies, mainly because our floors needed a good cleaning. So he requested that I bring home a dog that was house trained, and Ranger/Petey fit the bill. He was incredibly skinny, and I wanted to fatten him up a bit before the next weekend’s adoption events. Plus, he looked so much like Milo that I just had to get a few pictures of that matching set before Ranger/Petey found his permanent home.

I walked him through the park all the way to our apartment, about 2 miles, and he never slowed down or became disinterested in the world around him. Dogs, kids, squirrels, flowers, grass, you name it, he wanted to smell it, roll around in it, pee on it, be a part of it. But when we got to the entrance to my building, he froze. His back legs locked up, and he wouldn’t go any further. So I scooped him up, carried him upstairs, and he never left.

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Petey and Milo.

There are so many human beings who have been through incredibly difficult times, and have persevered and lived to tell their tales that inspire us all. But my daily inspiration comes from a 17 pound dog named Petey with one black eye and one white eye, who wakes up every single morning incredibly excited to live. Imagine waking up, literally jumping out of bed with a genuine smile already in place, instead of lying there, thinking about all of the errands you have to run or phone calls you have to make, and becoming discouraged before you even set one foot on the floor. Petey knows nothing but pure joy and anticipation at 8 AM. He can’t wait to start the day, because who knows what it will bring? Maybe a great treat? Maybe a trip to the dog park? Maybe a nice nap on the couch with mom? (Definitely that last one.) It could be anything! All Petey knows is that he is loved, the day is young, and there is grass to be eaten somewhere.

Once outside, there is so much to see. It doesn’t matter that the trees on our block haven’t changed since yesterday. To Petey, they deserve a daily hello and their own personal watering (not as helpful as you think, buddy). Every dog we pass by needs to be greeted in a friendly way, no matter how big or small, what breed or color, male or female. Every human, same thing. If someone snubs Petey, it doesn’t bother him. He knows that the world is large and there are many other friends out there for him to make, and he trots forward.

If Petey is tired and you happen to be sitting on the couch, he jumps up and snuggles so close that you can feel his little heart beating against your rib cage. There is no such thing as too close to Petey; he loves love.

Petey snuggling with his dad.

Petey snuggling with his dad.

I try not to imagine the things that Petey may have gone through before we were fortunate enough to claim him, but I’m sure it involved some cold rainy nights alone on the street, and searching for food constantly, and running away from bigger, nastier dogs. So when he curls up to me, all I want to do is love him enough to make up for the first year and a half of his life that he may have missed out on that. I want him to know that he will never be alone again; Colin, Milo and I are his family now, and he will always have a warm lap to sleep in, a brother to play with, and food in the same place at the same time, every single day.

For a dog to survive what he must have survived is incredible. To survive and only be thrilled by the prospect of living? That takes a special kind of spirit. Every morning, Petey reminds me that each day is a gift, and I should face the world with gratitude and positivity. Even if it includes picking up poop.

If you are interested in adopting a dog or cat and live in the NYC area, please visit http://www.inourhandsrescue.org.Β 

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28 thoughts on “Love Me Love My Dog

  1. I’ve never commented on your blog before but felt compelled to do so now. This post made me cry, for multiple reasons. First it made me miss my dog, who passed a year and a half ago. She had many of the qualities that you describe in Petey and I miss the unconditional love that only she could give. Secondly, it made me think about how we as people sometimes get so down and out that we forget to look around us and enjoy the little things. You should be proud of all you and Colin do for all these lost little dogs who only want some love. You’re ensuring that this world remains a positive and loving place by giving a part of your home and yourself. If only more people would do that.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, it’s hard to lose a dog. They become such integral parts of our families. I would love to adopt or foster, but as I’m currently getting my master’s degree I don’t feel it’d be fair to take one on with so little time on my hands. And no local shelter to volunteer at unfortunately. But I will definitely adopt in the future.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You don’t know how much I wish I could rescue one of the dogs you and Colin constantly post about that need good homes. I firmly believe that by saving a dog, you somehow end up saving yourself as well. I can only hope that one day I am able to help out as many dogs as I can!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Next week will be one year since Charlie came to my home. Four years old and in and out of four homes and two pounds due to a urinary problem requiring special food and inability to housebreak. His “foster status” lasted about three hours. I say let there be pee. Floors are replaceable. This guy isn’t. Love to you, your husband, Milo and Petey.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so glad there are people in this world who give a sh*t about animals and do something personal about it. Petey is a sweet and loving dog who was lucky enough to find you both… and in return he has enriched your lives with his zest for life! Thanks for this blog entry that made a huge lump in my throat as I smiled wide at everything you wrote!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Imagine the same morning greeting by a 100lb Great Dane named Izzy. We also just adopted our foster dog, Tuna, and can relate to knowing, almost instantly, that she belongs with our family, forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. New reader of your blog, here… Just read through some of your previous posts, and I really like the way you think and see things. So refreshing! Keep writing! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your post is so beautifully expressed and such an important reminder to my own life, it brought tears to my eyes. You are a great writer and I always look forward to your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

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