Archive for March, 2013

Say hello to Maddy…

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , on March 2, 2013 by stflyfisher

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”

Will Rogers
Will Rogers said it best: dogs are good. They live their short lives on this earth looking up to whomever walks into their lives and this goes back to early man who was looking for a guardian, hunting companion, and beast of burden.
Dogs have come a long way, all in service to man...

Dogs have come a long way, all in service to man…

Dogs don’t judge; they are the very essence of unconditional love. Come home from after a bad day, depressed, tired, even angry, and though they’ve been home all alone, they come to you, tail wagging, as if Jesus Christ had just come back to earth.
Long are the tales of a dog’s absolute devotion and loyalty. Hidesamuro Ueno brought his dog, an Akita named Hachiko, to Tokyo in 1924 and every day when he left for his teaching job, Hachiko would stand by the door and watch him go. The Akita would then arrive at the local train station at 4 p.m. to meet his owner when he returned from work. Ueno later died of a stroke at work, but Hachiko continued to return to the train station every single day for the next 10 years until his death in 1935. A bronze statue stands at Shibuya Station in honor of Hachiko.
Hachiko: loyal to the end...

Hachiko: loyal to the end…

Then there’s Hawkeye, the Labrador retriever, that showed dogs too suffer from heartbreak. During Navy SEAL John Tumilson’s funeral, Hawkeye was seen ambling up to his owner’s coffin and then dropping to the ground with a heaving sigh.
Hawkeye, a chocolate lab, grieves for his fallen owner...

Hawkeye grieves for his fallen owner. No greater love…

Indeed, I remember my grandmother once saying she never trusted any person who didn’t like dogs…
Up until very recently, I’d been dog-less for too long. I grew up with dogs, after all, starting with Cocker Spaniels, thanks to my grandparents who bred and showed them. Blue Bay was their kennel – home to many champions of conformation and obedience. Years later my wife and I owned Basenjis, a unique hound breed out of Africa, known to many as the ‘barkless dog’. We showed Kephas (our male) and Yodie (our female), and after finishing them as AKC Champions, they had a litter of 5 puppies. The litter pick, Blue Bay’s Violet Memory, was named in honor of my grandmother and was my way of thanking her for bringing dogs into my life. ‘Violet’ produced many champions. One of her descendents was the first black and white Basenji to win the breed at Westminster.
Kephas and Yodie passed on, as all dogs do, and we took a break from dogs. It was nice at first not having to walk a dog in the pouring rain or frigid cold, shouting under one’s breath every expletive known to man in front of ‘just go…!’, and yes, the house seemed a lot cleaner, dirty laundry left undisturbed, cherry cheesecakes not yanked off tables, etc., etc., but after a few years without panting and yodeling and all those dog antics – comic and touching – well, something was missing. My wife stood fast for a while, claiming she wanted to enjoy the house ‘chew-free’, until out of the blue, she noticed this picture in the news…
Those eyes...

Those eyes…

The rest, as they say, is history. A week after noticing this Lab / Hound mix, we all went to see her. The bond was immediate and magical. It wasn’t another week before she was brought to us, courtesy of Every Dog’s Dream, a pet shelter in Greene, NY. Maddy wagged into our lives and where my wife saw a good walking companion, I immediately dreamed of a fly fishing friend.

Maddy...

Maddy…

It turns out that Maddy was one of a litter of 5 puppies born somewhere in South Carolina. The litter had been left to a high risk shelter, where dogs are often put down. Fortunately, Maddy and her litter-mates were sent north. Audrey at Every Dog’s Dream referred to Maddy as an adorable, big hearted girl who had good manners and liked being close to her humans. Our adoption proved she was more than right.

While pure-bred dogs have their place in life and certainly serve a purpose, the sheer number of homeless dogs continues to sky-rocket. Many of these dogs are real gems, such as we have found in Maddy, and all they’re looking for is a chance to warm a heart.

My plans for Maddy include lots of love and play, obedience training, and ultimately, a seat beside me on the way to flowing waters.

LetsGoFishing600px

I know the Lab part of her breeding will win her over to water and I’ll promise her this…

“Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.”
Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

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