I’ve been a dog-lover since I was a year old and my parents gave me my first dog. Peppy was a cast-off chihuahua pup that someone no longer wanted. And she became my best friend, tolerant of a little girl prone to dressing her small black and white body in doll clothes. Tolerant of being carried everywhere and occasionally hidden in a breadbox. I loved her for 16 years and was heartbroken when hers gave out.
But I’ve walked the same path over and over.
It never gets easier, and I will admit this last time was the most difficult. My beautiful rescued bloodhound Rufus was diagnosed with brain cancer; at the same time, my wonderful, amazing mother received the same diagnosis. In a matter of a few short months, they were both gone. I lived in a muffled state. I did what I needed to do, taking care of my children, putting one foot in front of the other. And nothing else.
And then I met Ella.
We just went to look. I’d never really seen a beagle up close, but I’d been having a love affair with hounds for more than 20 years by that time. Ella was three pounds of sweet, cradled in my daughter’s arms. We’d always had older rescue dogs that had a hard time finding forever homes. My daughter wanted a puppy. She’d soon be heading off to college, and since we’d lost both her grandmother and her dog, it seemed like a small ask. The least I could do.
I said we’d “think about it.” In my house, this is mom-speak for “probably not.”
I wasn’t ready. I was still too raw. Luckily for us, the pup wasn’t ready either. It would be another two months before she could be placed. In September, I agreed. I was feeling guilty that I had so little to offer as a parent. Again, the least I could do.
But something stirred. When she came home, the house felt better. I felt better. Everything felt better. Two weeks later, I got a call that a second pup needed a home after her forever family changed their mind. As I held the second puppy, my husband said, “I would have done this sooner if I had known.”
Fast forward four years to right now.
My two beagle girls, Ella and Sunshine are certified therapy dogs and my daughter and I are handlers. We adopted beagle mom Cameron when she was in need of a home almost two years ago.
A Writer Goes Audible: Dog Lovers Podcast
The connection between dogs and humans is strong and amazing and I see it all the time. As a writer and a storyteller, I wanted to share these stories. I wanted to give you the chance to connect as I have, by interviewing some pretty incredible people and learning more about their relationships with their dogs. Some are folks just like you and me. Some, like Terri and Jim Heck, are inspiring as they train, handle and love their search and rescue bloodhounds. Some have taken castaways and revealed something new about themselves and the dogs in their care. Some are therapy dogs that reach children without the benefit of spoken words. And there’s so many more.
Let’s take a walk together.
Consider this your personal invitation to join me. Grab your dog (if you have one) take a walk and have a listen. Join me in celebrating and sharing this sweet dog life. I’d be honored if you came along; the more, the merrier. Keep an eye open for the official launch of Dog Lovers Podcast soon. I’ll be along presently in all the usual places. Don’t forget to check back here for show notes and some photos of these four-legged wonders.
Thanks for listening!
xx Deborah, Ella, Sunshine, Cameron & Henry