I’m taking a cue from She Moved to Texas and this Fraggle Friday am participating in a blog hop of My 5 Heart Dogs!
I’m going chronologically, not in order of importance, as all 5 dogs hold a very special place in my heart, obviously.
Montana was the first dog who was all mine. I adopted her from the SPCA while I was in college. Unlike most college students who adopt dogs, I was OBSESSED with her care. She went on a million walks a day, and soon became a fixture at my friend’s homes and when I had to go out of town for sports tournaments, my friends would fight over who got to petsit her. She was so easy and well behaved and the perfect dog for a college student. I adopted her when she was about 3 years old and had her for ten years. She started my interest in animal sheltering and I credit her with my career of helping people and pets.
Maya was given up to the vet school where I was working because she couldn’t walk. The neurologist diagnosed her with myasthenia gravis and her prognosis was grim. About 10% of dogs with this disease recover. To everyone’s surprise, Maya made a full recovery… and then they needed to find her a home. I have always loved Springers, so I stepped up to the plate. Maya was the SWEETEST puppy. My Dad, who was going through a divorce and feeling quite lonely met her and fell in love. Not giving him Maya would have been cruel. They were constant companions for 12 years. She was the easiest dog- we never trained her, she just knew what was expected of her. She loved everyone she met and a nicer dog could not be found.
My fiancee at the time got Stella to be his hunting dog. And she was a hunting MACHINE. She was also a running and hiking machine. She was my first foray into high energy hunting dogs, and she made me WORK for any affection. But, when we broke up, and Stella was a crazy 2 year old, the thought of giving her to him forever wasn’t an option. So, I eneded up making him very angry and kept Stella. My ex and I don’t speak, but I don’t care. She would have been hit by a car, or discarded by him, shortly after he had her full time. She was one of the toughest dogs I’ve ever had in terms of energy requirements and training. But it was worth every minute. She’s always had a friendly and social personality and I have never had to worry about her around kids, strangers or other animals. Now 13, Stella is easy. She still goes for 3 mile runs, and hikes with me, but is also happy to spend the day lounging. She has always been my heart dog- I have worried about her every day for 13 years. I cannot express how much I love this dog and she had better be with me for a lot longer.
I had Stella and Montana, and was contacted by someone giving away their dog. They needed it gone IMMEDIATELY. She wouldn’t hunt and was basically worthless to these folks. I wasn’t looking for a third dog, but once I met her I couldn’t say no. Sassy and Stella became best friends. Sassy was ridiculously easy for a puppy. I ended up driving her from Idaho to NY for my Dad who had been looking for a second dog. Sassy still lives with him, she’s about 12 years old now, and my Dad mentions every day how much he loves her. In fact, she has turned him into a lover of bearded dogs as well. Sassy is the sweetest. I love how happy she’s made my Dad and also love that every time I go back home, she remembers me and immediately ditches my Dad to come sleep in my room 🙂
Squirrel was another dog who I didn’t expect to get. A hunting facility was closing down and getting rid of their dogs. There was one dog left. A 7 year old, unspayed, female. She had never lived inside, and when I went to go meet her, her pen was DISGUSTING. I literally said I would take her before even letting her out of the kennel. The guy thanked me, and was relieved he wouldn’t have to shoot her. Such a lovely man. Turns out Squirrel is Sassy’s mom. She had Sassy when she was just over a year (good breeders). One of my favorite moments is when I drove Squirrel back to NY and she and Sassy were reunited. They may not have remembered each other, but they were fast friends and poor Stella lost both her best friends on that trip as Sassy and Squirrel refused to do anything without each other. Squirrel passed away from mammary cancer just over two years ago. I had her spayed when I got her, but it wasn’t enough to keep the cancer away. I loved Squirrel so much. She was naughty, and quirky, and a total dork, but considering what her life had been before I met her, she acclimated to life with me incredibly quickly. She and Stella were absolute besties. I think Stella still misses her.
You may notice a certain monkey dog who isn’t on this list. I have no doubt Siri will one day be one of my heart dogs, but for now, I wanted to honor the dogs who have had a lasting impact on me already.