A house/A home…

I have the heart of a true dog lover…

When Chw and were young and a bit crazy, and two new kids living in upstate New York, we grew our little family with an adorable little roly-poly Golden Retriever puppy named Makaila. Makaila became the very best friend of our little Gen, when she came home to us.251415_10150202049326277_874492_n


When Makaila was five years old, an adorable little newborn black and barely white puppy fell into our laps. We named her Paisley, for no particular reason other than I had dreamed of getting a puppy named Paisley the night before. Paisley was tiny and dependent and bonded to me very, very deeply. As she grew, my heart wrapped so tightly around that precious little dog.

In August of Makaila’s ninth year, we learned she had bladder cancer and in a very short amount of time she made her way across that rainbow bridge. We had her cremated and her ashes were scattered at a Christmas tree farm, which I still think is the loveliest of things…



A couple of months later Paisley was lonely for a canine companion and we foolishly jumped at the first puppy we found. She is called Emma and she is a character. She and Paisley never hit it out. Emma can be funny, but she is seldom sweet and often her soul is more fire than love (in a sassy and prideful way, of course). She is the most un-dog any of us have ever known, she has made home what it is and we love her quirky ways all the same.



Ironic as it seems, this past August was Paisley’s 9th year and she too found her way to the Rainbow Bridge. It was sudden and gut wrenching and a piece of me went with her. I think a piece of all of us, even little Emma, went too. She was the epitome of love in a dog. The most pleasing, comforting, loving, accepting, reassuring creature I have ever known…

Emma has had a tough time recovering the loss of the other canine presence. She lost herself a bit and is finally emerging. My husband assures me there will be no future dogs for us. My heart both sighs with relief at his words, and aches to beg for another.

I love my kids and they make the two of us a family, binding us together and bringing about rhyme, reason and purpose… But our dogs, our dogs have made our houses home. They’ve breathed life when the darker times convinced us there was none. Their wet noses have whispered love into the loneliest of moments and often been the only things that dragged me from the pits of a depression hell in the dark days.

Dogs make the world a better place…

Tell me about any pets you have loved?

Thanks to the release of the new film A Dog’s Purpose (based on a WONDERFUL film, of the same name), which opens on 1/27, I am happy to give away a $25 Fandango credit to one reader! The giveaway ends at Midnight on 1/26! To enter simply comment here with your story of a dog you’ve loved.

In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the trailer. And just in case you missed it, here’s a link to a post I wrote about their charity support.

9 thoughts on “A house/A home…

  1. We have two dogs, a sheltie named Rebel and a shih poo named Pepper. Rebel is our old man. He was born in May 2000 and is still doing pretty well! We think he may have found the Tuck’s long lost spring. Pepper is our wild child. She is over six years old, but thinks that she is a puppy still. Come to think of it, she is even more prove that the spring was found! Recently, a cat adopted us as well. She is a Maine Coon named Pandora and the vet said she will probably be bigger than Pepper when she grows up. We are looking forward to seeing how the relationship dynamic shifts at that point. Big girl is begging for a bunny and younger twin has a bearded dragon so sometimes it feels like we live in a zoo!

  2. For me, this post couldn’t have come on a better day because today is Chops birthday. Who is Chops you might ask? He was a spoiled rotten Japanese Chin that I loved with all of my heart and soul. Chops was a part of our world for 10 years and I’m convinced that he came directly from heaven and was meant just for our family. I was never one of those “dog people” – To be quite honest, I always looked upon them as their own brand of crazy — until there was Chops!! Chops was our first and only dog (and heavens best kept secret!) The greatest gift my husband ever gave me was driving this little dog in the car 12 hours when my daughter was being deployed to Afghanistan (when he said that there was no way that he would!) to stay with me while I packed up her home and drove back home to West Virginia. This little dog stayed by my side while I cried some of the most gut wrenching tears of my life. My marriage was so enriched by him. Oh, the memories. No one can ever explain to you the language that they are able to convey to you. My life was just simply better by one little dog – and his name was Chops! — I miss this little dog each and every day.

  3. We don’t have a dog or cat right now but I think they are wonderful. What a beautiful post. My 4 year old wants to see a dogs purpose, and he’ll probably want a dog after that lol. When we have been blessed to have pets they have been amazing companions and they bring such peace to my anxiety. One day we will have a dog…hopefully. I enjoyed reading this.

  4. My husband and I have been married for 23 years and we had never owned a dog. My husband suffers with pretty severe allergies which strangely seem to be triggered more by dogs than cats. So we have had a few cats over the years. I follow several pet rescue groups on facebook and this one pretty Amstaff mix boy named “Patch” kept staring at me week after week looking for his forever home. Not long after I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. I almost immediately went out on medical leave from work and started intense chemotherapy treatments, then eventually surgery and radiation. As one can imagine, chemo treatment is pretty taxing and I felt generally awful most of the time. My husband continued to work full time except for treatment days, my kids were both away at college and most of my friends and extended family also worked full time. I was feeling crappy, bored and lonely. I couldn’t get sweet “Patch” out of my mind and decided to play the cancer card and asked my husband if we could have a dog. I practiced my persuasive speech citing companionship, exercise and safety. Surprisingly he said he would be willing to try some new allergy medications and gave me the okay to schedule a visit with Patch and his foster mom. Patch came to visit and never went back to his foster home. We changed Patch’s name to Luke (as in the great healer, patron saint of physicians) and he has fit into our family perfectly. Luke has perfect manners and loves to take a walk just as much as he likes to snuggle on the couch. He’s been a wonderful companion to both of us, and can’t imagine life without him.

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