Tuesday, August 21, 2012



Well, it has been a rather emotional 24 hours for us. We have had it in the back of our minds for awhile to maybe find us a second dog, not only as a companion for Pheebe but a companion for ourselves as well. We know the joy & happiness 2 or 3 best Pals can bring. Kelly spotted a nice looking dog on Kijiji Monday morning in the nearby town of Clinton. She was a 2 year old White Shepherd. A phone call to the owner confirmed she was a mild mannered dog needing a bigger home & area to run & play. Owning a pet can be a little bit like a marriage in that a perfect match will always have a better chance of success in things working out. Some folks are well suited to smaller lap dogs while others prefer larger breeds. Matching the right dog to the right person is always the key. This dog's name was Lucy.
Monday night after supper Kelly, Pheebs, & I decided to drive over to Clinton & meet Lucy. At 65 pounds we knew she was going to be much larger than we had been thinking. And, she was. But, Lucy had one of those warm friendly temperaments that just makes it's way into your heart. We could tell right away she was warm ,affectionate, & loving. And, we could tell her & Pheebs would be fine together once they got to know each other. But, she was just so big. We could see Lucy's owner Tony, & Lucy’s 'Grandparents' loved her very much but the neighborhood was just too small for her wanderings.  Tony was working full time & had to make some changes. Took us nearly an hour to decide what to do.  We both had a feeling she might be too big & too independent for us & it was because of these doubts we agreed with the owner to just take her home with us for a couple days to see how things worked out.
IMG_0133I sincerely wished I could tell you things worked out perfectly, but unfortunately they did not. Kelly & I have been dog owners now for the past 17 years. Every single day for all of those years our lives have revolved around our best Pals. Our dog's have always been priority for us & we like to see them free of leashes & chains.  We have a fenced in backyard  but we made the mistake of thinking our 4' high fence would be adequate for Lucy, but it was not. Max & Checkers, also big dogs had never attempted to jump over it but within 10 minutes of bringing Lucy home she was over the gate like a deer,bounding through the neighbor's yards. She would not come to us despite our repeated calls. We had a hard time getting her back but Kelly finally lured her in close enough with some doggy treats to grab her collar. That little incident told us we had a very major problem. We could not just leave our back door open as we are accustomed to & let her have access to our yard at any time. When I took her out Monday night & Tuesday morning I had to tightly hang on to her leash as she made a second attempt at jumping over the gate. Because we have had a lot of experience with dogs I knew it wasn't first night jitters. Our neighbour's have cats & Lucy made a bee-line right for their place & gobbled up all the cat food they had left on their porch.  She then bounded off into another neighbor’s yard who we knew had a big dog.  From there it was into a third yard.  We knew right away this was going to be an on-going problem.

Lucy was totally at home with us & comfortable while inside. She loved playing with all Pheebe's toys & the two of them were getting along fine despite each one playfully shoving the other one out of the way rivalling for our attention. While at the computer Lucy would come sit beside me for snuzzles. Same thing in my recliner. She was not anxious & did not show any signs of separation anxiety. She felt at home with us, & while inside we felt at home with her. However, Kelly & I had ourselves a restless night because we both understood that despite this beautiful dog's nature we were probably not going to be able to keep her.  We just had a feeling she was going to be too much dog for us to handle outside.  And, she was.
Our morning walk did not go well. Had Lucy on a leash & seeing Pheebe out front running free it was a constant strain to hold her back because she has never been leash trained. We reached a wide clearing area & decided to try walking her 'off leash'.  As readers well know, we are not leash people. She was fine walking along the bush trail for about 5 minutes but she would not come when called despite our best efforts. Even a small bit of recognition would have been helpful but she was too independent & had never really been trained well to voice commands.  Pheebs took after a Squirrel in the woods with Lucy right behind her. A minute later Pheebs was back on the trail but Lucy was not. I headed off into the wood's calling for her, but nothing. Couldn't see her & couldn't hear anything. My heart sank as I kept calling & calling. Then, from way behind me I heard Kelly shout. She had spotted Lucy near the trail & got her to come with a treat. Hurried back & quickly put the leash on her but in my worried haste I made a mistake. I unknowingly clipped the leash onto her dog tag ring instead of the heavier collar ring. About 10 minutes later on the way home Pheebe spotted a bunny. With one lurch Lucy was free & headed off into the underbrush right behind Pheebs. Again we could not get her to come back despite repeated calling & offers of more treats. She headed down an embankment into a muddy creek & came back up muddy & full of burrs.  And, then she spotted the big pond. 
Did I mention she had long white fur:((

Tony told us she loves water & with one big splash Lucy was in the pond & ended up swimming it’s entire length. (top photo) I was on one side & Kelly was on the other. Only hope we had of catching her was to be at the water's edge where she decided to climb out & it turned out to be Kelly's side. With a treat in hand Kelly was able to secure her collar as I made my way around the pond with her leash. Noticed right away her 2 dog tags were missing so we went back to the other end of the pond where she had broken free & located one of the two missing tags. From there it was straight home to the security of 'in the house'. We both sadly knew by this time what we had to do. We could keep Lucy for another day hoping things might be better but being around dogs as much as we have our experience told us Lucy needed a lot of space to run & she also needed a very dedicated person to work with & train her.  I found it difficult a year ago at this time being patient with Pheebe’s training & I knew I didn’t have the kind of patience anymore it would take to train Lucy properly.  And, with the way Lucy’s fur had picked up that load of burrs this morning we knew the difficulties ahead in letting her run free on our walks .  And then there was her size……………….
It's Tuesday morning as I type this. Lucy is asleep beside me in a patch of sun on the floor. Pheebs is snoozing on the couch behind me. All appears well but I know it isn’t as I wait for Lucy's fur to dry out a bit from her pond swim so I can try getting some more burrs out of her. Kelly in the meantime phoned Tony saying we would have to bring her back. He was every bit as disappointed as we were this morning that things had not worked out. I have only known Lucy less than 12 hours & here I sit typing this with tears in my eyes knowing I will have to take her back shortly. I feel every bit as sad as when we lost our Max, Checkers, & little Cora. It is just the way it is & always has been with me & dogs. I just get so attached to them so fast.  But, there are times when tough decisions have to be made for the betterment of all & this morning was one of those times. As I said before, It is extremely important to match the right person with the right dog. We came very close with Lucy, but just not quite close enough for the happy ending we had all been hoping for.


{Update} Tuesday night............... It was a tearful drive for me this morning taking Lucy back home. She rode so nice in the Jeep as I petted her soft fur. Her 'Grandma & Grandpa' were there & a big thank-you goes out to them for being so understanding. Of course I was an emotional wreck & it was not easy for me to say goodbye to this beautiful dog I had known for less than 12 hours. But, one consolation, I had the distinct feeling 'Grandma & Grandpa' were happy to see her home again. With their renewed talk of building a backyard fence.....maybe Lucy is home to stay.

IMG_0146 IMG_0144



Well, that's it for my day & tomorrow I will wake up & start all over again....just like we all do. One thing may have changed though. I don't think we are going to pursue our hopes for a second dog. If it's meant to be I guess it will happen someday, but in the meantime, our days of looking are over for now.  Kelly’s Okay, but I can’t handle these kinds of emotional doggy wringers.  An extra 6 dozen hugs for the Pheebs tonight..........................10-4.


GROANER'S CORNER:(( With today's emotionally draining doggy day I figured a little furry humor was in order.......

The Top 20 Reasons Dogs Do Not Use Computers

20. Can't stick their heads out of Windows 7.
19. Fetch command not available on all platforms.
18. Hard to read the monitor with your head cocked to one side.
17. Too difficult to "mark" every website they visit.
16. Can't help attacking the screen when they hear "You've Got Mail."
15. Fire hydrant icon is very frustrating.
14. Involuntary tail wagging is dead giveaway they're browsing www . pethouse.com instead of working.
13. Keep bruising noses trying to catch all the pop-up ads.
12. Not at all fooled by Chuckwagon Screen Saver.
11. Still trying to come up with an "emoticon" that signifies tail-wagging.
10. Oh, but they WILL... with the introduction of the Microsoft Opposable Thumb.
9. Three words: Carpal Paw Syndrome.
8. 'Cause dogs ain't GEEKS! Now, cats, on the other hand...
7. Barking in next cube keeps activating YOUR voice recognition software.
6. SmellU-SmellMe still in beta test.
5. SIT and STAY were hard enough, GREP and AWK are out of the question!
4. Saliva-coated mouse gets mighty difficult to manoeuvre.
3. Annoyed by lack of newsgroup, alt.pictures.master's.leg.
2. Butt-sniffing more direct and less deceiving than online chat rooms.
and the Number 1 Reason Dogs Do Not Use Computers...
1. TrO{gO DsA[M,bN HyAqR4tDc TgrOo TgYPmE WeIjTyH P;AzWqS,.*

- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.

- Home is where your pet is:))

- "If having a soul means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals
are better off than a lot of humans."
(James Herriot)

- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward

- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.

- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.



  1. I'm sorry it didn't work out, but I think you hit the nail on the head and the best thing is to wait for the right dog to come along if it's meant to be. I have the feeling a pal for you, Kelly and Pheebs is in the cards.

  2. I cried along with you Al. I'm sad it didn't work out for you guys and Lucy but it would have been worse to take her and then lose her somewhere in the desert. I think I could become an animal hoarder. I want to love them all.

  3. Yes, Lucy was, and is, a handful. I think a younger couple with acreage would be good for her. Especially if they have no burrs, and a pool, not a dirty pond!!

    As Gypsy said, the right one will come along... and usually when you least expect it.

    Happy Tails, and Trails, Penny.

  4. Too bad it did not work out for you guys... Tomorrow is another day!

  5. Too bad it wasn't working out. But Al, this dog is not a white shepherd. It is much more a Huskie-mix. The tail, the head -it's not a shepherd. But she is soooo very beautiful. And Huskies are escapers and independent runners. They love that.

  6. Beautiful dog and so sorry you had to make that tough decision. Better in the long run though. Hugs to Pheebs.

  7. Such a heart break. Yet the right dog will find you.

  8. She is a beautiful dog and I am sure she would make a wonderful family member once she "settled in". But I so understand the frustration of a dog that doesn't come when called. Not to mention that it is so unsafe for them.

  9. tears here too..so sorry it didn't work out for Lucy..she would have been a welcome addition if only she 'knew it'..sure sounds like she is a 'wild child'..
    a large dog with 'good house manners' is nice but it is the outside stuff that can be a problem..you and Kelly made the right decision. :*)

  10. The real shame of it is that a good-hearted, but rambunctious, dog would be a charming urchin if it was small. It's a shame that so many dogs are just too large for modern living for most people.

    In a way I feel sorry for your second dog whoever it turns out to be. It would be hard for it to compete against the Pheebs in personality. It would be so unfair for it to come off bad by comparison.

  11. Such a beautiful dog, but guess it was not meant to be. Maybe again someday!

  12. I understand all to well the issue of being patient with training a dog. Patches and I had our 'times' early on in our relationship. It is also a continuing effort to correct her reaction to other dogs. I don't think I would want to do it again.

  13. Take a look at a border collie or part border collie. Our friend has had nothing but--and border collies are easily trained; respectful; playful; and very smart. One would be a great companion for The Pheebs. Good Luck! Keep trying! Your emotions indicate the love you carry in your heart.

  14. Al, I think Lucy is mostly Akita. Her size, stance, tail, and the set of her ears are right. Her nose seems a little narrow, though, but that might just be because of her light color.

    I've had Akitas for 40 years and a white one from 1985 to 1995. They are a very tough breed to train.

    You didn't get to meet our current Akita when you were here because I was afraid he'd knock your Aunt Jean down. He gets a bit excited meeting new people and he weighs more than Jean. ;)

    Keep looking, you'll find the perfect dog, again.


  15. You did the right thing. Living with her would have been too stressful always worrying. I do hope that they will build that fence & keep her though.
    The right dog will come along when the time is right...

  16. Some things are just meant to be....

  17. We were so lucky with our HoundHerd. All rescues! We took the biggest chance with Radar! We were in Idaho when we saw Radar's photo at our then hometown Human Society in FL! We spent well over $300 to have him treated for heartworms before we even met him 2 months later. Lucy is very beautiful, but I totally understand your decision. Love your Canyon de Chelly photo!