It's a full house for this reader, who takes care of an adorable doggy foursome.
We asked you to share your stories and photos of the dogs that changed your lives. This sweet note came courtesy of Lisa K. Hays from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho:
Shelby and Shaylee are Maltese sisters. Adopted from a rescue in South Florida, they were untouchable when we first met them. Scared and never socialized, it took them a week to calm down and begin to understand that they had a new life, plenty of food, and a king-sized bed to sleep in when they were ready. As you would expect from siblings, they are extremely bonded.
Sadie is a Havanese mix. Dumped in an orchard near Othello, Washington, after nursing puppies, she is as sweet as sugar and has a heart of gold. She was our fourth dog and I was in a bit of trouble with my husband for adopting her. (He thought we didn't need another dog.)
Thankfully, she's a Daddy's Girl. She came home, hopped in his lap and they both fell in love.
Sam is a Bichon mix. As much as I love our girls, Sam holds a special place in my heart. We adopted him from a rescue in Othello, Washington, two weeks after losing our MaltiPoo, Scooter. If you can have a sole mate as a dog, Scooter was mine. Losing him suddenly to an undiagnosed tumor was hard.
So, when I saw Sam bouncing up and down on his hind legs in an outdoor kennel, I had to smile. Sam looked like a miniature sheepdog. His hair was long and yellow. He was the worst smelling dog I had ever met. And when I picked him up to hold him, he shook violently. Below his hair you could feel every rib. When I began talking to him, however, he became calm, tilted his head to listen, and quickly began showing his intelligence and personality.
He had been dumped outside the rescue. What the rescue people didn't tell me for a year was that when they went to catch him, he earned the title as the meanest little dog they had ever had at the shelter. This explained why the rescue people didn't have much to say about him when I asked, and why they were both hesitant and surprised when I wanted to adopt him.
Sam is 100% sweetheart. Quarantine worked well for him as he doesn't like us to leave him, and vice versa. His "yellow" hair was actually pure white. Whoever had Sam made him sleep in his urine, which saturated his hair's follicles.
He has the same personality and behavior as Scooter did. Once we got him past the Giardia he came home with, this former starving dog learned he had plenty of food and began gaining weight. Today, he is my shadow and very vocal about when it's time to snuggle, have a snack, go outside, just about everything. He's basically a person trapped in a dog's body. He just needed people who "get" him to boss around. We are more than happy to oblige.
Honestly, we rescued Sam but we needed rescuing, too. Anyone who loses a dog knows how empty and quiet a home can become—even when you have other dogs. We were a little lost after losing Scooter. So, as badly as Sam needed a good home, we desperately needed him, too. Shelby and Shaylee loved getting a new big brother. With Sam, life got back on track again. Sadie came a year later and is Sam's favorite playmate as she plays as hard as he does.
Before this group of pups, there was Bear, Sophie, Skittles and, of course, Scooter. All adopted and extremely special angels today. Loved forever and missed always.