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This week (September 24-30, 2017) is National Dog Week! To celebrate, Walk & Wag team members have shared a little something about the special dogs in their lives.
National Dog Week has been celebrated during the last week of September for 89 years and was established to help create more responsible dog owners and provide more loving homes to lovable pets. We are proud to share with you the dogs who have touched our lives and why we love them.
My family and I love Abigail, our sweet Abi. She is a rescue from English Springer Rescue America. She’s a great walker (as long as nothing is whizzing by to distract her). She never tires of chasing tennis balls, and we get endless enjoyment from watching her gracefully run across our lawn. My daughter Emma insists Abi is only getting younger!
Although she can be a bit crazy – she’s not a fan of other dogs, trucks, bikes, or other things on wheels – she’s our special girl. Through the years, we have taken her to see many trainers and animal behaviorists, but as she is now about 10 years old, we are happy to accept Abi for all of her “special qualities.”
Abi is wonderful with children, especially if they have a ball to throw, and she is always at the door to greet us when we come home (or to use her very big bark to intimidate “bad guys”). When the weather is hot, she sits on the step of our pool to cool off, and her tail wags so much, it sounds like a motor boat. It’s the cutest thing!
Sharing our home with Abigail has taught us so many things – like patience, acceptance, and unconditional love. She first came into our lives when I started Walk & Wag, and she has definitely enhanced my understanding of and appreciation for canine behavior. For this and many other reasons, we love our Abigail.
During National Dog Week, I’d like to champion my dear client, Sue, for recently adopting the adorable Dottie Brown. Dottie, or “the Dot” as we lovingly call her, is a senior dog at eleven years old. She is completely deaf, due to untreated ear infections from her earlier life on the streets. She was in a foster home, pulled from a local shelter, where she was passed over for younger, perhaps “cuter,” pups. In Sue’s home, she will live out her years being loved and cared for in a way she couldn’t have imagined! Indeed, the Dot won the lottery when she won Sue’s heart!
As a long-time Walk & Wag team member, I have had the pleasure of being with Golden Retriever Winston for many overnight visits and mid-day walks. Winston is now nine years old, and his mom and dad have had this sweetie pie since he was just nine weeks old! He’s an early riser and will start begging for his breakfast at about 4:00 a.m. if given the opportunity. But when I stay with him overnight, Winston always waits patiently for his breakfast until I wake up around 7:00 a.m.
This cutie loves peanut butter and can smell it in the kitchen all the way from the backyard! He’s so smart, he can easily recognize the words “peanut butter,” “cheese,” “walk,” and “ball,” so it’s often necessary to speak in code around him. While this silly boy can pick up a bad habit in a matter of seconds, it can sometimes take him months to drop a habit. He adores his mid-day walk and treat and puts on quite a show by “dancing” or rolling around. And as you can see from his pictures, he loves lounging on comfy chairs. What a special boy he is!
It’s a sad occupational hazard in the pet-sitting, dog-walking trade, particularly in a transient place like Chapel Hill. Amid all the comings and goings, you’ll learn one day that one of your favorite dogs is leaving for another home in another town. Your services are no longer needed. Your strong bond has been broken.
So it was with Finnegan, a lovable nine-year-old mix of Black Lab and Bluetick Hound. I’d been walking him regularly for a couple of years, and he quickly became one of my all-time favorites. With long legs and floppy ears, his handsome face and goofy countenance disarmed all he met. He liked to lie down in the cool grass during our walks in the high heat. I told his owners he was “taking a tan.” He was a big boy, but gentle and docile. Yapping terriers produced nothing but a yawn. I never heard him growl. I heard him bark just once, when he let loose a hound dog howl at the wail of a passing ambulance.
This summer, his owners, twin sisters Erinn and Meghan, decided to move back to Chicago. Each a Notre Dame graduate, the young women had come to North Carolina to attend law school. Their juris doctorates in hand, they were headed back to the land of the Fighting Irish from their temporary home in Tar Heel Country. I was left with a very kind thank-you note, a generous gift certificate, and the knowing memories of a big boy who will always make me smile.
Meet Otto! A little Yorkie with a low haircut. Otto is my roommate’s dog. He loves to play fetch with just about anything, and he will see to it that anyone around will participate or he will not let up! Otto is very sweet and loving, and in addition to fetch, he also loves playing with his Beagle sister, penny.
Paco is an eleven-year-old Rat Terrier who stole my heart the moment I met him! This boy is always happy, except maybe when it is cold, but that just meant there were extra snuggles. No matter when I arrived for our walks, he was always excited to see me and ran to the door and do a little happy dance. It is impossible not to smile when you see him.
He likes to be in charge, all 14 pounds of him! Because his house wasn’t in a walk-friendly area, we would hop in the car and head to other neighborhoods or a nearby park with tons more smells to investigate. He was the best co-pilot, but on occasion, he felt like running the show and would sit on my lap so he could make sure I was going the right way! He loved treats…who doesn’t? As soon as we got back in the car to head home, it was treat time!
My sweet Paco has headed up north with his family, and I no longer have his sweet face to brighten my day, but I have tons of photos! (And what do you do when your most favorite pup who hates the cold moves to Boston…you knit him a sweater, of course!)
For National Dog Week, I would like to share a little bit about my two pups, Benji and Sasha! They are the loves and lights of my life. We adopted them at a shelter in South Africa eight years ago, and we have been together on this journey called life ever since. They are truly the most amazing little creatures, and I will move mountains for them – as they do for me every day.
This is Dakota. She is definitely one of my favorite clients. Dakota is gentle and protective and full of personality! She gives me the best welcome every time I see her, and our favorite thing to do together is walk through the woods behind her house.
This is Cooper. I have stayed overnight with Cooper and provided mid-day walks for him for several weeks. Cooper is sweet, smart, friendly, and never knows a stranger. During our daily walks, he greets shop owners, cooks, hairstylists, and new people in his neighborhood who cannot wait to say hello and ask questions about him. I love our walks together and the joy he has brought into my life.
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