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My life in dog years

Michele Thomas

A forlorn face with sad eyes stared into the Triplicate office. "Lost and scared," I thought. We could have ignored him, I suppose, but instead we invited him in…

For my third birthday, my parents gave me a Collie. When we picked her up, she was called Margaret, but once in my arms, she became Lassie. As an only child growing up on a ranch, Lassie was my best playmate. "You're better than that Lassie on TV, "I always told her. She'd wag her tail and lick my face. By the time I left for college, she could barely see, but she never failed to recognize me when I came home. She'd stay close to my side and slept in my bed

After college I adopted a lively black Lab. Spot loved water, fetching and riding shotgun in my green Karmann Ghia. She could smell salt water from miles away, her head out the window, whining in anticipation of a swim. We were both young and frisky in those days! When I left for grad school in Hawaii, Spot went to live with friends rather than endure quarantine.

Married, with children, I fell in love in a Honolulu pet store. Sesame was a fluffy white Cockapoo mix. My twins were barely 6 months old when I brought her home. Three years later we moved to the Mainland. Brave Sesame flew to Medford, Ore., alone once we'd found a home. On our few acres in Grants Pass, Sesame herded chickens, sheep and the kids. Together we raised my three sons well into their teens.

"Baby needs a home. She was found wandering on Sporthaven Beach with a dislocated hip. She is a Chow mix, good watch dog, perfect for a woman living alone. Hates men, cats and other dogs." "Perfect, "I laughed, when I read the Humane Society's article in the Pilot. I had just moved to Brookings and was living alone.

Baby was living with 4 other dogs in a foster home. I took her out for a mocha (me) and a biscuit (her), and was impressed with how daintily she took her treat. In my living room, she relaxed comfortably, her fox-red fur blending nicely with my dcor. I took her to meet my boyfriend Rick and his dog Josie. She tolerated both the man and his dog.

I saw the future and it had Baby in it – walks on the beach, protection from burglars, a traveling companion. I called my best friend Denise to tell her I had just adopted a Chow. Denise said Martha Stewart raised Chows. I changed Baby's name to Martha. I found a crystal bowl to use for her water dish.

Six years later, Martha is a legend among my friends and family. She is beautiful, loving, confident, loyal and very social. She has overcome all her anxieties except the issue with cats.

The pooch with the sorrowful eyes looking in our office window came home with me Monday. Tuesday the vet gave Smitty his shots. Wednesday, Martha's groomer bathed him and Rick bought him a fancy new collar. He has already won our hearts, but, more importantly, his eyes sparkle with happy dog looks, grateful for a family to love.

Reach Michele Thomas, The Daily Triplicate's publisher, at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , 464-2141, or stop by 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

 


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