life, Pets


I hadn’t planned a second post for this week, but I feel the need to write this story.


In May of 2007, my husband brought home a stray puppy that had been roaming the busy city streets of Tampa. We had our beloved Piezon in those days, plus our cat, Sneakers, and weren’t really up for a third pet. We both hoped that my training would get this pup into shape for us to find her a loving forever home.

Piezon wasn’t crazy about having another dog in the house either. Oh, he was certainly kind to her. He was just used to my full attention and was always by my side. With this new pup around me so much, he went off into other rooms by himself more often.

I named this sweet little girl Blaze for two reasons. One, she had a fiery brindle coat. Two, she was a bit timid, and I wanted her name to be a word with an energy of vibrancy and confidence.

Her ribs were showing when she came to us.

Piezon was such a friendly guy. I wrote in his eulogy about how he loved all living things and was never shy or timid. Little did I know how much he would help me train Blaze and bring her out of her shell. When she’d hide from visitors who came over to our house, Piezon would run right for them, which made her curious. She’d have to come and see what all of his excitement was about. By simply being himself, Piezon is pretty much the one who trained Blaze for me. She emulated him.

I put out flyers and brought her to adoption events. Five months went by, and I was growing fonder of Miss Blaze. I told my husband that after six months she would be ours. Right when I made that decision, our dog-walker’s mom showed interest in adopting her, and soon after, Blaze was off to her forever home.

I was able to keep up with Blaze’s life through social media. Her new family named her Gioia (pronounced, Joy-ah), which in Italian means, Joy.

I saw Gioia in person twice in the coming months, and then a lot of time went by without personal contact. Would you believe that when we met again years later, she remembered me?! It makes me cry just thinking about it.

I haven’t seen her in person for many years now, but watched her life through social media. Over this past weekend, I got word she left this world for the next and it has me feeling emotional. I also feel very sad for Gioia’s mom.

Thank you for indulging my story about the Blaze who lit up five months of my life.


28 thoughts on “Blaze”

  1. I rescued a young skinny puppy who had spent most of her puppyhood on the street. In the evenings, he would go sleep down a hallway, but she’d go find him.

    In disgust, he’d give me a dirty look as he curled in s bed by us. She’d go up and chew on his ear.

    Within weeks, they were inseparable. Two dogs sleeping in one dog bed.

    Rescue dogs are awesome. Especially when they rescue each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always get so much sadder when hearing about the death of a dog, than a human – kind of warped, huh?! Blaze sounded like a wonderful ,dog, who was able to overcome her past, and let people love her!!! We have a rescue dog – Bailey, who goes by the name of Tornabean. He was such a mess, physically and emotionally, when he came to our house. Someone had discarded him a box, which he couldn’t get out of, in the middle of a field – with a handful of dried pinto beans thrown in the box with him. He has turned into a lovely dog, but still very needy and emotional. We have four dogs now – EEK – but they are all so special!!! I loved your post, but it made me sad, and happy, then sad again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful story Lori, I’m glad that Blaze/Gioia got a good start in her new life from your family and from Piezon so that she could go on to fully enjoy her forever home. And it’s good that you got to keep up with her life and that she remembered you when you met again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lynette. She really was a sweet girl, and she understood Italian (since her family spoke to her in that language). I feel so sad for her forever-mom.

      Thanks you for reading about Blaze/Gioia.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve worked with rescue animals, too (tho, larger as in horses and goats!) and this is a wonderful heartfilled account of what goes into such a venture…you and Piezon ‘did good’ with/for Blaze.
    I’ve never seen the lighter version of brindled dogs – lovely; especially after she got healthy again.
    You made a difference!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How cool that you’ve worked with horses & goats for rescue. What a large but rewarding venture.

      Thank you so much for the kind words about us with Blaze/Gioia, Laura. Piezon was my hero. He trained me to train dogs.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful story, Lori. Enjoyed reading this so much.

    „Miss Blaze“, eh? 🙂 At times I will call our second dog (which came to us from a dog rescue center) „Miss“, too. „Miss Chievous“ to be exact 😉 or, in short: Missy.

    It‘s lovely that you have given your all to Blaze, that you have cared for her and trained her, but also that you have let her go into her new home.

    That is truly special, isn’t it, when we meet pets again and they recognize us. The love and loyality a pet is showing toward us is such a treasure.

    Wishing you and your family a happy and blessed 2019.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Carmen. Oh yes, we do come up with those nicknames for our pets, don’t we? I’m still amazed that Blaze remembered me after about 3 years. It warms my heart.

      Thank you for the good wishes and for reading about Blaze/Gioia. May you and yours also have many blessings in 2019.


  6. What a lovely story, although I am very sorry for her loss, and how wonderful for you that she remembered you after all that time. We ended up adopting a stray kitten who survived for a month in our garage due to our existing cat sharing his food with her. She is now chipped and they are best friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How sweet that you took in the kitty, and she has become buddies with your other cat. My cat (in this post), Sneakers was a stray in my neighbor’s garage.

      It amazes me that a dog could remember someone (me) after about 3 years.

      Thank you for reading about Blaze/Gioia.


    1. Hi Anneli. Like I told Jill, I was shocked when she remembered me. I was always told dogs don’t have a long memory, and it had been around 3 years since I’d seen her. She was so excited when I walked in their house. They had a house full of guests, and she stayed by my side.

      Thank you for reading about Blaze/Gioia.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jill. I know. I was shocked when I walked in their house and she was so excited to see me. They had a house full of guests, and she wouldn’t leave my side. It amazes me how they remember.

      Thanks for reading about Blaze/Gioia.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for saving her and preparing her for a happily ever after. I admire people who can foster. When I found my old cat Jake, I spent a lot of time finding him a good forever home. He was about 3 months old and a bundle of energy. The day I was to turn him over to his new owners, I couldn’t do it and he stayed with me for 18 years. I admire people who can foster and I’m so glad you were able to follow her progress on social media. It somehow makes it easier and knowing that the adopter was truly a good one. I also have a resident cat that teaches the new ones the ropes. I should have called her Mother Superior!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kate. I was fortunate that Blaze’s family connected with me through social media. The second dog I fostered, her new family didn’t keep in touch. I asked them too, but they never friended me. I never saw her again, and that’s pretty much when I decided I couldn’t do it anymore.

      Your Jake was with you for a very long time. I love that you’ve taken in kitties that may be “unadoptable.” I think both you and I would save farms of these precious four-leggeds if we had the space and the energy. It seems like we can never do enough to save them all, but I think saving what we can is huge.

      Thanks for reading about Blaze/Gioia.

      Liked by 1 person

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