Since this was a lighter topic blog week for me, I thought I’d expand on my last post about the great topic of dogs.
Aside from the two dogs we fostered several years ago, our family dog has always been an Australian Shepherd. As you can tell from the meme, strangers who come across us on walks usually mistake our dog for a Border Collie.
We said our final goodbyes to Max last night, January 8, 2020 around 6pm. I have no energy in me to write much else at the moment. I wrote the following while he was sick but still with us. Thank you for honoring our sweet boy by reading it. I may be scarce for a little while.
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.
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.
It happened two weeks after our cross country move. I sauntered down the stairs in our new place and stopped on the last step to give my hubby, Gary, a hug. Shortly after, we parted to go in different directions.
I recently hired a pet sitter/walker to walk our Max (Australian Shepherd) once a week. We walk him every day, but we like to take a break once in a while.
I interviewed Nanda, a small Brazilian woman, and the female dog whisperer. She not only talked the talk, but she walked the walk … literally. She became the alpha over my dog in an instant, which isn’t always easy.
One night, just before she stepped out to walk him, two large stray dogs raced by our house at top speed.
“Oh no,” I said, pissed off. “It’s that corner house again. One dog is some kind of a hound mix, the other a pit bull. Those people don’t walk their dogs, so they break out of jail and get the exercise they need on their own. Problem is, it’s dangerous for those of us who are responsible dog owners.”
Nanda moved into action. I witnessed this five foot woman step out into the middle of the street, put two fingers in her mouth and blast out a whistle. Those two dogs, which were almost as tall as her, turned around and headed right toward her. She stood her ground, pointed to their house and shouted, “GO HOME!”
I couldn’t believe my eyes. They dashed right past her. Nanda followed them to their house, and I followed her. She pointed to their fence and they ran inside.
Side note: These dogs frequently get loose. In a past incident, I saw the owners of the two dogs chasing them up and down the street trying to get them back home, but the dogs didn’t listen to them.
Now, you’d think Nanda settled the matter once she wrangled them to their yard, but no. The six-foot wood fence door wouldn’t latch shut. Holding the door with one hand, she knocked on the dog owner’s window with the other. The large lady inside, who obviously has only walked from her front door to the car door, let alone ever take a leash to her dogs, approached the window.
Nanda raised her voice to be heard. “Come out here and get your fence door closed. The dogs got loose.”
Through the pane, the lady said, “They got out?”
“YES! Come out and close your fence door.”
Sure enough, out clomped the lady, who moved something in front of the fence door to keep it shut. Wow! Nanda’s a people whisperer too!
Check out her website at Nanda’s Walking Paws. Not only is it about her pet sitting services, but she has lots of info about dogs too.