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I know a lot of people won't read this and, if they do, they probably won't think much of it. That's okay. I just decided to put this up here for fun.

Almost five years ago I was volunteering at my local animal shelter. While I was there, they got in a little puppy. I didn't think much of her, as I was more interested in one of the older dogs that was there. However, she ended up at my house as a foster over Christmas. Her name was Phoebe at the time.

We were told a bit about her past, the little that they knew. She'd been found at the side of the road. There were no houses anywhere nearby. The entire time she was at the shelter and in our home, nobody ever said they lost a dog. The conclusion? Someone had abandoned a small 3 month old puppy on the side of the road.

She was a timid puppy and one of her fears was plastic garbage bags. It was weird because there was no reason that we knew for her to be scared of them. Our guess? Maybe someone shoved her in a plastic bag and she chewed her way out. Another thing she was scared of was large trucks. She still hasn't completely gotten over that one either.

We adopted her soon after. Her name was changed to Luna, which means "moon". I thought her name should be Lola but nobody else did. As a kid I was very angry. I don't know exactly why. I've grown out of it and, while I can still have a fierce temper, it doesn't rear it's ugly head nearly as much as it used to.

Luna is very smart. She's learnt a ton of tricks and hand signals to go with them. She knows everybody in the house by name as well as her best friend, Yoko the kitten.

She loves water and adores going to the river so she can play in the water. She doesn't swim but still adores playing in it. The first time she saw a lake, she was very confused and a little freaked out. But once she got used to it, she loved running around and chasing the waves, as it was very windy that day and the waves were a decent size.

She's a sweetheart and, when I need comfort, she's right there to give it to me. She wants me to be happy and it's really amazing how good she is at cheering me up.

However, she is very protective and is willing to growl at other dogs who want our attention. Obviously I don't allow her to be aggressive in this way and she learnt that it was unacceptable. She's an amazing home guarder. I feel a lot safer when she's around. I know she would protect me.

What is your dog's story? How did they find their way into your home?
 

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Nice story.

I'll reciprocate. We bought our dog from a breeder. I had grown up around dogs and really wanted one for as long as I've been with my partner but she was deathly afraid of dogs (actually, all animals... she would literally stand up on a chair when she saw a mouse, which was such an archetype that it was both funny and sad at the same time ).

Our children wanted a dog too but my wife refused. We eventually wore her down, which took about 10 years. She finally agreed when my son was 16. Since she was allergic to cats she got tested and it showed slightly positive to dogs as well. We did some research and to make a long story short we decided on getting a poodle, mostly because of my wife's allergy.

When it came down to choosing the dog, I actually wasn't involved. I was up to my armpits in work at the time so my son and my wife chose the dog. Both of them like the "shy" one from the litter. My son because he thought "shy" was cute and my wife because the shy one didn't scare her.

They brought him home when he was a little over 7 weeks old and the poor thing was terrified for the first few days. Of course the shyness was paired with anxiety, which he's mostly over now due to finding a good trainer early on, who is now a friend, and ongoing desensitization for the things that worry him.

It's been two years and bit since we got him and I don't think any of us could imagine living without a dog now. My wife is over her phobia, the dog is nicely adjusted, affectionate, playful and active, and all of us, including the dog, are enjoying life more than ever because of him being in it.
 

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I know a lot of people won't read this and, if they do, they probably won't think much of it. That's okay. I just decided to put this up here for fun.

Almost five years ago I was volunteering at my local animal shelter. While I was there, they got in a little puppy. I didn't think much of her, as I was more interested in one of the older dogs that was there. However, she ended up at my house as a foster over Christmas. Her name was Phoebe at the time.

We were told a bit about her past, the little that they knew. She'd been found at the side of the road. There were no houses anywhere nearby. The entire time she was at the shelter and in our home, nobody ever said they lost a dog. The conclusion? Someone had abandoned a small 3 month old puppy on the side of the road.

She was a timid puppy and one of her fears was plastic garbage bags. It was weird because there was no reason that we knew for her to be scared of them. Our guess? Maybe someone shoved her in a plastic bag and she chewed her way out. Another thing she was scared of was large trucks. She still hasn't completely gotten over that one either.

We adopted her soon after. Her name was changed to Luna, which means "moon". I thought her name should be Lola but nobody else did. As a kid I was very angry. I don't know exactly why. I've grown out of it and, while I can still have a fierce temper, it doesn't rear it's ugly head nearly as much as it used to.

Luna is very smart. She's learnt a ton of tricks and hand signals to go with them. She knows everybody in the house by name as well as her best friend, Yoko the kitten.

She loves water and adores going to the river so she can play in the water. She doesn't swim but still adores playing in it. The first time she saw a lake, she was very confused and a little freaked out. But once she got used to it, she loved running around and chasing the waves, as it was very windy that day and the waves were a decent size.

She's a sweetheart and, when I need comfort, she's right there to give it to me. She wants me to be happy and it's really amazing how good she is at cheering me up.

However, she is very protective and is willing to growl at other dogs who want our attention. Obviously I don't allow her to be aggressive in this way and she learnt that it was unacceptable. She's an amazing home guarder. I feel a lot safer when she's around. I know she would protect me.

What is your dog's story? How did they find their way into your home?
I just love you so much for what you did for your dog. You will get so much love back in return. and it's a great thread idea, I love to hear the stories of dogs being saved.

I have had too many dogs to put all their stories on here but I think Rakia has to stand out as the one who changed our lives.

I came here wanting to rescue dogs and Rakia was the first. My partner John is not the biggest dog lover, in fact he's scared of them, although he won't admit it.

Over the years I've forced him to put up with so many dogs but Rakia was the only one who ever bit him. And yet after hating him for 3 years Rakia became his best friend. John cried like a baby when Rakia had to be put down, at the ripe old age of about 22 (we think) We had him for 10 years and he made us laugh every day. Rakia is the national drink here When I took him into town

We planted a rose for him, as I do for all our dogs. His was a variety named 'Remember me' and every time I look at it, with it's 28 buds putting the others to shame, I think 'you cocky little sod' and it makes me smile

I just love you so much for what you did for your dog. You will get so much love back in return. and it's a great thread idea, I love to hear the stories of dogs being saved.

I have had too many dogs to put all their stories on here but I think Rakia has to stand out as the one who changed our lives.

I came here wanting to rescue dogs and Rakia was the first. My partner John is not the biggest dog lover, in fact I think he's scared of them,

We planted a rose for him, as I do for all our dogs. His was a variety named 'Remember me' and every time I look at it, with it's 28 buds putting the others to shame, I think 'you cocky little sod' and it makes me smile





I just love you so much for what you did for your dog. You will get so much love back in return. and it's a great thread idea, I love to hear the stories of dogs being saved.

I have had too many dogs to put all their stories on here but I think Rakia has to stand out as the one who changed our lives.

I came here wanting to rescue dogs and Rakia was the first. My partner John is not the biggest dog lover, in fact I think he's scared of them,

We planted a rose for him, as I do for all our dogs. His was a variety named 'Remember me' and every time I look at it, with it's 28 buds putting the others to shame, I think 'you cocky little sod' and it makes me smile


I know a lot of people won't read this and, if they do, they probably won't think much of it. That's okay. I just decided to put this up here for fun.

Almost five years ago I was volunteering at my local animal shelter. While I was there, they got in a little puppy. I didn't think much of her, as I was more interested in one of the older dogs that was there. However, she ended up at my house as a foster over Christmas. Her name was Phoebe at the time.

We were told a bit about her past, the little that they knew. She'd been found at the side of the road. There were no houses anywhere nearby. The entire time she was at the shelter and in our home, nobody ever said they lost a dog. The conclusion? Someone had abandoned a small 3 month old puppy on the side of the road.

She was a timid puppy and one of her fears was plastic garbage bags. It was weird because there was no reason that we knew for her to be scared of them. Our guess? Maybe someone shoved her in a plastic bag and she chewed her way out. Another thing she was scared of was large trucks. She still hasn't completely gotten over that one either.

We adopted her soon after. Her name was changed to Luna, which means "moon". I thought her name should be Lola but nobody else did. As a kid I was very angry. I don't know exactly why. I've grown out of it and, while I can still have a fierce temper, it doesn't rear it's ugly head nearly as much as it used to.

Luna is very smart. She's learnt a ton of tricks and hand signals to go with them. She knows everybody in the house by name as well as her best friend, Yoko the kitten.

She loves water and adores going to the river so she can play in the water. She doesn't swim but still adores playing in it. The first time she saw a lake, she was very confused and a little freaked out. But once she got used to it, she loved running around and chasing the waves, as it was very windy that day and the waves were a decent size.

She's a sweetheart and, when I need comfort, she's right there to give it to me. She wants me to be happy and it's really amazing how good she is at cheering me up.

However, she is very protective and is willing to growl at other dogs who want our attention. Obviously I don't allow her to be aggressive in this way and she learnt that it was unacceptable. She's an amazing home guarder. I feel a lot safer when she's around. I know she would protect me.

What is your dog's story? How did they find their way into your home?
I just love you so much for what you did for your dog. You will get so much love back in return. and it's a great thread idea, I love to hear the stories of dogs being saved.

I have had too many dogs to put all their stories on here but I think Rakia has to stand out as the one who changed our lives.

I came here wanting to rescue dogs and Rakia was the first. My partner John is not the biggest dog lover, in fact he's scared of them, although he won't admit it.

Over the years I've forced him to put up with so many dogs but Rakia was the only one who ever bit him. And yet after hating him for 3 years Rakia became his best friend. John cried like a baby when Rakia had to be put down, at the ripe old age of about 22 (we think) We had him for 10 years and he made us laugh every day. Rakia is the national drink here When I took him into town

We planted a rose for him, as I do for all our dogs. His was a variety named 'Remember me' and every time I look at it, with it's 28 buds putting the others to shame, I think 'you cocky little sod' and it makes me smile

I just love you so much for what you did for your dog. You will get so much love back in return. and it's a great thread idea, I love to hear the stories of dogs being saved.

I have had too many dogs to put all their stories on here but I think Rakia has to stand out as the one who changed our lives.

I came here wanting to rescue dogs and Rakia was the first. My partner John is not the biggest dog lover, in fact I think he's scared of them,

We planted a rose for him, as I do for all our dogs. His was a variety named 'Remember me' and every time I look at it, with it's 28 buds putting the others to shame, I think 'you cocky little sod' and it makes me smile





I just love you so much for what you did for your dog. You will get so much love back in return. and it's a great thread idea, I love to hear the stories of dogs being saved.

I have had too many dogs to put all their stories on here but I think Rakia has to stand out as the one who changed our lives.

I came here wanting to rescue dogs and Rakia was the first. My partner John is not the biggest dog lover, in fact I think he's scared of them,

We planted a rose for him, as I do for all our dogs. His was a variety named 'Remember me' and every time I look at it, with it's 28 buds putting the others to shame, I think 'you cocky little sod' and it makes me smile



Hey Luna, I wrote a long post to you and it got lost, I'm too tired to write it all again. But I love what you have done for your dog
 

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Nice story.

I'll reciprocate. We bought our dog from a breeder. I had grown up around dogs and really wanted one for as long as I've been with my partner but she was deathly afraid of dogs (actually, all animals... she would literally stand up on a chair when she saw a mouse, which was such an archetype that it was both funny and sad at the same time ).

Our children wanted a dog too but my wife refused. We eventually wore her down, which took about 10 years. She finally agreed when my son was 16. Since she was allergic to cats she got tested and it showed slightly positive to dogs as well. We did some research and to make a long story short we decided on getting a poodle, mostly because of my wife's allergy.

When it came down to choosing the dog, I actually wasn't involved. I was up to my armpits in work at the time so my son and my wife chose the dog. Both of them like the "shy" one from the litter. My son because he thought "shy" was cute and my wife because the shy one didn't scare her.

They brought him home when he was a little over 7 weeks old and the poor thing was terrified for the first few days. Of course the shyness was paired with anxiety, which he's mostly over now due to finding a good trainer early on, who is now a friend, and ongoing desensitization for the things that worry him.

It's been two years and bit since we got him and I don't think any of us could imagine living without a dog now. My wife is over her phobia, the dog is nicely adjusted, affectionate, playful and active, and all of us, including the dog, are enjoying life more than ever because of him being in it.
Aw, that's awesome! I'm glad you found such a sweet dog. He's a beautiful looking dog.
 

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I just love you so much for what you did for your dog. You will get so much love back in return. and it's a great thread idea, I love to hear the stories of dogs being saved.

I have had too many dogs to put all their stories on here but I think Rakia has to stand out as the one who changed our lives.

I came here wanting to rescue dogs and Rakia was the first. My partner John is not the biggest dog lover, in fact he's scared of them, although he won't admit it.

Over the years I've forced him to put up with so many dogs but Rakia was the only one who ever bit him. And yet after hating him for 3 years Rakia became his best friend. John cried like a baby when Rakia had to be put down, at the ripe old age of about 22 (we think) We had him for 10 years and he made us laugh every day. Rakia is the national drink here When I took him into town

We planted a rose for him, as I do for all our dogs. His was a variety named 'Remember me' and every time I look at it, with it's 28 buds putting the others to shame, I think 'you cocky little sod' and it makes me smile

I just love you so much for what you did for your dog. You will get so much love back in return. and it's a great thread idea, I love to hear the stories of dogs being saved.

I have had too many dogs to put all their stories on here but I think Rakia has to stand out as the one who changed our lives.

I came here wanting to rescue dogs and Rakia was the first. My partner John is not the biggest dog lover, in fact I think he's scared of them,

We planted a rose for him, as I do for all our dogs. His was a variety named 'Remember me' and every time I look at it, with it's 28 buds putting the others to shame, I think 'you cocky little sod' and it makes me smile





I just love you so much for what you did for your dog. You will get so much love back in return. and it's a great thread idea, I love to hear the stories of dogs being saved.

I have had too many dogs to put all their stories on here but I think Rakia has to stand out as the one who changed our lives.

I came here wanting to rescue dogs and Rakia was the first. My partner John is not the biggest dog lover, in fact I think he's scared of them,

We planted a rose for him, as I do for all our dogs. His was a variety named 'Remember me' and every time I look at it, with it's 28 buds putting the others to shame, I think 'you cocky little sod' and it makes me smile




I just love you so much for what you did for your dog. You will get so much love back in return. and it's a great thread idea, I love to hear the stories of dogs being saved.

I have had too many dogs to put all their stories on here but I think Rakia has to stand out as the one who changed our lives.

I came here wanting to rescue dogs and Rakia was the first. My partner John is not the biggest dog lover, in fact he's scared of them, although he won't admit it.

Over the years I've forced him to put up with so many dogs but Rakia was the only one who ever bit him. And yet after hating him for 3 years Rakia became his best friend. John cried like a baby when Rakia had to be put down, at the ripe old age of about 22 (we think) We had him for 10 years and he made us laugh every day. Rakia is the national drink here When I took him into town

We planted a rose for him, as I do for all our dogs. His was a variety named 'Remember me' and every time I look at it, with it's 28 buds putting the others to shame, I think 'you cocky little sod' and it makes me smile

I just love you so much for what you did for your dog. You will get so much love back in return. and it's a great thread idea, I love to hear the stories of dogs being saved.

I have had too many dogs to put all their stories on here but I think Rakia has to stand out as the one who changed our lives.

I came here wanting to rescue dogs and Rakia was the first. My partner John is not the biggest dog lover, in fact I think he's scared of them,

We planted a rose for him, as I do for all our dogs. His was a variety named 'Remember me' and every time I look at it, with it's 28 buds putting the others to shame, I think 'you cocky little sod' and it makes me smile





I just love you so much for what you did for your dog. You will get so much love back in return. and it's a great thread idea, I love to hear the stories of dogs being saved.

I have had too many dogs to put all their stories on here but I think Rakia has to stand out as the one who changed our lives.

I came here wanting to rescue dogs and Rakia was the first. My partner John is not the biggest dog lover, in fact I think he's scared of them,

We planted a rose for him, as I do for all our dogs. His was a variety named 'Remember me' and every time I look at it, with it's 28 buds putting the others to shame, I think 'you cocky little sod' and it makes me smile



Hey Luna, I wrote a long post to you and it got lost, I'm too tired to write it all again. But I love what you have done for your dog
Thank you. And don't worry, the story is there. It's a beautiful one for sure.
 

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Not sure what went on there, my partner's in ICU in a coma, haven't been allowed to see him for 2 weeks and I think I'm cracking, please ignore anything I say
 

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Not sure what went on there, my partner's in ICU in a coma, haven't been allowed to see him for 2 weeks and I think I'm cracking, please ignore anything I say
I'm sorry. I hope your friend is alright!
 

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@lynsey I am incredibly sorry to hear about your partner. I'm sending you prayers for his recovery. I don't know you beyond this forum, but I feel your deep love for him and your pain and sorrow.

@dogslife I have very much enjoyed reading about your family and your dog. In a short time, you'll become quite an asset to this forum.

@Luna33 Awesome thread. I'll add a story or two later. :)
 

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I always love to read about how others came by their pets...the events that led up to that decision...this is kind of long but where I'm at now with my current pets came about through some very rough times I went through. In looking back, and knowing how depressed and in pain I was in back before Jaya and HaHa, and AU...and to where I'm at now as far as managing my depression and in being mobile again...what helped pulled me through was having dogs in my life.My two current dogs... Jaya and AU...

I injured myself about 6 years ago, a leg injury put me in a wheelchair for 4 months, and another 3 months of therapy - but still I had problems.
The doctors finally found out I had also injured a disk in my back, above another disk that I had surgery on some 12 years prior.

I had no income during all of this, due to not being able to work, and my life's savings was dwindling by the day. Getting approved for disability took a little over a year. All of this sent me into a deep depression...and it didn't help that I lost my 2 dogs during this time.

I was still mostly wheelchair bound when my dog Harper (in my avatar photo) was found to have diabetes and I had to put her to sleep. She was only 8 years old.

And about a month later, my other dog, Lacey, who I had rescued when she was 8 years old, had to be put to sleep at the ripe old age of 13. And for the first time in my life I did not have a dog in my home. It would be over a year before I could get another dog...as I had to wait to get on disability and know I had the funds to adopt and care for a dog - I had to get back some of my physical strength too.

And this is how I got Jaya...my semi-feral beauty.

When the time came, I found a dog on the internet, her build and her eyes reminded me a lot of my lovely old Lacey's eyes. But Jaya, turned out to be pretty much feral and the rescue org wasn't going to adopt her out to just anyone.

But I was finally approved after hours on the phone, writing up about 2 inches of paperwork explaining my experiences with pets, how I trained them, reacted to different situations with pets, history of prior pets - how they died, and in sending them photos of my property, the fencing, and 6 references 3 from family and 3 from friends...plus the phone numbers of any vets I have gone to here in my town. And yeah, they called everyone and talked to them! This rescue org was being extra careful with Jaya's placement due to her extreme fear of humans. Jaya was 5 years old when I adopted her.

And this lead to HaHa
After about 3 months of working with Jaya's fear issues, I finally hit a point where I felt we both needed a confident, canine friend. I found him at our local shelter. He was a 2 year old, skeleton of a dog...a Golden Retriever, they had named Ruger. He was also mentally handicapped.

I asked if I could take him on a 2 week trial and see if I could get him to eat. The breeder and then the shelter each had him for a year and couldn't get him to eat.
The shelter was on the verge putting him to sleep - another vet test had failed to show why he couldn't hold food down...and no one had been interested in adopting a mentally handicapped dog that was throwing up after each feeding.

I use to work at that shelter and I knew they fed the dogs twice a day... and I suspected the breeder probably did too...maybe he even did 3 times a day or like some owners, once a day. ???
My idea was to see how much Ruger could eat before tossing it up...so I started with about 1/8 of a cup of soaked dry food mixed with canned...and I hand fed him that small amount. He held it down, so about 20 minutes later, he got another handful and so on, until by the end of day he had eaten about a cup and a half of dog food without throwing up.

I called the shelter the next day and told them I would be keeping him and I renamed him HaHa. The very first day I had him, he made me laugh so many times I thought my rib cage was going to give out from it all. He was a peculiar dog...so playful and loved attention...seemed as starved for that as he was for food.

I was right in thinking HaHa couldn't eat a lot of food at once, and he was Hungry all of time so he would eat those big meals and not be able to hold it down. I kept increasing his food allotment until I only had to feed him 5 times a day. He went from being a skeleton that weighed about 45 pounds to a normal weight of 70 pounds in about 3 months with me...and his fur went from a faded wispy golden red, to a thick gorgeous golden reddish tone by the following year.

He was silly, puppy-like, friendly and confident...exactly what Jaya needed. She would watch him...and since he wasn't fearful of a new sound, or of me walking across the living room...or even me moving in my computer chair...Jaya learned from him to relax. She also became his 'mommy' and would clean his ears and lick his back...and he even got her to play when outside.

HaHa was only with me for about 2 1/2 years...but then he got cancer and had to be put to sleep. I've had dogs I Deeply Loved who lived with me for 16 years...but HaHa and his antics brought on due to his mental disabilities...captured my heart so much and he had become my favorite dog compared to others I had owned. I still miss my 'good boi'

And all of this leads me to AU.

HaHa sold me on goldens. My heart was ripped to shreds with his passing. I usually I get another dog after about 3 months of losing one...but this time I just couldn't do it. I cried pretty much for 7 months before finally deciding Jaya and I needed another friend.

So I went on a search for a Golden Retriever puppy...the first puppy I would have since about 1994 - all my dogs after that point had been older ones that I adopted...and the first time ever, I would be buying a dog rather than adopting one.

I ended up buying my golden retriever puppy and brought him home when he was 9 weeks old. I named him AU - which is the chemical name for gold on the period table of elements (Au). It also sounds a bit like 'Hey You' which was the name of a dog I had back in the mid 1970s thru the early 1990s. :D

Jaya took AU in, just like she had HaHa and became his mommy. She cleans his ears and licks his back, and sometimes, unlike HaHa, AU returns the favor. : )
*I will be posting in AU's thread here, a video on YouTube today or tomorrow of this*

AU's already had a number of 'adventures'...he and Jaya got lost when a deer shoved through my wire fencing. I found Jaya that evening, but 6 month old AU had to spend a long cold 25 degree night lost next to our river where coyotes and bobcats prowl. He was found the next morning by some concerned folks who read about him being lost on Facebook, they went out before dawn with a spotlight to find him for me.
He also had to have 2 surgeries, on on each hip for hip dysplasia. He's recovered and loves to jump and run now, although I can see he seems to tired out much faster than a dog his age should, so I think the hips still nag him a tiny bit.

By the smallest of steps, Jaya has gone from a terrified dog who couldn't even let me look at her, or talk to her, to one who will eat from my hand, come in when called (no more tie downs or drag lines). She no longer hides when people come over...she will sit and watch from a distance - but do so in an alert, relaxed manner - watching AU make a ninny of himself seeking the attention of who ever's here.

Since I'm home most of the time and on disability, they keep me entertained, comforted. I felt like with Jaya, HaHa and myself...we were 3 broken beings who together did a lot of healing due being strong where the others were weak. With HaHa gone, and AU here...I now pretty much feel like most of the healing in spirit and body has reached a point where life is enjoyable. AU shows some of the same behavior as HaHa...in just being a Golden Retriever...but he's also his own personality...no near as funny as HaHa was...but he makes up for it in being more aware of his surroundings, is whip smart, and interacts with Jaya more, such as, licking her ears and back too...where HaHa let Jaya pour attention on him more than he did for her.

Stormy
 

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I always love to read about how others came by their pets...the events that led up to that decision...this is kind of long but where I'm at now with my current pets came about through some very rough times I went through. In looking back, and knowing how depressed and in pain I was in back before Jaya and HaHa, and AU...and to where I'm at now as far as managing my depression and in being mobile again...what helped pulled me through was having dogs in my life.My two current dogs... Jaya and AU...

I injured myself about 6 years ago, a leg injury put me in a wheelchair for 4 months, and another 3 months of therapy - but still I had problems.
The doctors finally found out I had also injured a disk in my back, above another disk that I had surgery on some 12 years prior.

I had no income during all of this, due to not being able to work, and my life's savings was dwindling by the day. Getting approved for disability took a little over a year. All of this sent me into a deep depression...and it didn't help that I lost my 2 dogs during this time.

I was still mostly wheelchair bound when my dog Harper (in my avatar photo) was found to have diabetes and I had to put her to sleep. She was only 8 years old.

And about a month later, my other dog, Lacey, who I had rescued when she was 8 years old, had to be put to sleep at the ripe old age of 13. And for the first time in my life I did not have a dog in my home. It would be over a year before I could get another dog...as I had to wait to get on disability and know I had the funds to adopt and care for a dog - I had to get back some of my physical strength too.

And this is how I got Jaya...my semi-feral beauty.

When the time came, I found a dog on the internet, her build and her eyes reminded me a lot of my lovely old Lacey's eyes. But Jaya, turned out to be pretty much feral and the rescue org wasn't going to adopt her out to just anyone.

But I was finally approved after hours on the phone, writing up about 2 inches of paperwork explaining my experiences with pets, how I trained them, reacted to different situations with pets, history of prior pets - how they died, and in sending them photos of my property, the fencing, and 6 references 3 from family and 3 from friends...plus the phone numbers of any vets I have gone to here in my town. And yeah, they called everyone and talked to them! This rescue org was being extra careful with Jaya's placement due to her extreme fear of humans. Jaya was 5 years old when I adopted her.

And this lead to HaHa
After about 3 months of working with Jaya's fear issues, I finally hit a point where I felt we both needed a confident, canine friend. I found him at our local shelter. He was a 2 year old, skeleton of a dog...a Golden Retriever, they had named Ruger. He was also mentally handicapped.

I asked if I could take him on a 2 week trial and see if I could get him to eat. The breeder and then the shelter each had him for a year and couldn't get him to eat.
The shelter was on the verge putting him to sleep - another vet test had failed to show why he couldn't hold food down...and no one had been interested in adopting a mentally handicapped dog that was throwing up after each feeding.

I use to work at that shelter and I knew they fed the dogs twice a day... and I suspected the breeder probably did too...maybe he even did 3 times a day or like some owners, once a day. ???
My idea was to see how much Ruger could eat before tossing it up...so I started with about 1/8 of a cup of soaked dry food mixed with canned...and I hand fed him that small amount. He held it down, so about 20 minutes later, he got another handful and so on, until by the end of day he had eaten about a cup and a half of dog food without throwing up.

I called the shelter the next day and told them I would be keeping him and I renamed him HaHa. The very first day I had him, he made me laugh so many times I thought my rib cage was going to give out from it all. He was a peculiar dog...so playful and loved attention...seemed as starved for that as he was for food.

I was right in thinking HaHa couldn't eat a lot of food at once, and he was Hungry all of time so he would eat those big meals and not be able to hold it down. I kept increasing his food allotment until I only had to feed him 5 times a day. He went from being a skeleton that weighed about 45 pounds to a normal weight of 70 pounds in about 3 months with me...and his fur went from a faded wispy golden red, to a thick gorgeous golden reddish tone by the following year.

He was silly, puppy-like, friendly and confident...exactly what Jaya needed. She would watch him...and since he wasn't fearful of a new sound, or of me walking across the living room...or even me moving in my computer chair...Jaya learned from him to relax. She also became his 'mommy' and would clean his ears and lick his back...and he even got her to play when outside.

HaHa was only with me for about 2 1/2 years...but then he got cancer and had to be put to sleep. I've had dogs I Deeply Loved who lived with me for 16 years...but HaHa and his antics brought on due to his mental disabilities...captured my heart so much and he had become my favorite dog compared to others I had owned. I still miss my 'good boi'

And all of this leads me to AU.

HaHa sold me on goldens. My heart was ripped to shreds with his passing. I usually I get another dog after about 3 months of losing one...but this time I just couldn't do it. I cried pretty much for 7 months before finally deciding Jaya and I needed another friend.

So I went on a search for a Golden Retriever puppy...the first puppy I would have since about 1994 - all my dogs after that point had been older ones that I adopted...and the first time ever, I would be buying a dog rather than adopting one.

I ended up buying my golden retriever puppy and brought him home when he was 9 weeks old. I named him AU - which is the chemical name for gold on the period table of elements (Au). It also sounds a bit like 'Hey You' which was the name of a dog I had back in the mid 1970s thru the early 1990s. :D

Jaya took AU in, just like she had HaHa and became his mommy. She cleans his ears and licks his back, and sometimes, unlike HaHa, AU returns the favor. : )
*I will be posting in AU's thread here, a video on YouTube today or tomorrow of this*

AU's already had a number of 'adventures'...he and Jaya got lost when a deer shoved through my wire fencing. I found Jaya that evening, but 6 month old AU had to spend a long cold 25 degree night lost next to our river where coyotes and bobcats prowl. He was found the next morning by some concerned folks who read about him being lost on Facebook, they went out before dawn with a spotlight to find him for me.
He also had to have 2 surgeries, on on each hip for hip dysplasia. He's recovered and loves to jump and run now, although I can see he seems to tired out much faster than a dog his age should, so I think the hips still nag him a tiny bit.

By the smallest of steps, Jaya has gone from a terrified dog who couldn't even let me look at her, or talk to her, to one who will eat from my hand, come in when called (no more tie downs or drag lines). She no longer hides when people come over...she will sit and watch from a distance - but do so in an alert, relaxed manner - watching AU make a ninny of himself seeking the attention of who ever's here.

Since I'm home most of the time and on disability, they keep me entertained, comforted. I felt like with Jaya, HaHa and myself...we were 3 broken beings who together did a lot of healing due being strong where the others were weak. With HaHa gone, and AU here...I now pretty much feel like most of the healing in spirit and body has reached a point where life is enjoyable. AU shows some of the same behavior as HaHa...in just being a Golden Retriever...but he's also his own personality...no near as funny as HaHa was...but he makes up for it in being more aware of his surroundings, is whip smart, and interacts with Jaya more, such as, licking her ears and back too...where HaHa let Jaya pour attention on him more than he did for her.

Stormy
That's a beautiful story!
 
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