THE GIFT OF GIVING WOOFER STYLE : HERO DOG TAILS
There is a reason we woofers are called man/women’s best friends.
No matter what size or breed we are, we all have a hero within. It is the instinct to protect our families and masters and mistresses.
No matter how we come to you, or at what age, we love you almost from that first day. Especially if you have rescued us. We know it, and are forever grateful and will reward you with unconditional loyalty.
Scientists agree that dogs were domesticated around 15,000 years ago! And new research shows it may be twice that long since we woofers diverged from our ancestors the wolves, some time between 16 and 32,000 years ago! A long time for us to have the genetic imprint to protect our hoomans! It is what we do. We are domesticated to be your companions and service animals. We take our positions seriously.
In doing our research, MusicMama and I found a lot of information on the earliest breeds of woofers, and fascinating facts about our history together, mankind and woofer-kindness, which will be in our next entry but for now I give you stories of the gift of giving, Woofer style!
Our ancestors are wolves. Fierce!
Artwork by Jack Leo
The following tails will hopefully inspire you and illustrate how little miracles occur every day.
1. From Teresa:
I need to share some puppy love. I left a kettle on by accident (I have a cold). I laid down to rest and a bit later, Aminia was messing with my feet, had her two front paws on my bed (seriously a no no) and was quite the pest. I tried to make her go away but she was protecting her Mama. That’s when I smelled the overheating kettle.
I LOVE MY DOG. AMINIA is an African word for Loyal Protector. I KNEW I named her right. We are connected and always will be!
2. From ____ :
There is a man who is a paraplegic, due to a war related injury whose life is now in a wheelchair. He served his country with honor and bravery, and yet even as a vet, become one of the forgotten ones. He had no money, had no hope, was severely depressed, and life for him had no joy, no meaning, and he became dangerously isolated.
Until a kind stranger came up with the idea to raise money for a service dog on Facebook for him. Other generous strangers donated money to purchase a beautiful purebred service pup who first had a foster family raise and train her for 6 months.
We have heard this can usually take a year, but the vet was so lonely and excited for his pup to come “home” they brought her early. I would have Bree-ly loved to have been there to see the look on his face when she came through the door, a bundle of love and energy. That little service woofer provided the vet with the most important gift of all, a reason to live!
3. From Jeanine:
Warning to parents: May not be suitable for younger children to read this tail. “I was going to be anonymous too but others gave me courage to use my name. If we don’t speak out, we can’t stop would be perpetrators of violence. And if you were a victim of an actual violent crime, I hope you report it to the authorities as these bad guys don’t stop until you put them in hooman jail. Sorry kids that are reading. I wish I had had courage at the time but I am lucky my dog did!
” I was 16 and hitch hiking my way from Southern California to northern Oregon to visit my boyfriend who was a migrant worker picking cherries. I brought our dog with me.
I now know how dangerous it it to hitchhike as a young girl, or for anyone, but times seemed different back then, it was peace and love, and I had no money! 1968. A lifetime ago.
All my rides went well until the last one with the 2 truckers. All my instincts cried out , NO! But I got in the cab with my dog in my lap between the 2 men.
That was it! I asked them to please pull over, and thanked them for the ride.
One man said: “We are not done with you yet” I think because they had been drinking, their reactions were slower to everything.
That was the most scared I have ever been in my life. The driver pulled over on a dark exit road and stopped the truck. I could tell something terrible was about to happen to me, and my dog could sense it too.
As I was about to plead for my life, my dog suddenly jumped out of my lap and literally attacked the man by the passenger door to my right, allowing me the one minute as he was stunned and pushing her off, to shove open and exit the partially open door, my dog jumped out after me, and we ran into the darkness so fast! We just kept running and running. I was all scratched up from brambles but not from assault. My hero dog saved both our lives that night. Note to ALL! Do NOT hitchhike!
It is dangerous! Do NOT EVER get in a car with a stranger, no matter what they say! Times are different nowadays. We want you to be safe!
4. From Pat:
“I always talk about my puppy mill rescue dog Lily. I adopted her when my husband had been hospitalized for 3 months. She was 7 months old and had never been out of a cage. That puppy mill has 1,000 dogs when the state interfered Still do not know why I did this. Had 1 dog at home and a husband in the hospital 2 hours away, so you know what my life was like. My husband was hospitalized for another 3 months and ended up dying.
Lily was a wreck, you could not touch her, she would not look at you and hid in my closet for hours on end. In my time of grief she was always there needing coaxing and time consuming. I realized that Lily and I had something in common. We had both experienced a trauma in our lives. Together we helped each other. I rescued her and she rescued me. Today she is 10 years old and volunteers as a Therapy dog. She is sweet dog, and my buddy”
Hi cousin Bree! I am sending you this message from woofer heaven, where I get to romp and play all day as “free dog.” Even though I lived 17 years with my FF, which was dog-gone super, I like it here just fine because I have many new friends, and we like to share our past heroic stories.
Being the Lhasa Apso variety of woofer, my doggie family tree hails from Tibet where we were bred to be watch dogs for great temples and kings, so I treated my earthly family and house like a temple and royalty. Paw-haha! We Lhasas bark a lot because we are guardians of our FF.
One time I was awake before my mommy and daddy, and I looked out our cabin window and saw a BIG burly bear standing on the hood of our Jeep. I thought “Jeepers-creepers” not on MY Jeep…so I ran to the bedroom barking loudly to wake up Dad. He came out and “bearly” got there before the bear was getting on the roof of the Jeep, which we know would have crushed it for sure.
Dad made lots of loud noises and scared the bear away! I was surely the heroine of that incident, but my Mommy and Daddy would say I was their heroine everyday because they loved me so much. (Sometimes my brother and sister would say “you like Sophie the best!”)
Love to all earthly woofers from Sophie
6. From Lorenza:
Bree’s Musicmama asked me to share a story about doggie heroic acts and I immediately thought of my sweet Buffy. About two years ago he was attacked by our neighbor’s three dogs. We almost lost him.
Before that incident, I was not really a dog person. I couldn’t even touch dogs without freaking out. I was also suffering from depression and everything felt pointless. I remember how he always tried to play with me and I was always too busy. Something I’ll always regret.
The day he was attacked I looked into his eyes and told him everything was going to be okay. I remember that moment so clearly because that’s the moment my life changed. I saw him fighting for his life and it made me want to fight for my own.
Thank God for the doctors that saved him. They made sure he came back to us. Back to me. Buffy and I became inseparable after that. He became my best friend. As I helped him heal, he helped me heal. My heart was suddenly full, I smiled and laughed more.
For a year after that I worked hard on improving my mental health and now I’m writing about my journey to help others. I also became a crazy dog mommy and write in the voices of Buffy and Fluffy (10 month old puppy) to let others know how awesome dogs really are. They have feelings too and capable of so much love. I want to give dogs all over a voice. Just like Bree’s MusicMama.
Through everything, my sweetie never left my side and he made sure that I never give up. He reminded me every day just by being there and knowing that he survived motivated me to get better. My dog Buffy is my hero. He saved me.
7. From Mark:
( in my pup-inion, a hooman hero). Kasha came to the mountain as a promising young dog in the hands of a promising first time handler. I was lucky enough to work with her and explore a natural affinity that we seemed to share. Kasha came to exemplify the some of the best outcomes we could have hoped for in training. She helped us develop an avalanche rescue dog program that offered real protection and hope of live recovery for patrollers, staff, and guests. She took to training and the hardships of the environment with an ease that allowed her to see, hear, and communicate in true emergency situations. She could travel quickly to a scene, take direction, find buried people, alert and dig until their faces were exposed in less than 5 minutes. She appeared in many publications and media pieces. She taught students about working dogs and handling. She taught hill safety and the importance of wise decision making. She was an ambassador to all who knew her and changed how I felt about the possibilities of working dogs with more than one handler. She retired from a distinguished career to be loved into a late and fulfilling life. She was a bright star in a very talented team of people and animals working together to save lives. I am grateful to have been in service with her.
“In closing, I would like to thank the 7 wooferfull hoomans and their heroic woofers for sharing their stories with us. Each one was unique, and each one showed a dog’s heart. Each one illustrates the bond between us, and every one also illuminates the hooman heart. You guys are Terrior-ific! I am so grr-atefull and inspired by your tails. Keep loving eachother, and one tail wag at a time, we can change the world!
We have: love, courage, faith, trust and gratitude!”
Copyright © 2017 Jeanine Michaels. All Rights Reserved.