“Angels in Fur Coats.”

 “All God’s Angels come to us disguised.” ~  James Russel Lowell




fountainThese angels are filled with  UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, likened to a bursting fountain that never run dries , a welcoming smiling face when we arrive home everyday, our biggest cheerleader in life, an endless listener and jump at the chance to protect us from all danger, (real or imagined.)  They are the most wonderful co-pilots we could ask for, on long road trips, a true and faithful companion on the gloomiest of days, a  teacher, companion and best friend to our children,  the best medicine that could be subscribed on a sick day and an overflowing fountain5bucket of wonderment, surprise and awe. They bring us more laughter than any classic comedy, are a warm, bundle  of assurance, they love us even when we don’t love ourselves and are more fun to cuddle with than an eiderdown comforter.  These amazing bestowals to our lives are indeed an amazing and very patient  teacher  to us of new languages for they have a unique and captivating vocabulary all their own, are a welcomed sleeping companion, (even when they take up half the bed, ) and the best ‘sound machine” ever… calming our souls more than a babbling creek, the ocean waves or songs of the night birds. They never say “no” when we dress them up in (our human clothing) for the holidays, and motivate us to exercise when we know we should, but really ‘just don’t want to.”  fountain6  Their presence alone lowers our blood pressure, releases the ‘happy endorphins’ within our bodies, reducing our stress and they would gladly give up their lives for the ones they love in a second, if needed. They are a God given gift for those who do not have a child of their own, not minding one bit, being called “your baby, and adore playing the part. 🙂 These grandiose creatures are a constant and steady reminder  with their faithful  devotion and love, that “yes, you are fully accepted,  needed and loved every single day.”fountain4 Their presence creates a warm and cozy home, they make a great photography wall as well as ample, showy and felicitous scrapbooks. They will allow you to dote upon them no matter their mood, are a whimsical melody of  music to your ear and a beautiful site to your eyes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Without even taking credit, they are a noble and tangible source of comfort in times of  great loss, a gift to teach us to nurture and love…( and they turn around and give it all back to us, and then some.) These ANGELS may be in disguise but they do not remain anonymous…They freely give you the privilege of  giving them their name,  yet they are known  within our society as the DOG…AKA, doggie,  canine, pooch, hound, tyke, pup or puppy. (and many ‘nick names, I am sure.” 🙂

Cutiepie5 If you are a dog owner and a connoisseur of these miracles on paws, then you have probably already thought of a few things I did not say in my introduction.For each person, their experiences with this beloved creature is very unique and heartfelt…In this vignette, I want to share with you “just a few ways,” in which these little, (and big) guys,  “Rock our world.” In America as well as nationwide. I know that I could pick just one of the above descriptions of what these angels mean to our lives to blog about, because each proclamation is a definition of what Grantham is in our life…I know that many of your have an entire novel you could write on just what your dog(S) mean to you. I have countless friends who are parents of 4, 5, 6 , even 7 of these furry sensations…these friends are rescuers  to an abundance of little lives that would not be present today, if not for their ‘bringing them home and loving them.’ What a wonderful ministry within itself…my highest regards to  those of you who have a heart for taking in and loving all these precious lives. I also hope to reveal to those of you who do not own a dog, that they have indeed touched your life in some way, for they truly are a wonderment, fabulous entertainers and  inspiration to our lives as well as a “hearts wrapped in fur.”


DISTINGUISHED QUOTE CORNERrose100 “Dogs are miracles with paws.” ~Attributed to Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy “My little dog — a heartbeat at my feet.” ~Edith Wharton                                                                                                                                                                                                                     “We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment.” ~George Eliot doggy70

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. “~Ben Williams

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.” ~Gilda Radner

“One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you’re feeling blue is that he doesn’t try to find out why. “~Author “Unknown

angel500“I talk to him when I’m lonesome like; and I’m sure he understands. When he looks at me so attentively, and gently licks my hands; then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes, but I never say naught thereat. For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes, but never a friend like that.”~W. Dayton Wedgefarth

If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them. ~Phil Pastoret

Dogs laugh, but they laugh with their tails. ~Max Eastman, Enjoyment of Laughter

A dog can express more with his tail in seconds than his owner can express with his tongue in hours.”~Author Unknown

doggy71“Did you ever notice when you blow in a dog’s face he gets mad at you? But when you take him in a car he sticks his head out the window.” ~Steve Bluestone

Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear. “~Dave Barry

“We have a queen-size bed, and the dog sleeps in the middle. John and I are sort of these little quotation marks on either corner.” ~Rachael Ray

angel508“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”~Roger Caras

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself. “~Josh Billings


“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, filling an emptiness we don’t even know we have.”~  Writer Thom Jones

angel501“Whoever said that DIAMONDS are a girls best friend, NEVER OWNED A DOG.” ~ Author unknown

“Once in awhile a dog enters you life and changes EVERYTHING! ” ~ Author Unknown

“No one appreciates the genius of your conversation as the dog does.” ~ Christopher Morely


When you pick up your newspaper or turn the evening news on, every once in awhile , you can be sure to hear of an extraordinary Dog story…You put everything on hold to get to the ending as these stories will undoubtedly bring you hope, laughter, joy, sometimes a lump in your throat and a few tears welling up in your eyes.


Whether your cherished canine(s) are a purebred or a ‘mixed breed,’

  flanders80 mixed breed flanders 81 purebread

rescued from the kennel, or bought as a puppy,flanders 68 rescueflanders 70 litter of puulies

inherited from a friend, a family member or found on a street comer in the rain, flanders 78 inheritflanders 65 rescue to you, YOUR little, (big) guy, will always be one thing for sure….your real life Hero.






brutisMy old pastor used to tell me, “Susan, Graham is just a dog, not a human being.” (Those were fighting words. 🙂 ) He never met Brutis. A vivacious and courageous 7 year old Golden Retriever who has an enormously huge heart for the little ones… One day, a coral snake was sneakily slithering directly towards a child…in seeing this, Brutis jumped up and ran interference, attacking the snake and saving this innocent little life. This bold and gallant dog was bitten by the snake, but was able to get the medical help he needed and after a time of recuperation, Brutis was flown to Los Angeles to receive a National Hero award.


brutis7Neo, an alert, exceedingly intelligent and loving 11 month old Siberian Husky rescued his owner Marci Snead from a life and death situation. Being a diabetic with fibromyalgia and arthritis, she had gone into hypoglycemic shock. Neo, knowing that something was drastically wrong, left her and ran to a near by building, grabbing the attention of a few people who followed him back to his unconscious owner…they called 911 and Marci  was saved…The paramedics commented that they got to Marci in time because of Neo’s call for help! (Seems’ pretty humanistic to me.) 🙂

brutis2Katrina, (Its  ironic, this stunning dog’s name fits perfectly with the timing as well as the life that she so heroically saved.)  A gorgeous Black Labrador saved the life of a drowning man as the flood waters arose after New Orleans horrific hurricane Katrina had devastated their land. After her  brave and ingenious endeavor, she too had to be delivered from the waters by a rescue team . At the Genesis Awards ceremony, she as given a standing ovation. In my book, she gets the most selfless award as she truly did lay her life down for a stranger.

brutis5HERO, (yes, this dogs real name.) This crafty and honorable Golden retriever,  came to the aid of a former soldier, Gareth Jones who was paralyzed.  Hero saw that he was trapped within a bank of mud in his wheel chair and was in need of help to get out. When Gareth threw out some rope to Hero, he began to vigorously pull the rope until he released Gareth’s wheelchair from the mud embankment. It amazes me how our dogs have the innate ability to know when help is needed and are so willingly ready to assist us however they can.




brutis6Trakr! This handsome and brave German Shepherd, (posing with police officer James Symington,) helped dig through 30 feet of unstable debris at the World Trade center, Ground Zero Site and located the last survivor of the 911 Terrorist attack. Heartening and astonishing!




Moti. Youbrutis3 would never know by looking at him, but Moti saved the life of his family as he took a bullet from an intruder. One day, the Patel household was broken into and the this big guy didn’t waste a minute by barking loudly and continuously, drawing all the attention to the Buttinsky with intentions of harm…not expecting or appreciating the alert  Moti was giving to the family member’s,  the gunman shot Moti and fled the home. Moti had a total rectory and not one member of his family was hurt. BRAVO Moti! 🙂


brutis4Honey. What a cutie pie. This adorable 5 month old Cocker Spaniel actually saved the life of her owner Michael Bosch. One afternoon while driving, Micheal’s SUV was involved in a horrible car accident and rolled into a deep ravine, the car laying upside down. His only hope was to get his faithful pooch Honey released and out of the car, telling her to “go and get some help.” She was unharmed and able to run for about a half a mile where she found a man who would actually listen to her…she continued to bark, leading the man to the truck. Again the rescue team concluded that Honey had saved the day as Michael  was able to get to the hospital and get the help he needed.

brutis9Nemo. This Burly and quite noble German Shepherd was a veteran of the Vietnam war. Nemo was fortunate in the fact that he actually got to come home to the states after the war. After being trained to be a sentry dog at Lackland Air force Base in Texas, he was shipped to Vietnam in 1966. After his original handler left, he developed a strong bond with Robert Thorneburg, a second class airman.On December 3rd, 1966 after a night of fighting, Thorneburg and Nemo were out on patrol when Nemo sensed something was up. Before he could radio for backup,  Thorneburg was shot in the shoulder and Nemo was shot in the muzzle. The bullet entered under his right eye and exited through his mouth. Shrugging off his own wound and the pain, Nemo ran after the 4 gunmen which enabled Thorneburg time to call for reinforcements. Both Nemo and Thorneburg  were rushed to the Emergency Room. Nemos’ right eye had to be removed and he received skin grafts on his wounds. Eventually he was flown home, where he would receive the best veterinary care possible. After living out his life on the Lackland Air Base, Nemo died on March 15, 1973. (And I truly believed that only happened in the movies.) 🙂


DOGS THAT SERVE, with their only reward being  the smile and love of a patient.


Is this not the cutest photo ever? This is “Ralph” a very popular therapy dog to many pediatric patients. Not only does his  animated, gladsome face, wagging tail and galvanic personality bring hope and cheering up to his little residents, but he also helps in getting his patients  through rigorous and challenging chemo- therapy and radiation treatments, as well as physical and emotional rehabilitation. fountain500

Here is precious “Ralph” again, helping a little girl to take her first steps in her healing  process, after a difficult surgery. fountain 500

This arresting and charming hospital joy is “Bailey,” a popular and much loved Labrador retriever at a children’s hospital, eager to help his little patients recoup form surgeries, and long stays in the children’s ward. The children immediately bond emotionally with these therapy dogs, which is a wonderful inspiration for them to begin to move and heal. fountain503

Beautiful and friendly “Annie” is a therapy dog at the hospital in Columbia South Carolina, helping both the little ones as well as the elderly in physical and emotional therapy. fountain505

Living in  Michigan , this gorgeous German Shepherd is “Moose”…he works with children who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. With his love and warm hugs, he comes with a big incentive for them to stretch and move in their physical therapy.  It is just amazing what the presence and love of a dog will do! 🙂 fountain508 Last, but certainly not least, little Zoe, a 3 year old Yorkie loving on a 13 year old heart patient in Covenant Women and Children’s Hospital in Lubbock, Texas. I can’t tell who is kissing who? 🙂 fountain509




Q: Which gender, male or female, owns more dogs in America? Britain? briard and girlboy-hugging-newfoundland A: In a recent poll, it revealed that in America more than 3 in 5 people own pets. Women 69% are more likely to own a pet than a man at 55%. In Britain, the canine race is twice as likely to have a woman owner than a male.


fountain22  Meet the dog with the longest tongue in the world, “Puggy,” a male Pekingese from Forth Worth Texas.  His tongue measures 4.5 inches.  Do you think he has  ever been asked how long it takes to get to the end  of a Tootsie Roll Pop?


amazing dogs 11The highest jumping pooch in the world is Cinderella, an amazingly beautiful greyhound. Her record is 68 inches. “You go girl.” 🙂



amazing dogs14The tallest dog in the world is a sightly, rare greyhound named Zeus. He is 7 feet, 4 inches tall weighing in at 155 pounds. He gained his world record after Big George died in October of 2013.



Zues great daneThis is Big George. (He looks like a little pony!) 🙂 He weighed in at 245 pounds and was 43 inches tall. Both of these awesome dogs are a wonderment and sight for sore eyes. Absolutely amazing.




zues hercules for realThe  LARGEST dog in the world is none other than Hercules, an English Mastiff weighing in at 282 pounds. I would sure want to be on his good side. 🙂




amazing dogs12The  tiniest dog in the world is this darling little creature, Miracle Millie, a Chihuahua from Puerto Rico, only a mere 3.8 inches tall. This is one dog I would be afraid to let sleep on our bed… 🙂



fountain 11The tyke with the longest tail is a very dapper and debonaire, Irish wolfhound from Calgary Canada, “Finnegan” with a tail measuring 28.46 inches. Beautiful dog!




amazing dogs3The most human looking dog…his name is Tonik, a 2 year old poodle mix… (You know , he actually does remind me of someone I went to high school with.) 🙂





amazing dogs2The oldest dog in the world… “Bella.”This faithful and much loved Labrador cross, living in Lincolnshire with her family, lived to be 203 years in “doggie years” and 29 in human years. Now that is amazing!



amazing dogs4 This is Champ. AKA One of the Worlds happiest Dogs! (A Google POLL 🙂 )






amazing dogs 5The runners up? “The Happy Twins.”







flanders 86 most expensive dog Lastly, the worlds most expensive dog… A Tibet Mastiff puppy…bought for a mere 2 million dollars! 🙂




I don’t know about you , but Kit and I love to watch The Westminster Kennel Club, Best in show…They never pick the dog that “we would pick,” as the winner, but it is so much fun to watch , just to see all the amazing breeds of dogs that exist.  This years 2014 winner was SKY, a distinguished  Wire Fox Terrier.flanders51 sky winner of best in sow

Two absolutely breathtaking contenders were SWAGGER and ALLIE… Swaggerflanders66 contnerder in show



Three eminently “Exotic breeds” I had never heard of or seen before that will melt your hearts.

These two adorable dogs are called ‘Cotton de Tulear’s.’ Originating in Madagascar, they are eager to please, playful and exceedingly intelligent.exotic2 The Schapendoes is from the Netherlands. This shaggy dog is very friendly, affectionate, lively and smart.   exotic1 The Komondor. This winsome dog is very affectionate with children, friendly, loyal and a great protector of his family. exotic



I was amazed to see such a beautiful array of mixed breed dogs…some of these dogs are rare breeds from birth, where as others are created by breeders, mixing 2 different breeds together. Either way, these dogs are worth seeing…showstoppers for sure!

Natures rare breeds…

The  Catahoula Leopard dog. Intelligent, energetic, a great protector and loyal.amazing dogs 20 The Otter-hound. There are estimated that there are only 1000 Otter hounds in the world. They originated in Britain and are a hunting dog. (What a cutie.) amazing dogs 17 The Tibetan Mastiff does not like apartment living. 🙂 From Tibetan, he adores being outside, is very friendly, strong willed and gives great bear hugs. 🙂 tibetan-mastiff_ph The Leonberger. This beautiful creature is from Germany…nicknamed “Leo the Lion,” is definitely  a family dog, loves children, loyal, playful and a faithful protector to those he loves. (You have go to love that face.) 🙂Leonberger_curious.ashx


Here are  a few beautiful and heartening breeds  that were created when two breeders got together… 🙂

The Dalmachshund, a mix of the Dalmatian breed with the dachshund. fountain30 The Goberian. A mix of the Siberian Husky and Golden Retriever fountain 34 The Yorkshire Terrier and poodle. (NO name given so I guess you can make up your own.) 🙂 Maybe a Yorkie-poo? fountain33   This is The Sharp Asset, A mix of the Basset Hound and a Sharp-Pei . fountain 36 And one of my all time favorites; The Labradoodle…An adorable mix of a Labrador Retriever and Poodle. fountain 38



The AKA has not yet created a device to measure “Love-ability” in a dog, but they do have a top ten list of the BEST dogs for your little ones. (Great family dogs!) (In order of photos,) The Pit Bull, Beagle, Bull Terrier, Newfoundland, Collie, Vizsla, Golden Retriever,  Irish Setter, Poodle and Labrador Retriever

Pitbull1pitbull2pitbull3 doggy101pitbull5 pitbull6pitbull7 pitbull8pitbull9lab

The top five recommended dogs for elderly people who are wanting to add a new member to their family are the French Bull Dog, ( Martha Stewart’s “babies,”) the Poodle, Shipperke, Maltese and The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, ( Queen Elizabeth’s royal companions.)

fountain 45fountain46fountain 47 fountain48corgi




GREYFRIARS BOBBY -The famous Skye Terrier of Edinburgh. When his owner, John Gray, a Police officer died, he was buried in the old Greyfriars churchyard in Edinburgh. Bobby spent the rest of his life, (14 years,)  sitting and sleeping at his masters grave. Later, Lady Burdett-Coutts had a statue and fountain erected to commemorate this very faithful and loyal dog. ( It is just amazing how these little guys have a heart full of love for their masters. 🙂 histroydog10


OWENEY This precious pooch was a stray dog taken in by the Postal workers in New York. Oweney loved the smell of the postal bags, (but I think it was much more than that, ) 🙂 that he followed the workers on all their mail runs, including an abundance of train rides. The New York Postal branch gave Oweney a collar and ID in case he ever got lost. Many other branches did the same , including medals of honor. He  became the Post Office’s ‘unofficial mascot.’ His medals can be found in the Postal Museum in Washington DC.history dog5


 Meet STRELKA and BELKA. These two cuties were launched on Sputnik 5 in 1960 for a one day mission into space. They were the first to return alive. Strelka later gave birth to a litter of puppies in which one of them was given to President John F. Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline. histroy dog 9


This awesome dog will bring a tear to any dry eye. FAITH is a bipedal female who was born in December of 2002 in the U.S. Her back two legs were fully developed, but her one front leg was deformed and had to be amputated when she was 7 months old. Her owner, Jude Stringfellow rescued her at 3 weeks old and even though she was told by several veterinarians that Faith needed to be ‘put down,’ she and her family saw things differently. They had hope. With using spoons full of  p-nut butter as an incentive, Jude taught Faith to hop…but it was Faith (along with the help from the family Corgi,) that taught herself to walk. She brings joy , inspiration and awe everywhere she goes…People say she hops like a rabbit and walks like a human. 🙂 Her perseverance and the love of her family is both extraordinary and amazing.   histroy dog 7


BOBBI. A story of hope… Bobbi left with her family in Oregon to go on a family Road trip. While stopping over in Indiana, Bobbie disappeared. Her family looked everywhere for her and stopped the search when they felt she was nowhere to be found. 6 months later, Bobbi showed up on their front door step, having found her way back  home, from 2,800 miles away. Upon her return, Bobbie became a National celebrity.  bobbi


These stories are not about dogs that have made the headlines, the history books or America’s greatest hero list…they are just a few heart warming tales of some precious, beloved dogs that have brought joy, smiles, tears and a will to live to their very blessed owners.

CHEYENNE, AN ANGEL IN DISGUISE.” ~ A true story written by Catherine Moore (This heartwarming story is a bit longer, but truly worth the read. ) :)

“Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!” My father yelled at me. “Can’t you do anything right?”

Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn’t prepared for another battle.

“I saw the car, Dad . Please don’t yell at me when I’m driving…” My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt. Dad glared at  me, then turned away and settled back.

At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts… dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him? Dad had been a  lumberjack in Washington and Oregon . He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the  forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack  competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his  prowess.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn’t lift  a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him  outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever  anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn’t do something he had done as a younger man. Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing. At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor’s  orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone..

My husband,Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small  farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would  help him adjust.  Within a week  after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed  nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue. Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At  the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad’s troubled mind.

But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it. The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain. Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed,”I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article..” I listened as  she read. The article described a  remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had proved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.. I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon.. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons too big, too small, too much hair.

As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world’s aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed. Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hip bones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly. I pointed to the dog. “Can you tell me about him?” The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. “He’s a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we’ve  heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow.” He gestured helplessly. As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror.. “You mean you’re going to kill him?” “Ma’am,”  he said gently, “that’s our policy. We don’t  have room for every unclaimed dog.” I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. “I’ll take him,” I said.

I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me.. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch… “Ta-da ! Look what I got for you, Dad !” I said excitedly. Dad looked, then  wrinkled his face in disgust. “If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don’t want it” Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house. Anger rose inside me.. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. “You’d better get used to him, Dad. He’s staying!” Dad ignored me.. “Did you hear me, Dad ?” I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw.. pointer1Dad’s lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees  hugging the animal. It was the  beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne . Together he and Cheyenne explored the  community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams,  angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet. Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad’s bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends.

Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne ‘s cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night.. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father’s room. Dad lay in his bed, his face  serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the  night. Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad’s bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad’s peace of mind. The morning of Dad’s funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church.. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life. And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” “I’ve often thanked God for sending that angel,” he said.  For me, the past  dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article… Cheyenne ‘s unexpected appearance at the animal shelter ..his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father. . and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.


“A LADY, friend and companion like no other.”

Living in a new state, feeling down, missing family and friends, and dealing with physical pain from an illness, a dear friend of mine was surprised with a gift that would not take away all of her ailments, but it was sure to “lighten them”… This gift? A mixed breed dog that was given to her…She had always owned show dogs, purebreds…but this little dog, (named Lady,)  was totally the opposite… As they began to get acquainted…a bond she never expected birthed…suddenly, she did not feel so alone, she had a new joy as well as a new little friend to take care of...Lady needed her. They began doing everything together, watching classic movies, cooking, (Lady loves the delicious tidbits that just happen to fall upon the  kitchen floor,) 🙂 they snuggle at bedtime, plant their beautiful spring  garden together  and keep each other company in the ominous  mid west weather. Who would have known that such a loving heart and handpicked companion would show up like she did ‘at just the right time.’ virginia


“Hey guys when I said I wanted to be a part of your family, I really meant it.”

The perfect weekend….Kit , graham and I arrived to one of our favorite places on earth…Mystic Connecticut. We had rented a little cottage adjoined to an old seafaring Bed and breakfast on the Mystic River.We got a fire started in the living room hearth, poured a glass of wine and went out to the jacuzzi…(another one of our ‘fav’s’ in this world.) 🙂 It was the most beautiful night, crisp with a soft breeze, the sky, Stygian black embellished with thousands of glittering stars…Graham was happily laying down on the wood planked deck. (If there is one thing he absolutely hates, its  water  and ‘hot water‘ is an absolute “No -Way-Jose,” in his little world.)  If you just say the word  bath, he goes running.  As we sat in the hot tub, reminiscing and relaxing, suddenly, without any warning, Grantham jumped into the jacuzzi… His eyes were as big as saucers…Kit and I were shocked, perplexed and quickly guided him to the deck where we got out and dried him off…He just kept looking at us…(130 pound of wet) as if to say, “I just want to BE WITH YOU , that’s all. 🙂 We went inside by the fire, got warm, and put on a movie. (The three of us snuggled up together…does it get any better? )     graham111











“Who is the alpha in this family anyway?”

  I laugh so hard when I think about my friend Sara and her black Lab, Obediah…”Obie” for short. Obie arrived to her  new home at only 8 weeks and had turned 6 years old when it all began… (now we are talking about a dog that was trained, exceedingly obedient  and well, almost perfect.) First, Obie began “marking her territory”  whenever Sara’s company left from a wondrous evening of entertaining. (It took a lot of ‘Natures Miracle cleaner‘ to get her carpet back to normal.) Then Obie began sneaking food, (anything left out on a table..chocolate chip cookies, a whole stick of butter, but what really did it was an entire block of Brie cheese.  Obie’s tummy reacted, (very predictable) but it happened in the middle of the night before Sara’s (very classy) ladies luncheon the next day…she was up all night cleaning, but just could not get rid of the smell. A call for help was needed…(For Obie, not the carpet.) 🙂 When the dog trainer arrived, his questions to Sara and her husband were quick and easy to answer. (In which they answered yes to everyone.) “Do you allow Obie on the couch? Does he sleep with you? Do you walk him without a leash? Does he walk ahead of you every time you go outside?  Has he stopped responding to your “No’s?” His final answer?  “You have allowed Obie to become the alpha in your home.” …Who would have thought? I am happy to say, everything turned around after a few changes were implemented and Obie now knows who the Big cheese is in the family… and it’s not him…(no pun intended. ) 🙂




“Hey Susan, I think you dropped something.”

It was a beautiful, sunny South Carolina morning. We were staying with my cousin and his family who lived on  several acres of beautiful land out in the country. My exercise routine was to run (OK, walk-jog) around their property until I couldn’t breathe any longer. 🙂 I always jog-walked with two hand weights…Graham just had to come outside with me every morning… either because he loved being with me  so much or he was protecting me in case a big bear came out of the neighboring woods…anyhow, as I ran each lap, he just stared at me, wagging his tail playfully as I would run by him. (His endearing presence made my endeavor a lot more bearable. 🙂   I decided to lay one of my hand weights down after about 20 minutes and run with just one….a few minutes later as I looked up, there was Graham…running towards me with a pink hand weight in his mouth….he ran right up to me and dropped it at my feet and sat down, out of breath. I could not stop laughing at this hilarious and captivating moment…how thoughtful of him to bring me my weight…but that is just who Grantham is. 🙂


(My last story about Grantham, I promise.) 🙂

“Don’t worry guys, I am not going anywhere.”

Suddenly, out of nowhere, our 12 year old Grantham could not get up…It shook our entire world. Kit began using a bath towel supported around Grahams waste to help him stand up to a limping-walk to get outside or he would carry him…We took him immediately to our vet and upon examination was told he had literally torn the tendon in his back leg off the bone. Their thought? “Because he is so big, (105 pounds,)  surgery wouldn’t work so it may be best to put him down.” Our hearts were broken as he is our baby… The other option, was to begin laser treatment and massage therapy…we prayed and felt that was the way to go. The one thing the tech told us was; “The Laser therapy will only help if Graham will take walks every day, even if he doesn’t want to…” (and he has to lose weight.) Graham became our full time job…Laser therapy three times a week, massages day and night and  walks and exercising his leg several times daily. What began happening was truly a miracle…He stopped fighting us with his walks, (the diet took a little longer as HE LOVES TO EAT,) 🙂   he was eager and ready everyday to ‘get moving’…(he loved his massages and his therapist. 🙂  In a matter of months, he was out running again, chasing the bunnies and squirrels…just like he did as a puppy. He has lost weight and is very healthy and happy, and we just celebrated his 13th birthday this month. He knew all along, it was not his time…his body, (at the time,)  may have felt like it needed to give up, but his big, beautiful brown eyes were saying something entirely different…He wanted to live. I thank God everyday that He has given us more time with  one of the most wonderful gifts He has ever given us.

(Grantham now.) 🙂


Lastly, for those of you who do not own a dog, I am sure that you got a “tug at your heartstrings” from one of these Hollywood movies, where the lead actor/actress was none other than a famous, loveable D-O-G. 🙂 .

The delight-some “Air Bud,” and comical and entertaining “Zeus and Roxanne.”

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Who can forget the suspenseful classic, “White Fang,” or ingenious “Fire House Dog?” flanders41 whitefangflanders40 firehouse dog

I loved the heartwarming story of “The adventures of Yellow Dog,” and who doesn’t love “Scooby Doo?”

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One of my all time favorites is “Fluke,” (the master of the home coming back as a dog,) and the adorable, flirtatious Chloe of “Beverly Hills Chihuahua?” flanders28 fllukeflanders25 bev hills chi Chloe

Diane Lane and her gorgeous “newfie” in “Must love Dogs,” as well as the hilarious Jim Belushi in K-9 with Jerry lee, the infamous dog.

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One of my favorite actors Tom Hanks and Beasley in the slap happy  movie “Turner and Hooch” and everyone’s favorite “Snoopy”, (whether he is celebrating Halloween or Christmas with his “gang,” he is a welcomed sight in all of our homes. 🙂 flanders11 Turner and hoochflanders10 snoopy

One of the most renowned dogs in the world, Toto, in “The Wizard of OZ” and the frolicking, lovable Dalmatians  we all grew up with, as children…in  Disney’s “101 Dalmatians.”

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Loyal, faithful and the dog we all wish our dogs took after in the “obedience” factor, LASSIE!  I don’t which way I enjoyed Tim Allen the most… as a dog or a human being in “The Shaggy Dog.”

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In elementary  school, when our teacher read “Old Yeller” to us, I must have used up an entire box of tissues…and as a movie, it was just as tear jerking. A beautiful  classic. Another great film is “Marmaduke”… He looks like he has found his “Lassie.” 🙂 flanders4 old yellerflanders3 Marmeduke


Two more fantastic movies…”Snow Dogs” and one of my top five picks, (if you have not seen it,) “Dog of Flanders.”  There is nothing as  heartwarming as the bond between a boy and his dog.

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Life seemed so carefree and simple when “Please don’t eat the Daisey’s” was on with Doris Day and Ladadog,  Hollywood’s prestigious English Sheep Dog.  “101 Dalmatians 2” was another hit with the wickedly funny Glen Close as Cruella  deville. flanders hobo in please dont eatthe daisysflanders 102 dalmations

The adorable, lovable pup in the film  “CHOMPS,” and Diane Keaton giving her new found puppy a bath in “Darling Companions” …another great family movie.. flanders chompsflanders 49 darlinng companions


The endearing coonhounds in “Where the Red fern grows” and the gleeful, jovial dogs in “All Dogs go to Heaven.” Two inspirational movies for both the young and old! flanders 31 where he red fern growsflanders 30 all dogs go to heaven In “Oh Heavenly Dog,”  Benji (AKA) Browning, captured our hearts over and over again. This dauntless and brave little guy in the Benji movies stole our hearts as well…a mixed breed known as Higgins in real life.

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A dynamic and lovable little beagle finds he has super powers in “Underdog,” and if your in the mood for a very emotional and tenderhearted tale of a boy and his dog, “My Dog Skip” is a fabulous pick.

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A face every mother could love. 🙂 The  St. Bernard in the movie “Beethoven” will steal your heart! Disney’s  lovely Lady and the Tramp will live on forever in all of our hearts. flanders 15 beethoven 1&2flanders 14 lady in the tramp

Once living in an animal shelter, with only 24 hours to live, (his true life story,)  Rudy was rescued and became a Hollywood movie star in “Marley and me.” This Yellow Labrador retriever stole my heart and I am sure all of America’s. Another heart string puller, is the love story between Richard Geer and Hachi….beautifully filmed and written. (A true story about an Akita dog.)

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gentle giants1I hope somewhere in this vignette you have found your little, (Or big) angel in a fur coat, are reminded of the one you already have…are tempted to go out and get your new addition to your family or perhaps have smiled at some of these stories in realizing what a miracle and wonderment these critters are to our lives. 🙂



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