“No!!!! No more dogs!”, my husband said. I sighed as I looked out at my new Sonoma County home. It was complete with an acre enclosed by a 6 foot chain link fence. Perfect for a dog or two. But I knew why he kept saying that. Years before we had lost both our 17 year old rescue dogs. It broke my husband’s heart. So “No more dogs” was a normal refrain when I broached the subject. Plus we had lived in San Francisco with a tiny back yard. Not really conducive to having dogs.
But now we lived in the country! So, urged on by one of my new neighbors I contacted her dear friend named Shirley. I was just looking to foster a dog, not a puppy, a dog – one who needed a home for awhile so I could fill that dog urge. And not get divorced! Ha! Because of this I met Shirley Zindler. She had a litter of puppies and a house filled with people and dogs and a few cats – everyone living in harmony.
Shirley didn’t try to get me to adopt a puppy but we spent a great deal of time together after that, walking her dogs around the back field, listening to her stories and telling her mine in the world of San Francisco feral cat trapping and ‘on the road’ dog rescue. We were building a friendship on the shared experiences and our love of animals.
One day I brought one of the puppies home against my husband’s wishes, just to foster until placed. And because of his constant complaining I returned the puppy about 4 times! I’m sure Shirley thought I was a nut case! But I couldn’t get the little guy out of my mind so one Sunday I went back to get him again remembering this was JUST to “foster”.
And that Sunday the puppy sat looking up at my husband as he watched a NASCAR race. Just sat on the floor, looking up, staring up, not moving or making a sound. Until finally my husband picked him up and placed him between his feet on the foot stool and said “Fine! Just STAY there!” Half an hour later they were both asleep as the cars went round and round on the screen, puppy chin laying on a knee and a big hand resting on a tiny white head.
And every night since that dog has sat between Larry’s feet on that footstool. 9 years worth of ball games and races and naps. We now have 2 dogs, HooverDog, the puppy I first saw at Shirley’s house and Elsie May, a pit mix who didn’t have the best puppy-hood. (But she is another story for another time.)
And our house is known to have a foster or two running around now and then because of Shirley. So, Trust me when I say, Dogwood Animal Rescue Project will not be your ordinary rescue. Lots of love and care for every creature who lands there. But then again, who wants ordinary when one can have extraordinary!