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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Rescues in My Life tell a Story of a Family

Have you ever noticed that you can remember the chronology of your life by the lives of members of your family--including your pets? "Oh yes, I remember, Aunt Eleanor's last Thanksgiving with us was 2008 when my mother brought Jacque along." She had fallen in love with Oliver, and decided that a Papillon would be a good companion for her, as well:

© photo copyright 2008 Carrie Boyko
Adoption Day for Jacque and Mom

Before the days of digital photography, my family had owned 3 adopted cats: Corey Lou, Bandit and Carmel. Their photos are here somewhere, but unfortunately not quickly at hand, like those on the computer. Patches, on the other hand, is still part of our family--hopefully for many years yet to come.
When Xena, our adopted Retriever/Lab mix, was nearing her first birthday, she began to show signs of loneliness during our times away. We decided a kitten would be a perfect companion for her, since she had always liked cats. We took her along to an adoption day and allowed her to greet each of the available kittens. Most cowered and hid or ran. The smallest kitten there, however, showed its spunk and swatted Xena across the snout. Xena dropped into a play bow right then and there and we knew this little ball of fire was ours:
© photo copyright 2007 Carrie Boyko
Patches Joined Our Family
to Be Xena's Companion
Xena was our most contemplated adoption. Our three children were young, and knowing that she would be primarily my responsibility, I spent much time researching breeds to determine the best fit for my active family. The answer to this search was a retriever. When I visited a local rescue, I left my name and number with the request for either a Golden Retriever or lab mix. Only a week later I received a call. A litter of 8 puppies had arrived that were a mix of my two requests. Perfect!

Toni, my daughter, came along for the "interview." We employed the puppy tests that we had read about in the books on choosing a puppy. Xena was cute, playful, friendly, fearless and confident. She settled easily when held up for inspection. An easy-going, friendly playmate was ours at last.
© photo copyright 2007 Carrie Boyko
Xena Continues to Be an
Important Part of the Family
As Toni grew older, she began volunteering with a nearby rescue group. During her time there, we enjoyed the company of two foster dogs. Tanner wasn't complaining either, as each were good playmates for him:

© photo copyright Carrie Boyko 2006
Jack and Tanner Share a Toy
During His Brief Stay

© photo copyright 2008 Carrie Boyko
Molly Boo Enjoys Some Quiet Play
During Her Stay at Our Home

While in college, my oldest son adopted a rabbit, Robby, whose owner had found that he was allergic to the cute little fella. Marc gladly took over his care and enjoyed this quiet and cuddly roommate. Unfortunately, the next year, Marc's new roommate disagreed with having a furry addition to their frat house fun. So Robby came to live with us. He was here until Marc's law school graduation, upon which time Marc promptly reacquired his former roommate. He and Robby continue to share a historic apartment, where wood floors are an easy cleanup and Robby is a happy companion.

© photo copyright 2007 Carrie Boyko
Robby Poses for a Portrait

Our last adoption was Oliver, a Papillon, who came to us by way of a stubborn daughter's determination. When Oliver arrived sick at a local pet store, he was to be returned to the breeder. The caring breeder, however, did not want the puppy to endure the trip while ill. She asked the store owner to accept the puppy gratis, and in exchange, to please find it a home when recovered from his respiratory illness.
Toni had become enamoured with Papillons during the preceding months, and found this to be her chance to own one. When he was feeling better, she brought him home, equally determined to integrate him into our pack of two larger dogs.
© photo copyright 2008 Carrie Boyko
Tanner and Oliver Sleep Peacefully
Together After a Play Session
Oliver was well-received by Tanner and Xena, who both learned quickly how to play gently with this 3 pound newcomer. Tanner, a Golden Retriever, is our only breeder selected pet--ever. He is a gem, but so are all the rest of them.

If you are thinking of bringing a pet to live with you, I encourage you to read up on breeds and the needs of each type of pet you are considering. Choose a pet whose energy and needs matches your ability to provide for it. Above all, this consideration will go the farthest in assuring you a successful match. There is no greater love than the unconditional kind you receive from a dog.


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