August 10, 2009

TANK AND A SUPRISE GUEST

QUOTE OF THE DAY:






















(Mitch)











"Most dog owners are at length able to teach themselves to OBEY their dog." -- Robert Morley





















(Maggie)

Hi friends,
Yesterday Mommy went to "The Descendants of Poggioreale, Sicily Families Reunion". It was quite and experience and something she would not have missed for the world. There were 66 families represented and people from all over Texas, Louisiana, California, Australia and Italy were there. Mommy, her sisters, and a whole bunch of family were there for the Ricca and Giacondo families....that's us. Mommy took lots and lots of pictures, but she hasn't had time to edit them, so Mommy will do that post on another day. But at the bottom of this post is a tiny, tiny video of a surprise guest at the reunion that was smuggled in. But ya got to wait.
Mommy got home from work and found this story from Aunt Judy. It made Mommy cry. Who knows if this is true or not, but it's a good story! Mommy knows this does happen.
REGGIE






They told me the big black Lab's name was Reggie as I looked at him lying in his pen. the shelter was clean, no-kill, and the people really friendly. I'd only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open. Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.
But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn't hurt. Give me someone to talk to. And I had just seen Reggie's advertisement on the local news. The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn't look like "Lab people," whatever that meant. They must have thought I did.
But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes, and a sealed letter from his previous owner. See, Reggie and I didn't really hit it off when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to ! give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too. Maybe we were too much alike.
For some reason, his stuff (except for the tennis balls - he wouldn't go anywhere without two stuffed in his mouth) got tossed in with all of my other unpacked boxes. I guess I didn't really think he'd need all his old stuff, that I'd get him new things once he settled in. but it became pretty clear pretty soon that he wasn't going to.
I tried the normal commands the shelter told me he knew, ones like "sit" and "stay" and "come" and "heel," and he'd follow them - when he felt like it. He never really seemed to listen when I called his name - sure, he'd look in my direction after the fourth of fifth time I said it, but then he'd just go back to doing whatever. When I'd ask again, you could almost see him sigh and then grudgingly obey.
This just wasn't going to work. He chewed a couple shoes and some unpacked boxes. I was a little too stern with him and he resented it, I could tell. The friction got so bad that I couldn't wait for the two weeks to be up, and when it was, I was in full-on search mode for my cellphone amid all of my unpacked stuff. I remembered leaving it on the stack of boxes for the guestroom, but I also mumbled, rather cynically, that the "damn dog probably hid it from me"
Finally I found it, but before I could punch up the shelter's number, I also found his pad and other toys from the shelter.. I tossed the pad in Reggie's direction and he snuffed it and wagged, some of the most enthusiasm I'd seen since bringing him home. But then I called, "Hey, Reggie, you like that? Come here and I'll give you a treat." Instead, he sort of glanced in my direction - maybe "glared" is more accurate - and then gave a discontented sigh and flopped down. With his back to me.
Well that's not going to do it either, I thought. And I punched the shelter phone number.
But I hung up when I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten about that, too. "Okay, Reggie," I said out loud, "let's see if your previous owner has any advice."
.........To Whoever Gets My Dog:
Well, I can't say that I'm happy you're reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie's new owner..I'm not even happy writing it. If you're reading this, it means I just got back from my last car ride with my Lab after dropping him off at the shelter. He knew something was different. I have packed up his pad and toys before and set them by the back door before a trip, but this time... it's like he knew something was wrong. And something is wrong... which is why I have to go to try to make it right.
So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you.
First, he loves tennis balls. the more the merrier. Sometimes I think he's part squirrel, the way he hordes them. He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in there. Hasn't done it yet. Doesn't matter where you throw them, he'll bound after it, so be careful - really don't do it by any roads. I made that mistake once, and it almost cost him dearly.
Next, commands. Maybe the shelter staff already told you, but I'll go over them again: Reggie knows the obvious ones -"sit," "stay," "come," "heel." He knows hand signals: "back" to turn around and go back when you put your hand straight up; and "over" if you put your hand out right or left. "Shake" for shaking water off, and "paw" for a high-five. He does "down" when he feels like lying down - I bet you could work on that with him some more. He knows "ball" and "food" and "bone" and "treat" like no body's business.
I trained Reggie with small food treats. Nothing opens his ears like little pieces of hot dog.
Feeding schedule: twice a day, once about seven in the morning, and again at six in the evening. Regular store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand.
He's up on his shots. Call the clinic on 9th Street and update his info with yours; they'll make sure to send you reminders for when he's due. Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet. Good luck getting him in the car - I don't know how he knows when it's time to go to the vet, but he knows.
Finally, give him some time. I've never been married, so it's only been Reggie and me for his whole life. He's gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can. He sits well in the backseat, and he doesn't bark or complain. He just loves to be around people, and me most especially.
Which means that this transition is going to be hard, with him going to live with someone new.
And that's why I need to share one more bit of info with you.....
His name's not Reggie.
I don't know what made me do it, but when I dropped him off at the shelter, I told them his name was Reggie. He's a smart dog, he'll get used to it and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt. but I just couldn't bear to give them his real name. For me to do that, it seemed so final, that handing him over to the shelter was as good as me admitting that I'd never see him again. And if I end up coming back, getting him, and tearing up this letter, it means every thing's fine. But if someone else is reading it, well... well it means that his new owner should know his real name. It'll help you bond with him. Who knows, maybe you'll even notice a change in his demeanor if he's been giving you problems.
His real name is Tank. Because that is what I drive.
Again, if you're reading this and you're from the area, maybe my name has been on the news. I told the shelter that they couldn't make "Reggie" available for adoption until they received word from my company commander. See, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could have left Tank with... and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq, that they make one phone call the the shelter... in the "event"... to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption. Luckily,my colonel is a dog guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed. He said he'd do it personally. And if you're reading this, then he made good on his word.
Well, this letter is getting to downright depressing, even though, frankly, I'm just writing it for my dog. I couldn't imagine if I was writing it for a wife and kids and family. but still, Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my family.
And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family and that he will adjust and come to love you the same way he loved me.
That unconditional love from a dog is what I took with me to Iraq as an inspiration to do something selfless, to protect innocent people from those who would do terrible things... and to keep those terrible people from coming over here. If I had to give up Tank in order to do it, I am glad to have done so. He was my example of service and of love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.
All right, that's enough. I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at the shelter. I don't think I'll say another good-bye to Tank, though. I cried too much the first time. Maybe I'll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth.
Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home, and give him an extra kiss goodnight - every night - from me.Thank you, Paul Mallory
I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope. Sure I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously earning the Silver Star when he gave his life to save three buddies. Flags had been at half-mast all summer.
I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog.
"Hey, Tank," I said quietly.
The dog! 's head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright.
"C'mere boy."
He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor. He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn't heard in months.
"Tank," I whispered.
His tail swished.
I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him. I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into his scruff and hugged him.
"It's me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me." Tank reached up and licked my cheek. "So what daya say we play some ball? His ears perked again. "Yeah? Ball? You like that? Ball?" Tank tore from my hands and disappeared in the next room. And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth.

******************************************************************
This e-mail was sent by one of the people Aunt Judy sent it to right after Mommy started this post.
No, this one is not literally true and in fact was just updated on SNOPES this past Sunday. But as they said…it is sort of figuratively true. Our Armed Service personnel have very difficult and stressful duties before them. Many have pets, but tragically have no where to send them when they are called away to serve for many months or even years. Sadly they must choose to euthanize their beloved pet or surrender to shelters who will most probably euthanize them. Some choose to release them onto the street I am sure. Is it fair, no…was it the best decision for them to own a pet KNOWING what the future might bring, maybe not. But even I must stop and consider the life they lead and what a joy and stress reliever a pet is to have as a companion. As the SNOPES article says, there are 2 private organizations who provide fostering for a military pet until the service member can return home. That might mean months or it might mean well over a year. But consider the gift you are giving them to know their pet is safe and loved and waiting for their return. I usually have my foster slots full of doxies of course, but if you or someone you know, might have a spot in their home to be able to foster for them, please consider it.


http://www.operationnoblefoster.org/



https://www.netpets.org/netp/foster.php




OK....now that every body's eyes are leaking just like Mommy's here is what got smuggled in yesterday and maybe it will make you stop crying.


Love, kisses and {{{huggies}}} to all............Mona
PS..he is 2 months old and his Mommy just picked him up Sunday morning and didn't want to leave him home but didn't want to miss the reunion either. Of course Mommy was thrilled. His name is "Giuseppe" and he his chocolate dapple.
Don't tell his not Italian.

23 comments:

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

All we khan paw is WOW...

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Tank woo the pupdate!

Mango said...

Oh Mona! Thanks for making us cry and then smile.

Slobbers,
Mango

The OP Pack said...

That is a very sad story and even if not totally true, it is a reminder that not every rescue pup is there because he wasn't loved. Thanks for sharing. And what a cutie pie that snuck in there.

Tail wags, the OP Pack

Twix said...

Mona, that is a great story, true or not. Just like the OP pack said it is a great reminder to us. Momma said she fell in love with that little cutie! By the way, have you heard anything about Joanie lately?
Love and hugs,
Twix

Joe Stains said...

We don't care if it is literally true or not but it was a great story for sure. It made Mom's eyes all leaky.

Simba and Jazzi said...

We have gone from sad to happy in one post.

Simba and Jazzi xx

Maggie and Mitch said...

What a great story whether it's true or not!
Giuseppe is just adorable!
Thank you for posting our flower pictures on your bloggie, Mona!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Mango said...

Mona,
I will try to get momma to take flower photos of us, but it is very hot right now and so she is hiding in the AC.

Slobbers,
Mango

Anne-Kathrine said...

Def crying here eventhough the story isn't completely true there is a lot of truth to it.

Love the new puppy, sooo cute.

Deefor said...

That was a sad and happy story if you know what i mean. But my mom is leaking. Even I'm leaking a little. Great story.

Deefor

RILEY AND STAR said...

Hi Mona,

Star and me like your blog, it's very interesting. Your mommy sure luvs dogs, doesn't she? She's nice!

Hope you are having a great week and thanx for droppin by.

Luv,
Riley and Star.

misskyliem said...

Thank you for sharing that story. We read it last night but forgot to comment. It's good to know that good things happen to good people... and dogs.

licks
kylie

Paco,Milo, Maya and mommy Simona said...

Ohhhhhhhh sweet Mona....
we're starting crying and then we ended smiling!!!
Thanks for sharing!!!
And GIUSEPPE is very very very cute!!!
buona giornata cari amici!!!!
Ciao ciao
We love you a lotttttttttt!!
SMACKKKKKKKKKKKK

The Animal Doctor said...

Mona, we are campaigning against a proposed law in our country that will allow greyhound racing. We know what happens to greyhounds when their racing career is over. We thought about your Mommy's rescue mission, as well as those in our country. Right now, there are too many animals in need of rescue and adoption, and we can't add more to the list. Hope you can help us with our campaign. I made a post about this in our blog.

thank you so much!
MOY

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