What I have learned from dogs


Kassi came from a pet store. She was born in March of 1984. I bought her from a pet store before I became aware of the horror that is puppy mills. Now I recommend rescue and adoption. At that time the only thing I knew was that I had lost my Peanut and I wanted or needed a puppy to care for.

I loved the name Kassandra so that’s what I decided to call her. In fact her full name was Kassandra Alexis. But we called her Kassi. She was a black and tan dachshund. The paperwork said she was a mini but I think she was more of a tweenie(in between a mini and a standard).

My favorite story about Kassi is about her Ocsar the grouch squeaky toy. She had that toy when she was spayed. She took it everywhere with her and wouldn’t relax and go to bed at night unless she had it. This went on for the week while she recovered from the spay surgery. Then as soon as she felt better and the stitches were out she ripped it apart.

Kassi was a loyal friend and companion to me. We went through many changes together, moving a number of times and living in different places, even camping for a whole month while looking for a place to live. She was very loyal and protective and just happy to be with me no matter where we were.

She loved camping and going to the local parks for walks. Kassi loved hanging out down by the beach area. Kassi was never a very social dog and did not care for other people especially children. But she never left my side no matter what. My comfort when I lost my mom, my best friend when I was lonely, my study buddy when I returned to school.

The only other dog she ever liked and would sleep next to was Poffo, a mutt that was my mom’s dog. In fact they loved each other and Poffo lived with us after my mom died.

Kassi taught me the importance of being loyal to those that mean the most to you and sticking by them.

Unfortunately Kassi became very sick the summer before my second year in college. I had to make the hard decision to put her out of her suffering a week before returning to my studies.

I loved her and I still miss her. She was a loyal little friend who taught me a very important lesson.
Thank You Kassi.


Happy National Pet Day

To celebrate National Pet day… Some favorite pictures of dogs….Enjoy 🙂


I purchased Xena from a breeder in 1996 shortly after I started my second year of college for Veterinary technology. She was the last puppy from the litter and also the smallest of the litter. Xena was a black and tan smooth coated mini dachshund and just the most adorable thing you would ever see. When I learned that we shared a birthday, 6/24, I knew it was fate, that she was meant to come home with me.

The name Xena was chosen for her because that was my favorite show at the time and this tiny little puppy was as fierce as Xena, warrior princess. As it turns out she would prove that many times during the course of her time with me. Xena was fierce up till the time she crossed that rainbow bridge.

She went camping with me and loved it. A very fierce little dog chasing the chipmunks away. I took her on vacation to New Hampshire with me many times and she loved the trails. She was a fierce little dog on the trails always picking up the scent of some little critter. In fact she once managed to lock my Labrador Berry in the bathroom of the cabin… like I said fierce.

At home Xena was not only a warrior but the Queen of the house, even to the two Labradors and the cats. The Labradors would drop the bone they were chewing on to give it to her, all it took was a look.

Always a hit with kids, she reveled in the attention. She would just love to get petted and belly rubs.

Xena was my baby, my sweetheart and my best friend. She would sit with me and help me study for my classes. I would read to her from my text books, because sometimes it helped me to hear this out loud.

She was as excited as I was to move into our new house. Two of her favorite things were going to the park and playing in her big backyard.

We grieved together when the two Labradors crossed over the rainbow bridge. It was a very sad time and we watched a lot of sad movies together.

I was there for her when she injured her back. I made sure that she had everything she needed or wanted. Then when several years later it was time for her to cross over the rainbow bridge I was devastated. This was in 2011. It truly broke my heart. I felt like all happiness was shattered forever. I felt that I would never go on. I almost decided to never get another dog. Thankfully I changed my mind and I got my Jilly. She helped ease the grief.

I keep my Xena’s ashes on my bookshelf with her collar and favorite toy. I know she will be there when its my time. It eases my soul to know that she is happy and playing with the two Labradors and running in a never-ending field.


Xena taught me to be fierce. Be fierce in the face of whatever adversity you have. She was a warrior and a Queen in my house. She also taught me to enjoy being the center of attention sometime, because…well….everyone deserves that sometimes.

Thank you Xena

Thanks for reading……..



Peanut was the first dog we had that was mine. We always had dogs, they were family dogs, Peanut was mine. MY RESPONSIBILITY! Big responsibility for a 12 year but I would learn fast and never look back.

I was young at only 12 years old when my Dad brought this little 7 week old puppy home to me. She was black and tan with a tiny bit of white on her chest. Part dachshund, part terrier she was adorable. I decided to give her the name Peanut. Peanut looked like a dachshund and as I’ve come to learn over the years had many of the traits of a dachshund. She is  the reason I came to love the breed so much. She was with me all the time after my dad brought her home that day. I shared my bed with her and watched TV with her. This was also the time that my love of TV began. We played in the yard with my friends together. In fact when I had to leave her to go spend a month one summer with my grandparents in Colorado I called everyday to see how she was. I also carried her picture around and showed it to everyone I met.

My baby Peanut was there for me when my Dad had his last heart attack and was in the hospital for so long. She was with me when I graduated high school and with me when I received the news that my Dad had passed. Peanut made the move into that horrible duplex apartment with me, my mom and my brother after we lost my Dad. My baby Peanut was with me through all that for 10 years and I was devastated when I lost her. It was heart breaking.

I thank Peanut for helping to teach me responsibility and for giving me my love of Dachshunds.


Rosie was a black Labrador Retriever I adopted from the Guide Dog Foundation. She retired from he work as a guide dog when she developed a medical condition. When she came to the Foundation she was very sick with sores on the pads of her feet and severe skin allergies. She was retired and surrendered to the Guide Dog Foundation.

Rosie and I became connected because she spent most of her time in my office. She was older and well-behaved and was a perfect companion. Unfortunately I was living in a small apartment at the time and had just recently adopted Berry. I was not able to take her in right away.

Rosie lived at the Guide Dog Foundation for a year. She did get to go home and visit with other people but nothing long-term. She was a sweet dog but we could not find a home for her. Maybe because she was a bit older with some medical issues.

It was around this timeframe that we began our search for a house. We looked for what felt like forever and finally found the perfect house. When we closed on our house we made the decision to bring Rosie home. Rosie fit in great with our little family. She was already familiar with Berry from her visits to the Foundation. My doxie, Xena, accepted her very quickly as long as the understanding was that Xena was in charge.  Rosie became a very special part of our household. Her and Berry would run around the yard and enjoyed each others company. Xena would lay in the sun and be the dog in charge. They all got along great. Even the cats got along wonderfully with Rosie.

Rosie was only with us for a couple of years but she was a great dog. She had a sweet, loving soul. Playing ball was her greatest love, soccer,football, softball, tennis ball, basketball. If you could throw it she loved chasing them. Her favorite season was fall when the leaves were falling. She would sit outside in the yard all day in the fall. Rosie loved Halloween. Greeting the kids at the door was so much fun for her.

I remember Rosie never had an interest in people food until her condition worsened and then all she would eat is people food. We cooked for her and let her have what she wanted. She went through phases, fora few weeks she would only eat chicken, then hamburger, then homemade pizza. She even went through a phase where the only thing she ould eat was rib tips from the chinese place. I remember her turning her nose up at anything else. I believe she just decided that she was going to have everything she couldn’t have before. I also believe she enjoyed it and appreciated it in her last days.

Rosie’s lesson to learn was patience. she was a very patient dog. she was the patient to wait for the right furever home to spend the last of her days in. She was patient and relaxed when she would sit in the middle of the yard watching people, other dogs, and squirrels run around.

We hope we gave her a good couple of years in our home. We loved her very much. She will always have a special place in our hearts. Love you Rosie.

My Berry

Berry was a retired Guide Dog I adopted when I worked at The Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind. She was an 8 year old black Labrador retriever with skin issues when she entered my life.

Berry taught me that you have to adapt to what life brings you. She worked as a Guide dog(and she was a good one) and was with her Guide Dog user through some rough times. I was working in the kennel when she came in for medical reasons(skin/allergies). I sat with her because she was frightened. She had become very cautious about meeting new people. I sat with her and we just connected. We connected immediately. It was like she just knew she could trust me. I kept her in my office because it was a quiet place for her. Berry would get very anxious in a kennel run and knock over her water bucket and make a mess in her kennel. She did not like the tight confined space.

When she was retired due to allergies I jumped at the chance to adopt her. after all we had this immediate connection that only another dog person can truly understand. So on July 4th 2002 i brought her home to my apartment. She loved living with Xena(my dachshund) and quickly settled in. We didnt always have use of the yard so Berry and I would go for lots of walks. Berry adapted to apartment life and to living with cats. She was a sweet soul who enjoyed going to the local park and running around. We did not play fetch as she hated it. Berry also hated the water. Odd I know, for a Lab. But that was Berry. Berry was great company though and we could just sit quietly together.

I took Berry on vacation to New Hampshire multiple times and she loved it. We would go hiking in the mountains on the trails. She also enjoyed going camping on Long Island with me. We would take many walks down close to the beach.

Berry would come to work with me at the Guide Dog Foundation on Sundays. She always had a great time. Riding in the car was one of her favorite activities. . She would enjoy playtime in the exercise yard and walks during lunchtime as well as hanging out with me in my office.

We moved into our house in 2004 and once again Berry adapted very quickly. The yard was perfect for her and Xena to run around in. WE added another retired guide dog to our family after moving into the house and Berry and Rosie became best buddies.

With every change Berry adapted quickly and enjoyed the change. This is what I learned from her. Berry and I were connected to each other, we really bonded.

Sadly I had to help Berry cross over the rainbow bridge in 2007.I still miss her deeply.

Dogs make a difference in our lives. Dogs have certainly made a huge difference in MY LIFE! They make small differences in us that go unnoticed and they make big differences that we never forget. I have had many dogs in my life, both in my personal life and at my work. I grew up with dogs in my house. They became part of me, every single one of them in some way. I have tons of pictures that have me with one dog or another in them as I was growing up. I grew to love all of them. Now I can’t even think what it would be like to not have a dog in my house and in my life. I LOVE DOGS!

I hope to write about many of the dogs that have touched my life in this blog. I believe that dogs come into our lives and leave a piece of themselves behind long after they are gone. I will try to put into words with this blog how each dog has touched and changed me and taught me. Each dog is special in his/her own way. I hope to convey how special with words and will use pictures when I have them. There are some that I do not have any pictures of. If you love dogs as I do I hope you will come with me on this journey to discover how much I have learned from the dogs that have come into my life…. and how much they continue to teach me.