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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Choose You...

I've been thinking a bit about the bond I have with my dogs.  Several things I've read lately have made me ponder what it is that creates that bond that some of us have with certain dogs.  I have to wonder if some of it doesn't start right from the beginning.

I know that everyone has a different experience in picking out their dog.  As a kid growing up, we chose puppies, but I didn't get the final say in which puppy it would be until I was fifteen years old and chose our Australian Shepherd for my birthday.  She was female and the last blue merle the man had left.  My sister and I worked on my dad and he agreed to pay the extra money the man wanted for her unusual coloring.  We started dog obedience together the next year, just hoping she'd learn to come sometimes when we called her name and she went on to win the State Fair obedience competition that year.  I loved that dog and I remember crying a lot of tears when I left home and had to leave her behind.  My sister still loves the breed and has a pair of Aussies now, but she lives in a rural area where they can really do the sorts of things Aussies like to do.

It wasn't until my husband and I were married and able to buy our first house that I was able to really choose a dog of my own.  I consider us very lucky that we found the adoption kennel that we found.  There are some adoption kennels that choose your dog for you and that's the dog you go home with.  Others will let you look at a website and choose your dog without meeting before hand.  At Quad Cities, we filled out a questionaire and they let us meet dogs that they thought would fit our criteria.  There were only four cat safe dogs in the kennel at the time, so we only met four.  Looking back, I see that as a blessing.  We'd have been overwhelmed meeting twenty dogs. 

The two things that stick out to me about that first meeting are that Treat was one of two dogs who really seemed to like us and was leaning against us from the beginning and she was the only one who looked back at us as they led her back to the kennel.  She blossomed when we brought her home with us a week or so later.  We'd had offers of a puppy for Christmas (that I didn't know about until after Christmas) and when we told our families that we were adopting a full grown Greyhound we were met with hesitation.  As soon as everyone met her, though, they were charmed by her.  She easily became my heart dog and when she died, I felt like I'd lost a part of myself.  If I'm honest, I did lose a part of myself and I had doubts about whether I could open myself up to that kind of loss again.  Even with three other hounds in the house, I was lost without that connection.  It wasn't that I loved them less, we just didn't have that certain magic.

We went back to the adoption kennel.  It was the first time we'd chosen a dog without Treat.  We took Blueberry with us and she was...less than impressed...by the dogs we were introduced to.  I saw some very sweet dogs who were beautiful, but I didn't feel that connection.  I was feeling pretty disheartened, to tell the truth, after meeting over a dozen dogs with a very patient adoption representative.  Finally, she offered to bring out a little dog she'd mentioned before, but she cautioned us that she was very new and they didn't know a lot about her yet, and that she was very young.  When Bunny walked in that door, she walked straight over to me on the couch and leaned against me.  Blueberry -- didn't dislike her on sight.  She eventually made her way over to Mr. Taleteller and gazed up into his eyes.  I was stunned by her calmness and confidence.  I'm pretty sure I asked several times if they were sure that she was only eighteen months old. 

What strikes me is that the dogs I've felt the strongest connection with have chosen me more than I've chosen them.  Perhaps they have an instinct in them that I don't understand, or the wisdom to see something that we don't.  I know that people can come by dogs in many different ways, but I can't imagine not having a dog who chose me now.  For those of you out there who have had a heart dog in your life, either currently or in the past, how did you find your dog?  What do you think goes into the making of a deep bond with your pet?
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55 comments:

  1. My heartdog was born on my fortieth birthday. There were several in her litter but something set her apart and she stayed. She became a show dog and finished her Championship 2 days after her 2nd birthday and my 42nd. I can't say what it was about Libi, I just felt it right from the beginning. Though I've had several dogs, we just had that special bond. I miss her deeply and there can never be another like her.

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  2. I've only had one dog choose me, a little fox terrier cross who I bought for my ex-husband as we missed having a terrier in a houseful of Shelties (mostly blue merle:). I ignored him for 2 weeks and one night he left my ex's lap and came and sat on mine and looked me in the eyes and that was it, I became his person. He sure wasn't perfect but when he was taken from me way too early at the age of 3 by cancer I too felt like I'd lost a part of my heart.

    But I'm loving the experience of the growing bond forming between me and Beryl. I hope that if she had been able to choose me she would have:) I know I'm very glad I chose her!

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  3. I think Barbie chose me. She came and leaned on me when we went to meet her and her foster mum was offended because she had been aloof with her. Haha:) she also stood up to Bender and didn't accept him trying to climb onto her back.

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  4. Not counting the dogs my parents had, I've had three dogs of my own. All of them I have had a connection, a bond, but each in a different way.

    The first Bobby, was a Labrador cross. He was the only remaining puppy when I answered an add in the local newspaper.

    My second dog Poppy, was a Jack Russell. I went to the rescue kennels and the lady said they had two small dogs in. She brought Poppy out first and I just knew she was the one.

    Then Song, my beautiful Greyhound came ino my life. She healed my broken heart and brought joy to my life.

    On 16th February I will have had Song two years. She is still aloof with her affections. Only now has she started to ask me to play. Only recently has she allowed me to kneel on the floor with her (before she'd get up and go to the other side of the room). Our bond is still growing.

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  5. Both of my dogs are mammas boys, they are my first dogs that I've ever had. Shiloh is very affectionate and comes to me when I'm upset and Sammy, the older one, sticks by my side constantly. Cries when I leave and is like a bat out of hell when I come home. I don't think I have a total click with either of them but pretty darn close. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. It is so interesting you choose this topic as I was just thinking along these lines earlier today. My pug is the pug love of my life. I had wanted a pug for years and finally decided I would get a puppy. I never had a dog in my "adult" life so I was very excited. I already knew I would get a boy, which was interesting in itself as we never had boy dogs growing up. I love this pug with my whole being, and he truly is my heart dog. With all the animals I have had in my life, I have never had such a connection as I do with him.

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  7. I really love this post. I've been thinking lately about writing about each of the dogs in my life so this comes at a really good time. Thank you for sharing it.

    When I adopted Agatha and Christie, I chose Christie to bring home with us (I was only looking for one dog). Using "puppy testing" I determined that Christie was friendly without being bossy and generally a pretty calm pup. Her sister Agatha flunked the test. She was a bit obnoxious and pushy yet also kind of fearful.

    But my husband said he couldn't bear to break up the set so we adopted them both.

    Looking back, it probably was a big mistake for me to bring two littermates home. They would have both thrived better in different homes.

    But despite Agatha's neuroses (or maybe because of them), she was the dog I ended up really bonding with. I can't imagine not having loved her, even with all the problems having Agatha and Christie together caused.

    Sometimes I wonder if it's just chemistry--like with people. There are just some creatures we're drawn to.

    BTW, glad to see you're on the mend.

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  8. I had dogs growing up, but as an adult with a family, felt that we couldn't afford one. Now with Max in our lives, I can't imagine our life without him. He is so sweet and loving. He has become part of me.

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  9. All of our dogs have been chosen for us, but I still think I was able to form a strong bond, more so wit Sherman than with Leroy. I think sometimes a bond is just there and other times it may take a bit little to connect.

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  10. Believe it or not, all of our dogs (I have only had two) and cats (about 7 total over my life time) have found me. I have never gone looking for an animal, they just seem to appear at the right time. My cats have all been strays that have simply arrived at the back door or someone else has found and brought to me. We did officially adopt Pip from a shelter, but we weren't planning on a dog, it just kind of happened. Brutus was my first dog - he arrived to live with my family when I was in high school when my best friend moved away.

    Kristin

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  11. I do think that the dog kinda chooses you! When we went to visit the rescue Bailey was in she just came up and sat between us.
    The staff actually remarked that Bailey had decided and she had!
    With Martha, it was quite different cos she was on a rescue website down south - so in fact we were assessed by a home visit but had never met her before we went down to collect her!
    Looking back it really was quite traumatic for her!
    Glad to see you are on the mend.
    xx

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  12. I love your story about Bunny. It sounds perfect - she chose you and you two built an amazing bond. In my case, K didn't want to meet me at all. She tried to hide behind a washing machine. She was a terrified little puppy, not at all who I was expecting to meet. I actually thought about not adopting her, even though I'd already committed to doing so. Then, I realized that *someone* needed to adopt this little girl, and I threw caution to the wind.

    It was the best move that I've ever made. Out of her fear grew an incredibly deep and trusting bond. I can hardly believe the transformation.

    I'm like you - I have that magic with some dogs and not others. I feel lost when I don't have it. I don't really know what creates it, although I often wonder if it comes about because I'm open to it and the dog has some component that makes her ready to accept it. I won't ask to many questions - I just love it!

    I love this thought-provoking post.

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  13. I think my dogs chose us too. We found Laura in a pet shop but her eyes told us that she wanted to come home with us. We got Mika from SPCA, his gentle and sweet look melt Rosie's heart, so he joined us. Hana was out for adoption, the breeder talked to us and we got her and Eva was born in our garden without our knowledge.
    I'm glad that they chose us though : )

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  14. Oh, I most definitely picked my mom. I woz a foster but when mom adopted me out I behaved so badly that I woz returned within 4 hours and mom sayed she could not traumatize me like that again so this became my furever and ever home. It woz all part of my master plan but don't tell mom that. And as fur the rest of us (my 2 sisses and the 2 kittehs), mom just keeps the ones nobody else wants and that werks just fine fur her. In fact, she prefers the rejects because then she can show people just how wonnerful they can be and say neener, neener you lost out on the bestest one!

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  15. Oh my heart dog. His name was Big Brett. He came to us as our first attempt at fostering. But I must say that the very first time I saw him, I didn't really pay that much attention to him. Then I heard his story. He had been returned 3 times when he arrived at my house. They dropped him off to stay with us and before she left, he was asleep on the floor. And he never left. He was my constant companion and definitely my boy. I still will never understand how those people could give him up. Sadly to say, Brett passed away suddenly a couple of years after he came to be ours. But I know in my heart that those were the best years of his life. I still miss him and always will. I say he was my heart dog, but they all have pieces of my heart, just some have more pieces than others.

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  16. A furry pawesome post!

    Mom and I chose each other - and share a Gotcha Day -

    She stopped in MY B&B to see another dog - she was gone - I was there -

    The rest is history as 'they' say!

    Hugz&Khysses,
    Khyra

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  17. They always choose us and not the other way around. When you find your heart dog or dogs... they make life changes in you.

    Dommy choose me :) There were two of them... brothers.. he came by and licked my nose :D

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  18. Rider, Lilly, and JackJanuary 25, 2011 at 8:25 AM

    Jack chose mom too! Mom had been volunterring at the kennel, and didn't really get to know Jack well. The day she was there to adopt, she did turnout first, and Jack didn't want to play, all he did was lean against mom. Then the adoption rep brought Jack out first for mom to walk! And he is the pawfect fit for us!

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  19. I picked Mary Lou out because of her name and her coloring. She was a little red fawn girl, and I had a cousin named Mary Louise. It seemed to be “fate.” I was trying to fill a hole in my heart from losing my first greyhound. He was an old boy, and I’d only had him for 4 months when I lost him to a mass in his spleen. When I first met her, she seemed to be totally uninterested. She just wanted to wander around in the little GPA store and sniff everything. Finally, she came up to me and put her head in my chest, just like Sonic used to do. I think that was her way of saying, “take me home, please.” She came home with me a week later. She was my first dog. Sonic was a sort of hand-me-down, but Mary Lou was all mine. She and I were totally attached and inseparable. She was 5 when I got her and 9 when I lost her, far, far too young. I would give anything to have her back. Padfoot and I are almost as close, I think because of his issues. He is a terrible spook, but in the years since I got Mary Lou, I have learned to communicate much better. Plus, he has been an amazing teacher. We are very close, and I don’t know what I’d do without him. No grey will ever fill the gaping hole Mary Lou has left in my heart; they will just make their own.

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  20. All of uSSSSS were foundlings. Mommy fell in love with uSSSSS at first site! We chose her! All the pictures of the woofies are adorable!

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  21. I walked into the barn-like kennel of a local shelter and halfway down the left side a little white head popped up and looked at me. It was as if she was saying "Oh, there you are. I knew you were coming to take me home."
    She was right.

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  22. Heart dog... I like that. For me that's easy, my heart dog is my oldest. He & I had nothing to do in picking each other. My then boyfriend (now husband) brought him home 1 night from an out of town trip. Our bond wasn't instant but when it happened, it was strong. I don't know how it happened, it just did. I do think a big part of our connection in the beginning was that we were a lot alike. Independent, like being outside, enjoy our room on the bed.

    I now have 3 more added to our family, but my oldest still holds my heart. When I'm w/ him I can always feel that connection.

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  23. Oh, I just luved this postie and reading what everybuddy else had to say.

    You prolly guessed that I'm my mom's heart dog. And I'm pretty sure you know that I totally chose her at that adoption fair. On the other paw, Mom and dad chose my other siblings cuz she heard about 'em and kinda picked 'em out before she ever met them.

    Now, my mom's heart kitteh was named Annabelle and Annabelle chose my mom. The funny thing was that my mom wasn't all that crazy abouts Annabelle at first. But that was okay - cuz Annabelle KNEW. It took several years for their bond to grow but Annabelle finally got mom to see what she knew all along. She lived 17 years and then went to the Bridge about 12 years ago. Mom still aches when she thinks about her.

    Thank you ever so much for such a nice postie!

    Wiggles & Wags,
    mayzie

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  24. I am so interested in this question as well! Sammie is a rescue and we knew/she knew (I think!) immediately. We'd seen and met a couple of other dogs, but for one reason or another, we couldn't adopt them. 9 month old Sammie fit like a glove and she is still my heartdog and always will be. Avalon's breeder is untraditional and does a lot of puppy testing and also observes potential owners interract with the puppies each time they visit (which is every weekend after three weeks!) When you finally go to pick up your puppy, you have no idea which it will be, except for the sex of the dog! The breeder has apparently gotten it right for all the puppies - we are not only extremely happy and adore our dogs, but we are all also very close! Thanks for bringing up this subject - great post!
    xoxo
    Sammie, AValon, Oz and Mom

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  25. It seems that each dog you own you have a different bond. My previous Boston Popeye had a life changing bond, him and I were a partnership from day one. Cooper is a lot like that. He's pathetic and needs to be with me all the time. He love's me and it shows, but I've always felt it to be a different love that Popeye had.

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  26. Thank you! Love the story! Full of love. Had to have the kleenex box next to me for this one.

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  27. I've never actually chosen a dog or been chosen - I've only gotten dogs twice in my life. Once as a child, we went to someone's house to pick out a Pekingese puppy, and there was only one left. I took him home and he became my very best friend.

    Argos was the only greyhound that we met last year when we were ready to adopt. Both my husband and I fell in love with him immediately, though the bond did take a few more months to develop. Sometimes I wonder if that just tends to happen when you adopt an older dog. The dog has to learn to trust you, and vice versa.

    The cats are a little different - Charlotte chose me, we chose all of the others. With all of them, it took several months to a year for a bond beyond simple affection to grow, but it did happen. Now I can't imagine giving any of them up, for any reason!

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  28. Corbin is my heart dog... Although he is the only dog we have, I've had 3 dogs previous to him as family dogs. I had a great connection with them and loved them all very much, but when I met Corbin and he came to live with us, there was something so special about him, something so grateful. He and I connected on a much different level than I had ever connected with a dog. Much like having a heart dog, I have a heart horse... Kahlua. Although I had ridden my whole life, when Kahlua got hurt, my heart was no longer in the sport. It's something you can't explai... a connection on a much deeper level than anything else. My soul mates in animal form.
    -Corbin's mom, Jenn

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  29. I began with greyhounds by taking home an older girl that needed a home, daughter saw her first then I was talked into her. I was afraid of big dogs so this was a huge step. She was a wonderful girl.

    From then on my selection was very often based on the need of the hound. If no one else wanted it due to behavorial problems, age or what have you it ended up living here.

    It is still like that today. I adopted Renner sight unseen because a friend who is on the board at a rescue told me about this white guy who had been in the adoption kennel for over a year because he was afraid and showed so badly. She didn't know what to do with him. So instead of offering up advice on what to do, we agreed to just take him in at our house. We met halfway from where she lived and where I live and picked Renner up from her.

    The same with the others including Mandy. So thugh I'd like to tell a special story about connecting and all, it has not been the reason for the 'initial' meeting. Of course the thing with me is that I feel a connection to every retired racer I meet, so then there is that.

    :)

    Blaze and Tex are my first two and of course I feel they were 'both' my heart dogs, now on our 20th retired racer here, though I must say I love them all with my entire being.

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  30. Great post!
    We have very special bonds with mom, they are all different but all very strong.

    Farrusquinho stole mom's heart. He was in a kennel where mom was leaving food and blankets. He whined a lot and she could not leave him there.

    Kaiser was the dog that mom always wanted. She loves Dobermans! Then one day Dad took mom for a walk, and they went to a breeder for her to choose one puppy. It was a big surprise!

    Me, Jack, I was saved by mom! I had been offered to a child at Christmas who treated me like a toy. The mother could not stand to see me being treated this way, and was asking for that family to let her take me home...

    Mom says we're the most beautiful black dogs in the world! =))

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  31. Man, these stories are wonderful. I love the pic of you and Treat sleeping!

    I have to say of all the dogs I've had, Buddy the Dalmatian was the one who took my heart when he left me. I still tear up thinking about him. He was a rescue, and technically, I chose him, but he had my heart from the first day. When he died in 2004, I felt like I lost my best friend.

    While I love Trixie and Minnie, they just aren't my "buddies" like Buddy was.

    Damn, my eyes are leaking.

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  32. Charlie is my heart dog. He chose my mom when she went to go see his litter when he was just a wee pup. Before my mom came, he would always hide under the furniture when new people came out and the owners of the mom thought they'd have to keep him since he was so scared. But when my mom came he came over to her and sat in her lap. When the mom's owner told her that, my mom understood that her choice was made for her. Funny that he's never been shy with people as an adult dog, and he's not timid either.

    He came into my life when everything was upside down for me and he was there for me during some really hard times and we understand each other unlike anything I've ever experienced. I don't think I will ever have this kind of connection with another dog.

    Emma chose me. When I went to go see her I thought she was ugly and small and scarred and skinny. But she just oozed love. And Charlie didn't mind her at all. And every dog I saw after her I compared to her. Then I knew that she was mine. When they brought her out the day I adopted her, she dragged the volunteer over to me once she caught sight of me and was a wriggling ball of happiness.

    They do pick us.

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  33. Of course we has more wisdom than you hoomans...duh.
    Well, when mum was growin' up her daddy would only let her has doxies so dat a given but hers did has a say so in pickin' most of 'em out.
    Then when hers got married and couldn't imagine bringin' Abigail into da world with outs a dog...her went and got one. It was Albert and mum says he picked her. And yes, it's true...he is her heart dog. But her loves us too...just differently because we all three have such different qualities and personalities. We is loved no less though.
    But, yu can be sures when da day Albert goes to da bridge, part of mum will go withs him too.

    Puddles

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  34. Oooops, I also wanted to say dat I knows da connection and bond you had withs Treat and I know there ain't a day dat goes dat you don't thinks of Treat...so I wanna gives you a big cyber hug.

    Puddles

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  35. What a great postie!

    Nubbin wiggles,
    Oskar

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  36. What a lovely story.

    Love and licks Winnie

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  37. We can't imagine a kennel just ASSIGNING you a dog! Pets and people need to spend some time together first... because we DO choose each other don't we.

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  38. I had my heart cat choose me. I actually was there to get a different cat, Cleo the calico. There was this ratty little gray kitten with crazy hair and a little impish face that was screaming at me and climbing the wire mesh trying so hard to get my attetion! I thought he was so silly and ugly that he was cute. I ended up taking both kittens and the little gray one became my best buddy and grew into the most beautiful gray tuxedo cat. Some things are just meant to be.
    Ryker is my heart dog. I found him and his brother online. Puppyfind.com
    Contacted the breeder and she told me about their very different personalities. Ryker was the more subdued pup in the litter, last one to try anything new. (I would never guess that now). I chose him because my 90 year old mother lives with us and I wanted the gentler one. I met him at the Airport when I flew to pick him up and he sat in my lap all the way home.
    ~Sandy

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  39. What a lovely question. I honestly don't know. I don't know if Shiva is my "heart" dog either. There are days when I wonder if we have any connection at all. And then days where it blows me away. So it is really hard to say. Shiva is my first, other than my childhood dog, so I will probably have more of an idea as the years go by.

    Sometimes I think you just know, you just have that feeling. And then others, like Shiva and I, the connection is something that is built over time. We chose her on a whim, because she was cute and fiesty and we were ready for a dog. I think if she hadn't been at the shelter that weekend we could just as easily have chosen a different dog. Who knows?

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  40. Clive most certainly chose Murray and us all as the family he wanted to work with. He came to our house with the Irish Guide Dogs trainers as part of their assessment of Murray's needs and to see what particular type of dog was going to be suited to work with Murray. Clive was actually the dog they used for 'assessments' - he wasn't meant to actually go out to a famiy as an assistance dog. But once he was in the door and met Murray - it was incredible. Within minutes he was up the stairs and lying on Murray's bed with Murray beside him .... and that was that .....

    Their amazing bond has only got better and better with each passing year. We have Clive five years this summer and we can't remember a time without him in the house with Murray!

    take care
    Murray's Mom

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  41. When I met my mother I had no way to choose because I was very small barely open my eyes.

    But you had a lovely meeting!

    Kisses!

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  42. I'm with you, I think that they do choose you and we really do have dog 'soulmates'.

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  43. I loved this post so much..so many gweat stowies.
    I'm Mommi's fouf doggie. We've all been fox tewwows. she nevew had a doggie gwowing up but had a vewy close bond wif a foxy kid when she was a wefoogee giwl in Switzewland wif hew pawents fwom hungawy.
    She always longed fow one of hew own and it wasn't till she and Daddi moved to NewYawk that they could make that dweam come twoo. We've all been loved to deaf and so diffewent despite all being foxies. When I met hew and she came to pick me up in nowf Cawolina I went wif hew and nevew even looked back at the house I had been bowned in. I settled into hew lap fow the ten houw wide home and snuggled all the way. It'ws deep conection. Thewe's too little space to tell about my angel sissie and bwuvvews, but each stole hew heawt and Daddi's too
    smoochie kisses
    ASTA

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  44. The Momster here. I could write volumes on this topic, but I will keep it to just two dogs. One would be Muffin, a city pound pup who looked so forlorn in her kennel. I had gone with a good friend to look at a pup for her, no intention of bringing home a dog. We had lost a beautiful sheltie a little less than a year earlier and my husband didn't want another dog. The litter my friend's pup came from had three others, two males and one female. The little girl was just so sweet. Of course, I went home and told the hubby about her, and the rest was history. There was just something about the way that she looked at me that melted my heart.

    The second one would be Phantom. In a way very similar to KB's experience with K, Phantom was the runt of the litter, and the one who hung at the back of the crowd, cowered, looked afraid, all the things they tell you to avoid when choosing a pup. Not me - I sat on the floor and after a while, he slowly came over and sat on my feet. And the rest is history:)

    Great post.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara' Momster

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  45. I am my mom's first dogther... and as soon as we saw each other... we knew we belonged to each other!
    I loved your post!
    Kisses and hugs
    Lorenza

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  46. What a beautiful story about you and Treat and Bunny. I love the term heart dog and glad I am not alone with my heart dog Brut. I agree with OP Pack, I could write a book on the subject.

    Brut and I chose each other. When the breeder held him up at 4 weeks old, it was as if heaven's light shone on him. Then I brought him home. He was the most difficult puppy I'd ever had and I had no idea how I was going to keep him. I didn't think I was ever going to make it through with him. I wanted to throw in the towel every day. I could never figure out why I was meant to have him.

    Eventually we began to click, little by little. We were bonded from the beginning, but it wasn't until he was about a year and half old, that we made a turn we couldn't come back from. Our relationship still grips me to this day. I can't even explain it, but it the coolest thing ever.

    Thank you for sharing such a great story.

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  47. We have always had a dog in our home. I wasn't allowed pets growing up. I always felt that children need pets. My collie, Sarge, lived for fourteen years and although we got him for our grandson that we were raising, he was my dog. I still miss him every day. Of course, you know how Wall-E came to be ours. I don't know that I would have chosen him, but now, I can't imagine life without the little guy. He looks absolutely nothing like Sarge, but he possesses the same gentle spirit. Sarge was the peacemaker in our midst. When Oscar would want to play ball long after we tired of it he would pick the ball up, turn his head to the side and toss it for him. Sarge hated angry voices and would not tolerate anyone raising a hand to a child. Wall-E has done some of the same things, much to our amazement. Sarge hated riding in a vehicle, so does Wall-E. Wall-E, like Sarge needs constant reassurance of my love and thrives on praise. He will bring me offerings of peace if he has done something that requires punishment. And in spite of himself, I love my Oscar beyond measure. Oscar is a tyrant and will either like you intensely or dislike you intensely. He is a very handsome specimen and can be so aloof. He will punish me by withholding his affection. Emmy is a sweetheart, a 6 lb. bundle of pure love. She enchants everyone and will accept anyone's adoration. They are all so different and now we are learning to love yet another big dog. I suppose they all come to us for a reason. I had said that I didn't want another dog so prone to slobber, but ...... did you see that face?

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  48. Because of my involvement with greyhound adoption, we have brought home a lot of hounds that were hard to adopt. Shy dogs and seniors have always been my favorites and I have loved all of them equally. However, if there were special connections, there are four.

    Gracie was a blue girl. She was ten years old when she came to us, peeing in the house, the woman that had her asked if we would take her for a little while and see if we could figure out what was going on. Gracie took us by a storm. We fell hard and fast for each other. She stayed with us for the shortest 14 months on record and when I held her in my arms as cancer took her away, a very big part of me was destroyed. man I loved that girl.

    Flocko was 11 months at the farm, only a month away from going away to training. For that month we played and became one. It was two years before I saw him again. I walked into the kennel during turnout at the track. He knew me the minute I walked out there. He never took his eyes off of me. He was still racing. Three months later, he started having seizures and I flew down to Florida and brought him home. He's by my side all of the time.

    Minnie was three months old. I knew she was mine. I bought her as a puppy just to make sure that upon retirement, she'd come home to me. She rocks my world.

    And there is Crystal. I fostered her as an 18 month old puppy. I cried when I handed her leash over to her new adoptive parents. I moved on to a new adoption group. Four years later, she showed up on Craigslist. I stopped at nothing to get her back. She was so happy as were we.

    So, I think that I have a pretty tight connection with all of my kids, but there have been a couple that I have a special connection with.

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  49. Great post, Carrie. I'm my family's heart dog and we chose each other. Maybe, instead of thinking a part of you went with Treat, your connection is just stretched a long way.

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  50. This is such a great post. I too have been thinking a lot about the bonds that take place between people and pets. Sometimes I think a deep bond is there from the moment we lay eyes on a certain animal, and sometimes it might be strong from the beginning but develop even greater as a result of "who they are" or how they interact with us.

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  51. Okay, who is that puppy in the first picture? Is that Bunny? So sweet. It was a picture similar to that that "sealed the heart" for me to get Zephyr, well I already wanted him but it was like he was looking into my soul. I actually didn't physically meet Zephyr or Astro before I got them. But, I did have lots of info on their personality and families. The first time I wondered if that was a good idea, I also had three cats. But, I had waited 15 years for a greyhound, had never gotten to raise my own puppy, I knew I would love him (already did) and that I could make it work. And, it did no problem. Same with Astro when he came, perfect. I had Astro named before he was even born. :-) And Zephyr just loved him. I should probably post on my own blog about this. :-) But, it's just amazing how they enter your heart.

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  52. I've seen you commenting here and there and wanted to visit your blog, but forgot. Now I'm glad I did.

    This is a beautiful post, thanks for sharing! Since you asked how we met our heart dogs, ours came to us while we were out at a fast food. She was a sweet little pup and we decided to take her in, even if I've never had a dog inside the house before. She's our dear doggie now.

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