Joy's Tale

Rescued. Adopted. Loved.


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A Joyous 4th Birthday!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOY 4

Today is Joy’s 4th Birthday. She, along with our cat Safari, is the light of our lives. She is always smiling, always happy. She truly lives up to her name in every way. Though she had a rough start in that puppy mill, it just shows how trusting and amazing dogs are and can be with the right set of circumstances. By the time we got her she was near two years old. Here we are 2 years later and she could not be a more pampered or loved little girl. She eats better than most people, sleeps wherever she wants and goes with me everywhere. She is an adventure-seeker, squirrel herder and cat lover. The relationship between man/woman and dog is truly a special one. Though I am not an overtly religious person , it really makes sense that God is dog spelled backwards, now doesn’t it? Happy Birthday little Joy. I love you so…


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A Dog Mom’s Reflection

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We adopted Joy the day before Mother’s day two years ago on May 12th. Often when I look at her fall asleep at night, I think how happy she was that someone came for her. She kissed us immediately, as though she knew that was her special day when she would have a forever home. It’s the day that all rescue dogs wait for. For Joy, it was not because people were not interested in her. Her Grandma Summers knew Joy had to be with just the right people, as she still held fears from her puppy days, which no puppy should have to endure. Being born into an amish puppy mill was not fun for her and all the pups that her cage was stacked on top of and below.  What puppy wants to be confined to a tiny space no bigger than a chicken crate with no time to run or play. Instead she was peed and pooped on from the cages above and this was her life. A beautiful, purebred Border Collie whose tail was docked for no reason (and has left nerve damage) and then to top it off she is bred to have pups that would be taken from her before they were weaned. She did not even get to be the mother she wanted to be. I often think she thinks of us as her puppies and her intense protectiveness indicates that at times.

Thankfully she was rescued by an amazing woman, Dr. Victoria Summers of Indian Summers Border Collie Rescue, who, because of Joy, we not only added a great dog to our family, but a great friend as well. She is mom to the many dogs she rescues and perhaps her job is the hardest of all. To most of the dogs, she is the temporary mom until they are adopted, but some never leave her care and become true shelter dogs, like Hoss.  We think Hoss decided to stay. He was happy with her as his mom and that was that and perhaps some of the dogs take that stance on purpose.  Joy had a buddy there named Shawn. I feel badly he is still not adopted. He is now six and still waiting and that makes me sad, although he seems pretty happy there.

I feel honored to be Joy and Safari’s Mom. Safari is our gorgeous Orange Tabby boy. Joy might not have been able to be the mom to her pups that she longed to be, but I promised her that I would be the best Dog Mom there is and she knows how much pleasure I get from that. She feels it and loves it everyday. My husband says our fur kids are privileged. He is right. I am ecstatically happy to be able to give a happy life to someone who so deserves it.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the animal moms out there with Love from Joy and me.

Jumping for Joy!

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Aside from my husband, no one loves me like our dog. Yes, our cat loves me too, quite a bit actually, but no one reacts quite the same as Joy after you have been gone for a while.

After returning from a cruise this week, Joy pretty much muddled me to the ground with her happy greeting. She jumped at my face so hard to kiss me I had to be careful she doesn’t knock my teeth out! She also jumped on my husband but he is second to me that is for sure. She is young, powerful and her energy should be bottled since it’s better than any vitamin because it’s simply pure love. There is nothing else that compares to that feeling of complete and unconditional love of a dog. Her rescue Grandma, Victoria Summers, named her Joy and it could not have been more on the mark. Joy is always smiling with that big Border Collie tongue hanging out – I love it.

Adding to my own happiness to seeing my furkids was the still joyousness I felt from reading a book I took on the trip. It’s called Dogtripping by David Rosenfelt and his hilarious experience in transporting 29 dogs across country to move into their new house from Southern California to Maine. He and his wife Debbie rescue mostly senior Goldens, sprinkled in with some others, and the story is just so heartwarming. While reading it, it made me miss Joy and Safari so much more. I always said the first cruise line to initiate a trip where you can take your dog would be sold out in moments.

Joy certainly did not disappoint me with that Jump for Joy greeting she gave me. Safari, our almost 13-year Orange Tabby sauntered in, saying, Oh finally you are back; it’s about time! It’s also unconditional love for after all he is a cat and they just have a different way of showing it and I have had cats my whole life. Joy is only my second dog but oh is she special.

I own my own business. I am always busy and there never seems to be enough time in the day, but furkids tend to make you stop. As much as I needed a break, I am always happy to return to doing those routine things like feeding them and even cleaning up their messes. I love being their mom and home is truly where love flourishes everyday with “Joy.”

Simply Joy

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Today I tweeted: “I love my Joy. Simple as that.” So true. I cannot believe how much this little fur daughter of mine warms my heart and soul everyday. She is such a wonderful personality and sweet girl, I am giddy with her.

Nights are often my favorite time with her. I call it “tired eye.” When she gets tired, she gets a certain sleepy look that is so cute it’s hard not to photograph her. We all love our animal companions but I really love mine. Her name is so perfect for her I cannot remember life without her. Kiss and hug your pets like I do with Safari and Joy every night and you will certainly sleep more soundly.

With tired eyes, I bid you all a goodnight.

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Joy, a Name For All Seasons…

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It’s been so long since I have written here mainly because Joy keeps me so busy. It’s only our second Christmas and her name is everywhere I go and I just love that. When her rescue grandma, Dr. Victoria Summers rescued her, she named her Joy. When I first saw her adorable face on Petfinder, her name was only a bonus. When I called about her she told that she had named her Joy because she is one. How could you not fall in love with that idea?

When we wake in the morning, Joy is always scratching even though there is no reason to. She is healthy and eats better food than most people as I often cook for her and she is corn/soy/wheat free. I think she does this out of habit from being born into a horrific Amish puppy mill situation in Ohio. When cages are stacked on top of each other and there are no bottoms, feces and urine must be getting all over the dogs – it sickens me and I do work to help stop this abuse. I tell her every morning that she is clean, safe and I kiss her a thousand times a day. I am so happy I have the ability to share our life with Joy & Safari, our gorgeous Orange Tabby boy.

When I think about the end of the year and all the cats and dogs that need forever homes it makes me so sad but then I think of all who are rescued. We do what we can; I only wish more good, loving and caring people would be helpful and kind toward innocent animals either by adoption or by donation to their local rescue. These are my children. I have had many kids over the years and I would not have had it any other way. I love them all and miss terribly the ones who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Joy stands for love and I stand for her, paw in hand.

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The Princess and the Beach…

At this time of the year in Southwest Florida, the heat can be taxing. If you get up very early though, it’s okay to be out and about, so that is what we did so I could try taking Joy to the beach one more time before we head North. I stopped at a different part of the beach and it was very pretty. The houses were set far from the shore, which made it a lot nicer than  when we stopped the first time. The Atlantic was so warm; well into the 80’s, hot and salty like a good pretzel at a ballgame.

It was breezy that morning, which made for louder than usual wave talking, which Joy was not sure how to interpret. As the waves crashed upon the white, sandy shore she backed up, which is Border Collie specialty anyway. “No thanks,” I think she thought. “Princesses are not supposed to get wet unless they are in the shower.” I am sure that is what she was thinking.  Joy thinks likes a princess and I am glad she does. Her Grandma Summers, who had the high intelligence to rescue her told me that she was a princess before I ever met her. Dr. Summers thinks princesses get a bad rap. “Princess do good,” she has told me, pointing out the marvelous example of Princess Diana. “They are social, hard-working, they help people and are charitable. I think princesses are great,” she said, adding that I too am a princess. Dr. Summers has told me more than once that Joy a nd I were perfect for each other because we are both princess-like. I take it as a compliment. In fact, my dad always told me I was his princess, so I think I was raised to be one anyway and I agree that princesses are do-gooder types and should not be looked down upon.

As a lady stopped d to pet Joy, she marveled at how sweet she was and how pretty her coat and colors are. “She is really beautiful. What a good-looking little girl,” she said, lovingly stroking the top of Joy’s head. Joy loves being paid attention to and loves when people love her. The funny thing about Joy is she knows who is good and who is not immediately! That lady was no problem, someone else might come up to say hello and she suddenly sounds like a big dog that you do not want to pet. Dogs know things and Joy certainly had enough experience with the horrible puppy mill people who treated her unkindly and she has not forgotten. Not yet. She just turned 3 on Mother’s Day so the memories are not foggy. Someday they will be but I think dogs know things and are quite keen on picking out the good from the bad. I think it’s  a beautiful, innate quality they have and Joy is no exception. She is a finely tuned detective of good and evil.

Even though going in the ocean or a pool is not for her, she likes to be on the water in a boat or near the water on a dock, a marina, or a beach. I think she just likes to be with us – close, protective and leading the way, that is what princesses do.


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I’ll Start With My Toes….

Joy likes to drink water a lot more than she likes to stand in it. Most dogs splash in puddles, Joy, our princess of a Border Collie  prefers to step around them.  We have tried to introduce her to water next door  at Anthony & Julia’s pool,  Anthony tried really hard to hold her gingerly so she would not be afraid. She made progress after 3 or 4 tries one day, but I figured pools were just not her thing. Maybe it’s the chorline I convinced myself.

A couple of days ago we took her for the drive to the marina where we will dry dock our new boat next season here in Southwest Florida. When we had our other boat this particular marina was the first one we kept it at but then they had a grand idea to make it all boat condos for a million dollars each, so we  left. Guess that did not work out so well after the crash, since now they have re-opened it up to the public and interestingly, have the lowest monthly fee we can find. When we got there we were amazed at how gorgeous the place now is, with all the fabulous amenities, restaurant, water sculptures, a big maine store and a simply beautiful marina. While my husband looked around, Joy and I sat on the big outdoor couches. It only took two minutes before various people came up to her wanting to meet her, pet her and love her up.

I knew we were going to head to the beach after visiting the marina and it dawned on me that I had forgotten the regular camera. Sure I have my camera phone, but in the very bright May sun in Florida, you may as well be looking into the abyss because you cannot see the screen. I pointed a shot a few pics which are here, but that was it.  This was Joy’s first visit to a beach and I was wondering how she would like the soft white sand and the gentle, rolling waves of the salty ocean water. To our surprise she did go in at the shore, just a little bit, so her toes could get wet. I had to prompt her a touch to let her know it was okay, because the first time she saw the waves and the water roll ashore, it puzzled her. The water rushed up and then it was gone! “What?” She did take a lick of the water, I  knew she would and after tasting the salt, she did not like it, thankfully so I did not have to worry about her gulping some down and then getting sick later on.

She went in a few times with her toes and enjoyed it. A nice family came up and said they loved dogs and thought Joy was so adorable and pretty. They stopped to talk and pet Joy. She loves when she gets attention from perfect strangers and she rubbed up against all of their legs, happily. Before we head north, I will take her along with extra new camera I bought so I will always one with me, wherever I go. I love to photograph her and chronicle her life, especially since she is such a happy girl. When I think that this poor baby was once in a puppy mill and how far she has come to be able to trust, it’s simply amazing. She truly does live up to her name. Joy, I love you.


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A Joyful Birthday…

This year on Mother’s Day will be Joy’s 4th birthday. We adopted her on May 12, 2012, the day before Mother’s Day. In a perfect twist of fate, her first year with us, her birthday and Mother’s Day all collide into one happy day.

I have always been amazed at how all creatures come into our lives and just fit right in. Maybe this is not everyone’s experience. but this is how my life has always been. Joy is no exception. She is as beautiful inside as she is outside. Like Bailey, everywhere I take her, people compliment her on how pretty, cute or beautiful she is. She likes when they call her beautiful, because Joy is truly a diva in every sense of the word. I remember her Grandma Summers telling me that she is a dog that expects you to fluff her pillows! She was NOT joking around. Joy loves to have her head on a soft pillow.

As our first year comes to fruition I am happy and proud that we were able to give this wonderful girl a truly happy home. I think this enters my mind daily since adopting her. When I think of all she went through, first being born into a puppy mill, having her babies stolen from her and then thrown into a pound, I am so thankful that Indian Summers Border Collie Rescue was there for her and that we was there for ISBCR, in return. That is what makes rescue work. Good rescue groups finding good homes. The most important aspect of rescue in my opinion, is finding the right family, so the animal is not returned after being adopted.

Border Collies are not for everyone. In fact, they are not for most people. I think you need a special personality to be able to provide the give back of their boundless energy and need for attention. This is not a sit on the couch kind of dog. Today it has not stopped raining. I welcome the time to actually get some work done uninterrupted except for feedings and out in yard pit stops, but then again there is something amiss about not throwing a few balls after lunch for a little while. On rainy days, Joy relishes in a chance to relax I think. She has just lazed around all day which I think she is enjoying. It’s at least giving her extra-working, extra-jumping Border Collie legs a rest!

Joy continues to live up to her name in every aspect of the word.

My Very First Christmas!

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Today was my first Christmas so I get to write about it! My mom loves my name, Joy. I do too because it is a happy name and I am a very happy dog person, especially since getting adopted by my folks.. They are the best people for me in whole world. I feel so lucky that Victoria, my grandma and rescue hero, named me Joy because I think that started me onto a happy, positive path that someday I would get adopted.

I was a special dog because I did not just want to be with just anyone.. I had been through quite a lot and I needed to trust that I was going to get into a very special place and if I had to wait I would. Mom has told me of her dog named Bailey (www.baileysjournal.com) that she adopted and loved very much but went over the Rainbow Bridge and after the many months of crying she got up the courage to look around www.petfinder.com and there she found my picture and was smitten. She told me that what Grandma Summers wrote about me moved her so much, she just knew she was going to call about me. That was in February of this year. I had to wait until they returned to town in the Springtime and I was adopted the day before Mother’s Day! Is that not perfect? Now here it is 7 months later and not only do I have two homes, I love my brother cat, and never have to ut my paws into snow…ALSO…..I just celebrated my FIRST CHRISTMAS today!

It was fantastic. Mom decorated the tree with pink and white lights cause I love pink and so does she and we got lots of presents and I had home-cooked meals and I played with Angel and Zoe, my neighbor dogs.

My wish for Christmas is that many more dogs and cats be adopted. I had a friend at Indian Summers Border Collie rescue named Shawn. I really want him to find a home in the new year. He was my playmate but no one is adopting him. He needs a special person like I did. Please someone find Shawn – that is my wish! He is so sweet! That is what I wanted to say. I am very grateful for my life and for finding a forever home this year. As we approach 2013, I want more dogs to find good, loving homes. I love mine so much. I just wanted to say Merry Chrismas everyone just because it is the first time I have been able to say it!  WOOF!

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A Sheltered Life No More…

Joy, the latest addition to our full and loving life, continues to amaze us with her sweetness and unlimited amount of love and willingness to experience new things. This was certainly a concern for us as we split our time between two states and since she was adopted spent an entire 6 months in Western, Pennsylvania and then she was off on a long road trip adventure to the South. I wondered how she would react. Would she think we are moving from the first forever home she has known? Would she miss it or would she adapt, as my friend Patty says dogs so when they are truly loved, like Joy.

Safari, the cat love of our life, is used to the drill. He has been travelling with us for years and he is a sunshine guy without a doubt. Four day in and so is Joy. She loves it here and I knew one thing for sure. She would love Angel and Zoe, my neighbor Kevin’s and his sister Pat’s dogs. I love their dogs so much and I could not wait for Joy to meet them because I knew she would love them. Angel, a beautiful Golden play so sweetly together. One catches the ball and then gives it to the other, over and over and over. Adorable, if you love dogs like us.

This is Kevin’s golf cart and he lets us use it. Her first ride on it was a few days ago. Today I borrowed it while Kevin was in school for a quick ride, later we all rode on it together before dinner – that will be the next picture.

I do not think a day goes by when I don’t think about Joy’s early life in a horrible puppy mill. Thankfully when she was rescued by Indian Summers Border Collie Rescue, she was loved too, not just rescued. This is an amazing place filled with love, hope and care and as Dr. Summers says, a shelter is not a home; it is a temporary one, but not a real home – but I like to think it was really a great start for Joy. It was akin to a jailbreak,  that puppy mill. Some do not survive, some are tortured mentally for the rest of their lives and some are tough like Joy and determined (Yes, that is THE WAY of a Border Collie) to find their way.

Joy is very young, still a puppy herself. She had just turned 3 in May when we adopted her. She is first getting to experience the world. She now has travelled through 7 states! She went to her first doggy park yesterday and met two new boy friends that she loved, Willy and Sandy, a Westie and Sheltie, respectively. Her future days include many fun activities which I will continue to write about as they transpire.

Joy, you are no longer leading a “sheltered life” you have a piece of the world pie and it’s our privilege to give it to you, with love and kisses, everyday.