Fall is a tough one for me but Joy certainly makes it better and that is the way Bailey would have wanted it. After all, it was Bailey who found Joy to begin with. When I walk at Buhl Park with Joy I always think what great friends they would have been, perfect companions for each other. Joy might have been a bit too crazy for senior Bailey, but still I think all in all they would have had fun together.. It’s been lovely there and Joy certainly has proven to be quite the leaf cruncher. She is spirited and whines like a baby as soon as we enter the parking lot! Some kind of slushy snow is expected tomorrow, so I am hoping that we will get to the park and take some pictures and perhaps Joy can catch a few snowflakes on her tongue before we head South to Florida next week.
The ride to Fl is 1100 miles long, but who loves a ride in the car more than Joy? Rest stops, hotel stays, treats all day long and long naps, she says, “what’s not to love?” I always tell her I wish I could lay with her in her crate! She has the best ride of all – well so does Safari. He is the only cat I have ever had that loves his cat cage. He loves to sleep all day anyway, so a long ride is right up his alley as well. We get no sleep because he wants to run around the room all night! It’s awful! I am hanging on to my last days of Fall, my favorite season with leaves of Joy.
pictured left to right, Lorraine, Swan on Lake Julia and Joy rolling around with happiness
Note: I am going to publish this here and on my other blog, www.baileysjournal.com because it is truly because of Bailey that so many magical things happen at Buhl Park.
For those of you who know this blog because of Bailey’s Journal and our book, Letters To Each Other, you know that Bailey has a special tree at this amazing park that was dedicated to her after she crossed over the Rainbow Bridge in 2011. She is the only dog with a tree of her own. I knew she would help me find the right dog after a while and of course her spiritual guidance led me to Joy. Literally.
Joy and I walk at Buhl Park every other day. It is her fun and exercise as well as mine. For me it is my peaceful time away from the computer which is much needed in my work.
There is a woman who is part of the staff of Buhl Park named Lorraine. She cuts grass. For many years she would have treats and stop to see her doggie friends and give them a treat. I am never critical of the park, but they stopped her from doing this as of this summer and I think it is stupid and so does Joy! I am sure I can speak for all the many dogs who walk at the park and were happy recipients of Lorraine’s treats!
Today we saw Lorraine and Joy got so excited as soon as she saw her coming on the mower. I had to give Lorraine some treats from my pocket to give to Joy. Lorraine told me she was having a rough morning, but I think I made her feel better and gave her a big hug. Lorraine, who has a dog of her own, told me that before she ever met me, she had seen the tree and its dedication made her cry. After we said Goodbye to Lorraine continued on our walk. The last part of the walk occurs around Lake Julia, which has beautiful swans and sweet ducks everywhere. Joy loves to check out the lake. As we were walking, a man came up behind us as Joy was stopped to smell whatever glorious scent she has found and he started to talk to me. He was walking an adorable, tiny dog which was black and white and Joy really liked her because she was not barky or aggressive. He said to me, “I don’t mean to tell you about my troubles, but I was married for 69 years and now it’s just me and my dog. I got her after my wife passed away several years ago.” I asked his name. He said it was Harry and his dog was Lady and she was 7 years old. She was a rescue, just like Joy. He said he liked Joy’s name. I really liked Harry. “I am 91 years old. This is our second walk today.” He told me one of his two kids lived in Florida and the other in New Jersey. “They want me to go live in Florida, but I don’t know.” Harry did not seem like he wanted to go there and he talked, walked and could hear perfectly. He did not even have a cane! He and Lady seemed to be doing great and I could tell Harry was always a handsome man. He still had his hair and was quite nice looking. I should have taken his picture. I hope to run into him again. “What is your name?” he asked. “I am Sherri and that rhymes with Harry, so I don’t think we will forget each other’s name,” I replied. No I won’t. I hope to see Harry and Lady again soon. Buhl Park has a way of bringing people together and dogs, like people, are social beings who enjoy meeting new people and learning new things. Today we met a nice man and his dog and what could be better than that on an early Wednesday morning?
This is a picture of Bailey at the park in my beret one Fall.. She loved it there as much as Joy…Everyone Love’s Buhl Park!
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…
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.
GrandMommy Victoria is the amazing woman who rescued Joy. She lived at Indian Summers Border Collie Rescue for a year before Dr. Vic determined that I was Joy’s mom. She says she knew this from the first message I left on her phone. She was concerned that Joy was “quirky” as she likes to call her. I would instead call Joy feisty and many have called me the same thing, so perhaps we were a match. She also described Joy as a dog “who is going to expect you to fluff her pillows, literally. She is a real princess.” Without ever meeting me, Dr. Vic thought I was a princess of sorts as well and knew instinctively that I was the right person after having had hundreds of calls about Joy.
There are so many wonderful qualities Joy has and as she cuddles with us intensely, I am always amazed how dogs can go through so much trauma and still wind up on the right side of trust. Joy has so much love to give and she loves that we give her so much attention, time and love right back. Even Safari, her best kitty pal, loved her immediately.
Thankfully, we can help Joy explore a whole new world. She still has a little fear – she does not like large crowds of people yet, but she is dealing with it and has become so friendly with people while walking at the park. Her favorite activity there is to chase the squirrels and I do MEAN chase them! She is strong and fast and she can smell a squirrel a mile away. I praise her each time she finds one and she loves that.
Dr. Vic named Joy so perfectly. I remember her telling me that she named her that because she literally was a joy. She does live up to her name. She has a joyous soul and her nickname has become Joyous, actually. She is so easy to love because of the intensity of her giving ways. I cannot thank Bailey enough for leading me to www.petfinder.com or Victoria and Kernie for rescuing her and taking such great care of her before we came along. Things have a way of happening that we cannot always explain and sometimes you really don’t need to know why. It just is as it should be.
On October 28th our Border Collie/Collie Bailey, crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Nothing has ever been harder as we were hyper attached. She promised she would find us the perfect dog when the time was right. We write a blog together on here, www.baileysjournal.com It was January 15, this year when I printed a page from www.petfinder.com. It read:
Joy – Border Collie Age: Adult, Female Pet ID Joy
Notes: My name is Joy and I am a lovely petite Medium rough coat sable and white female Border Collie with a tail dock and from and rear dew claws removed. My weight is 35 pounds. I was dropped off in the night box of the county pound. My family just dropped me in over the high fence. I kept asking them roooowhy roooowhy are rooo leaving me. I watched the headlights until them disappeared. I did not know what would happened to me next. I just had a litter of puppies and I don’t know where they went either. Did they go to a place like this also? I was scared. I could hear barking from inside the building and I was afraid that another dog would come harm me. I stayed very still and waited for the sunrise. It wasn’t too long after the after the light returned that a car pulled up and man got out and looked over at me. He put a leash on me and took me inside. I barked at all the other dogs because they were making so much noise. Then one of them told me that they were barking to be fed so I started to bark for breakfast too. I wondered if my family would come and get me soon so I waited and watched the sunset and sunrise again. They never came back.
A day came when there were a lot of people coming and going and the ringing noise where people go and talk out loud to themselves kept ringing and ringing. I barked at all the people to get their attention but they were busy taking dogs from either side of me and from across the way from me. Where were they all going? I started ot get afraid again because there were a few of us left and the others were all quiet nad not saying anything. The silence I had wanted since I came here was now something that made me more afraid. What was going to happen to me now? The sun was starting to go down and that was the doors closed for the night and all the people left. All of us dogs would sit in the dark and talk to one another but there was no one near me to talk to and the new dogs that had arrived today were hiding in their crates. I was going to be all alone. A sudden fear swept through me. Then, all at once the door opened and in the doorway stood a woman. I barked as loud as I could. She looked at me and turned away. I kept barking. I needed someone to know I was here! The the nice man who had taken me the first day came and opened my cage door. I ran out down the hall and there was the woman standing and holding a leash…my heart jumped. Leashes mean WALKS WITH PEOPLE!!! The woman loaded me into her van where I found a nice man who held me in his arms and made me feel safe. Off we went down the road. I know that my life is about to change. I know that I am going to be OK. I’m safe, someone cared enough to come and rescue me. And one day, someone will love me and I will learn to love again. Joy is desperately in search of a good home. Send application if interested.
It was posted by Indian Summers Border Collie Rescue OAIC, Inc., who had several other dogs listed, but none with a story like that. The first thought I had was how heartbroken the story made me. Next, I showed my husband and finally I called. I was so impressed that anyone would even take the time to write such a long description and write it in such a way that detailed, so beautifully, this dog’s quest for a home.
Let me explain that when I read this in January, Joy was in Ohio and we were in Florida for the winter with our beautiful, 11 year-old cat Safari, who had loved Bailey very much. We would not be returning to Pennsylvania until mid-May and I did not even know if this dog named Joy would like a cat or if my Safari would like her. But, I had hope and as it turns out, hope is just what I needed.
I sent an email to the address listed and never heard back. After a few days I decided to call Indian Summers and I got a voicemail with Dr. Victoria Summers’ voice on it. I loved the last part: “Leave your message after the pause,” which I immediately knew was a play on the word paws and I thought there she goes again with her creativity! I liked her and had not even spoken to her, I just was wishing she would call me back already and got to thinking that perhaps Joy was adopted and that is why she was not getting back to me.
A few days later, she called. I think we talked for an hour or maybe even longer. I thought she was perhaps a vet, but she went on to explain that she was a naturopathic doctor but she had been sick and once practiced in a women’s health office, but not anymore. We talked about Joy and how she was in an Amish puppy mill before she got to the pound. I learned more about Dr. Vic and after the first or second conversation I sent her a big box of oranges because I thought she might need them.
The next message she left on my cell phone was so sweet and I still have it saved. She appreciated that a total stranger would send her oranges. The next time I would send her a check for the dogs, simply to help out and because I wanted to. There was something about this woman who was so special and I could feel it 1500 miles away.
Dr. Vic is a gorgeous American Indian woman, inside and out. Her father was a full- blood and her mother was a beautiful Irish woman. She grew up on “the res” as she likes to say and still believes in the “old Indian ways.” Her grandfather once was on the cover of Life Magazine!
We met when we went to pick up Joy the day before Mother’s Day and this amazingly spiritual woman, who has cancer and was feeling poorly most of the time, greeted me like we had known each other 100 years. “One of the first things she said to me was it seems like I have known you forever.” Easily, it did seem to be fact. Her favorite dog was Hope (pictured here but has since crossed over the Rainbow Bridge) and perhaps Bailey sent me to her and me to her because I need Joy and she needed Hope.
You see, this woman has a big plan for the future and as a person who has rescued more than 2,000 dogs in her life, this time she needed some help getting her message out. How odd is it that I am a writer and publicist? Bailey thought, well, we can help!