Joy lives up to her name everyday, which has helped immensely in light of the state of our country. She always make me smile and i think I do the same for her. She is the light and beauty of every day. She is always happy, always ready for an adventure to go seek out the turtles around here or the fish in the bay. “Let’s do anything,” she says, even it’s cuddling or playing with her toys in the house. She is the best of our world and I am sure many people feel this way about their companions. This is love the way it should be. Pure and unconditional.
If you have never been around Border Collies, you cannot imagine their intense and seemingly never-ending amount of energy. I wish I could bottle up Joy’s energy and give it as a drink to certain people to spark them into life.
Today we went on a 2 mile nature walk in a state park near us here in Southwest Florida. We wanted to go for the full four, but it was just too hot. Fortunately there is water on either side of the path so that made it a little better.
Joy is always so excited to be going somewhere, getting there and participating in whatever adventure is presented. She fully embraces each day and it’s one of her many qualities that I just LOVE about her. After, she is equally enthusiastic to go home and we got home right before “lunchie” as it known to her. She eats three smaller meals a day and looks forward to every bit of each one – always different and always healthy.
My sister says it’s good that I have my little girl companion and I agree. We are together constantly. I know she is spoiled because of all the time and attention she is given. That is okay. I have more than made up for her rough start in the Amish puppy mill she was born into. Fortunately she got into a good rescue, and I adopted her when she was just turning 2. I know everyone says this, but I personally do not know another rescue dog who was as happy to be adopted as Joy. We show each other everyday with kisses, affection and genuine heart because I was as happy to adopt her .
I thought about all this today because I don’t know anyone else who provides as many activities as I do for Joy. Everyone tells me Joy is like a person. She really is because she is always doing interesting things and here in Florida she can even go into many stores and she has come to love shopping; although the pet supply stores remain her favorite along with dining alfresco at some nice restaurant by the water.
Whether we are on the boat, in the car, at a store or just out for a simple walk, life with Joy is always full of adventure. It makes me happy not to just give her a home, but a life well lived.
When my husband goes fishing with his buddy Paul, Joy and I always do something together. The other morning we headed to the beach despite the rising temps in the Spring of Southwest Florida, when the heat and humidity swell and make life quite uncomfortable until we head back North.
To get to the part of the beach where dogs are allowed on leash, it takes about 20 mins to get there. After dropping off the boys, we were there by 9:15 and as soon as you hit the beach, you can feel the ocean breeze which makes the heat seem a bit more tolerable. Still, Joy is chocolate brown and white and she is just like me. We get hot quickly and although I put 40 minutes in the meter we only lasted 30. It was a nice 30 minutes though.
Most Border Collies love to get into the water. Not Joy. She will stick her paws in the ocean with encouragement, but she won’t swim. She loves to get in the shower and be clean but her adversity to getting wet in any other manner is deep rooted, I think, because of being born into a horrific Amish puppy mill situation, where little wire cages, as small as chicken coops, were stacked floor to ceiling, which means getting peed and pooped on was the disgusting norm.Thankfully she was rescued by a small (but mighty) rescue called Indian Summers Border Collie Rescue.
We adopted Joy on May 11th, 2012, which was the day before Mother’s day that year. She was just going to turn 2. A friend, looking at some Facebook pictures I posted of Joy, the other day, commented that I am such a good mother. As a woman whose children have four legs, not two, I have prided myself on being a great mom to the many fur kids that God has put me in charge of in the course of my life.
Joy is exceptional and so easy to love because she is so loving. She is so very grateful for her life, which is pretty exciting. She gets to live in two states and never has to put up with winter.
As her birthday nears, I am equally grateful for the opportunity to be her mom.Not just anyone could have filled this role how Joy needs it to be. I have to credit Victoria Summers, the founder of Indian Summers Border Collie Rescue, with that “thing” that tells her heart and then her head, “yeah this person is the best one for this dog.”
She was right and thanks to that intuition, Joy has the best family for her and she is the greatest girl for us, especially me. Mom. Dog Walker. Adventure Seeker. Playmate. Comfort and Love Giver and everything in between.
This picture was the day we adopted Joy, the day before Mother’s Day which was May 11, 2012. To this day Joy still barks at strangers, yet when we came for her it was as though she knew she was going to her forever home because she came running over and kissed both my husband and myself. I was so happy about that and I thought of this moment today when we were out for a ride in the car as she was barking at people passing by.
Victoria Summers, her rescue grandma, told me that Joy and I were going to be a perfect match before we ever met her or Joy. With an amazing sense of everything Border Collie, Victoria turned out to be very right and as we approach our 4th year together I know I am as grateful for Joy as she is for us, and especially me. I am the true animal person in this house and always have been. I do not believe in life without cats and dogs because I think that would be no real existence.
Joy has an amazing life. Her paws never see snow because like us, she is a snow bird, or in her case, a snow dog with no snow. FL in the winter and western PA in the summer. Her life is filled with as much sunshine as God bestows upon us. She doesn’t like being in the water (except to get a shower) but she loves being on or by the water. When she came to us our beautiful Cat Safari was 11 years old. My big orange boy crossed over the Rainbow Bridge last year at age 14-1/2. We knew she would want another cat so Sabie the kitten cat was adopted from a local shelter. I always have to say, “Joy quit chasing Sabie” and then I think, Chasing Sabie would be a great name for a book.
There is nothing greater than knowing you have been part of the process of rescue and adoption. It warms my heart everyday to think how lucky Joy was to have been rescued by Victoria out of a horrible puppy mill situation and adopted by us. No work I do gives me a better feeling in my heart than that.
I love this little girl with all my bones and I know the feeling is mutual. If you have never known this kind of love, you need to experience it to make yourself aware of who you really are and who you can truly be.
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!
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.
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.”
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.
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.