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.
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!
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.
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!
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!