Monday, February 27, 2012


Meet Patti:

Saturday night at about 10:30 p.m., this sweet dog showed up on our porch. She was shivering and her paw was bleeding. She walked right in when I opened the door. At first I was a bit taken aback, and tried to shoo her out the door, but luckily I have very compassionate children (and the mother of one of Parker's friends) who wouldn't let me.

Graci immediately named her Lizzi and was in love. She begged and begged to take care of it. We got her cleaned up and fed her some chicken (the only thing I could think of... I'm not a dog person.) She scarved it down and seemed much happier afterward.

Later on that evening, a couple of the kids took a peek at her and decided she was a boy. So she was renamed Shiver (because of all her shivering, of course.) We put her in a box with some blankets and Graci slept next to her.

Jeremy was away on a weekend with his brothers, and I couldn't get ahold of him, so I sent a text "Um...we have a dog," and then went to bed. He was quite confused until we were finally able to talk later the next day.

The next day I tried to locate her owner. I thought that surely it was someone right in our neighborhood. I made some calls and even announced it in church, but nobody knew anything. The kids begged to keep her, and I was wary to call animal control because I didn't know what would end up happening to her. We borrowed dog food from a neighbor (Shiver didn't like it) and tried our best to take care of her. She was SHOWERED with attention, if you know what I mean. Poor dog. She hobbled around the house trying to escape Sophi's constant desire to smother her. We joked that with her "special need" she knew just which house wouldn't turn her away and she fit right in. (:

This morning after the kids went to school, I looked closer at Shiver and decided "he" was a she. Back to calling her Lizzi. (Let's see how much we can confuse the dog.) I took her to a lady in the neighborhood who grooms dogs and asked her to look at her paw (the one that was bleeding.) I didn't want to pay to have her seen at the vet when I didn't even know if it was serious. While I was there, the animal control truck pulled up to the park right in back of her house. Crazy "coincidence." I decided to take a chance and see if they had a scanner, in case Lizzi had a chip. I drove up to the truck and approached the lady and told her how we had found this dog, and wanted to possibly keep her if she didn't have an owner looking for her. She asked what kind it was and I told her it was possibly a yorkie chihuahua mix. Her face brightened and she said, "I know the owner, and she is frantic!"

I was hesitant to just hand over the dog, because my kids were so attached and would want to know exactly what happened and where the dog lived, so I asked if I could follow her to the owner's house. When we arrived, the owner was outside waiting for us (the dispatcher had called her), crying with relief and excitement. She hugged me and with tears streaming down her face kept proclaiming, "It's a miracle!"

We found out that "Lizzi" is actually Patti. (Yes, they spell it without an "e" just like all of my girls-- they got a kick out of that.) She is a 12-year-old dog, and had special, significant meaning to the couple who owned her. They really loved her. They had gone through some terrible tragedies in the past few weeks (including her 33-year-old brother passing away) and had left Patti with a dog sitter to go to St. George. The dog sitter apparently lost Patti, and was devastated. She called the owners, who left their trip early to come home and try to find Patti. They had spent hours combing the streets with flashlights last night, trying desperately to find her. They were mostly looking for a corpse, as it has been VERY cold at nights, and they didn't think she could have survived. We were all shocked at how far she had traveled to get to our home (a couple of miles).

The owner invited me in and showed me the laminated posters she had just made to post around the neighborhood. I took one home to show the kids. She invited me to come back on Saturday with the kids so they could meet the owners and say goodbye to Patti.

When I returned home, Sophi asked where the dog was and immediately burst into tears when I told her she had gone home. After school, when I picked the kids up and told them the story, Xander did the same. He was so, so sad. The rest of the kids were old enough to understand that this was a very happy ending, even though they were sad to lose Lizzi/Shiver/Lizzi/Patti. (:

Of course, you all know the REAL ending to the story. Our kids are now desperately begging for a dog. They have wanted one before, but never this much. I feel like I have my hands full (go figure) but I don't know that they are going to back down so easily now. (: I must say, if we were to have a dog, Patti would have been perfect. She didn't make a sound and was as sweet as could be.

So what do you think? Is a dog too much work?? Could we handle one with all we have going??? What is the most patient dog breed out there? (:



  1. That is a sweet story. I totally know what you mean about being a little overwhelmed and the thought of a dog with both of us working full time and lots of busy kids. We had a dog show up that was a mutt and so sweet and the kids proved they were responsible enough. Last week we adopted a Goldendoodle. I learned about them from Heather. I just knew I did not want a puppy. "Annie" is six years old, so she is completely trained, and SO incredibly sweet. Goldendoodles are so smart and trainable. Annie is laid back and just lays around like a big stuffed animal, but when we take her outside she has plenty of spunk still. You can see pics of her on my blog. Golden Retrievers are supposed to be awesome family dogs and very smart, as well as a standard poodle is one of the smartest/sweetest dogs out there - and mixed they make incredible pets. Gretchen just got a puppy and Heather's two dogs are one now.

  2. i vote YES for a dog! i am a hopeless dog lover!!!!

  3. Awesome story.
    I totally vote for a dog. I never had one growing up and always wanted one. I love our dog that we have now.
    Puppies are hard work. Older dogs are not so much hard work.
    Your kids are obviously very compassionate and have much love to may end up with 2 dogs :).

  4. Morning guys - would you believe that this weekend we adopted another dog? Just.sayin'...

    And we are HUGE dog lovers at our place....

    And I'll actually second Jen - we have a larger goldendoodle - and it's maybe the finest dog we've ever owned. I've raised poodles and labrador's as an adult, and collies and beagles as a kid, and dood's are the best breed we've ever had. It seems this breed has all the best qualities of both breeds - I really can't speak highly enough about them. She trained beautifully (better than any we've ever had actually) and is rugged enough for the kids - they all have a disposition that tolerates ear and tail pulling and laying on - they will do anything for you. The need to be clipped 3 or 4 times a year - but don't shed! Call if you want more info. Ours is an F1 hybrid, F1B's with poodle are a sound generation, F2's are OK too - but it seems the F3 generation is not sound genetically - so it is unlikely that "goldendoodle" will ever be a true "breed". Still - they are fantastic. Call if you want more info!

    hugs - love you guys -

  5. PS - hey kids - no matter how hard it is to have to give a dog back - it's important to get them home. Y'all know how you feel right now - how much worse would it be if you had spent years with Patti - only to loose her without closure?

    We're proud of you guys for doing the right thing - and Patti is happier being home too!

    love you guys - aus and co.


    Then again, I am a spinster with not even a houseplant, so what do I know about a full house and responsibility?

  7. Old dogs do tend to be great dogs! We had a neighbor with an old lab that was so sweet and easy and kind and then we got a lab puppy. Oh my goodness. That dog about killed me. BUT, after he outgrew his puppiness, he turned into a fantastic dog. And now he's 12 and we went and got another puppy---a golden retriever. Once again, I'd forgotten how hard puppies are. My advice would be to get in touch with your local animal shelter and let them know what you're looking for--a dog over a year who is already housebroken and seems good with kids. They are usually very happy to help!

  8. I had a 17 month old and was due with our second son in Feb and what did I go and do? Bought my husband the dachshund he hadn't had since his childhood. This was 8 very long years ago. And. Iliked dogs at the time! Biggest mistake EVER. Seriously, think about this long and hard. I regret Daisy daily! And if you cave, do NOT get a dachshund under any circumstance.

  9. What a great story! I am so glad you found the owners. So patti the dog is pretty choosy when it comes to eating huh? That was Rachel Ray dog food I gave you. Yes, she even has her own brand of dog food. I think Ben started buying that brand because she's cute and she is a great cook ;-)

  10. If you could get a small, nice, calm dog like Patti, then maybe......? Bigger dogs knock little kids over in their enthusiasm, (Not good for Sophi especially) take up more room and eat more food. I'm just saying....

  11. I am going with the No vote! If you are not a "dog lover," you will end up regretting it and seeing it as just "one more thing to do!" Everyone claims they will love it and take care of it and they swear it will never have vet bills. But we know the truth. Mom's take care of it and end up feeling bad for it when something happens to it. In turn, we spend hundreds of dollars at the vet for little or big injuries/sickness. How do I know? This happened to me. Make sure you are 100% on board before you give in!

  12. Everyone has a good point. I was not a dog lover, because every dog we have ever had became my responsibility... but I think it depends on the age and breed of the dog, too. I love our dog now. Maybe it is the season I am in? Maybe it is that she is an older Goldendoodle who came already trained? You definitely want to make sure you had a doggie door and it was house trained. Also, your kids would have to be willing to go in the backyard and pick up dog poop so the little kids don't step in it (or eat it). We were blessed with this dog that we were able to foster her for a short time to see if it was a good match... and know you can give it back if it does not work out. Kids do love dogs... but cleaning up the poop, bathing, feeding, etc., may not be so exciting and become a "chore" after the "honeymoon period" is over.

  13. Just decided to check in and saw the Patti post. On our little farm we have two dogs and four barn cats. I never take care of them. It's the kids's job. Aside from having to be reminded on occasion, they always come through. Get a dog but go to a shelter or rescue for a LITTLE older dog, at least not a tiny puppy, where the care takers know the pup's personality. And so you won't have to teach anyone not to chew or tinkle inside! :) All four of our animals are rescues and they know we saved them. They are the most wonderful animals! you might check where you can narrow down rescues, shelters and breeds. It would be good to narrow down breeds before you go looking in a shelter. I mean, imagine taking the kids in to a shelter, OVERWHELMING! Mutt is always good! :) And don't shy from a special needs pooch! We have a 3 legged foxhound and a tailess lame cat. They're just great!

  14. Sorry....just thought of another plus with a rescue/shelter...the pet's already up to date on shots/test/medical care. You do have to pay an adoption fee but it usually is not as much as initial vet bills.
    And I said a LITTLE older dog. I didn't necessarily mean size...a bit older. My favorite dog with our kids is our German Shepherd. We adopted him from a rescue when he was 7 months old.

    Can you tell your new friend from Mississippi is opinionated? at least I don't hold it against anyone who doesn't take my advice! :)
    Happy dog hunting!

  15. I grew up with dogs and I love them but I can't have one now because my husband is allergic. A rescue dog sounds like the best idea; not a puppy but not too old either because old dogs, like old people, tend to have more health issues and it is SO hard when you lose a dearly-loved pet. Mixed-breeds tend to be healthier because many breeds have been inbred a lot and are prone to problems.

  16. We're in the same debate right now. If we didn't move so often, I think I would do it, but the idea of having to move and to travel with a dog..... ug. And rescue groups are also a good way to find a dog. If you have an idea of what breed you are interested in, google rescue groups for that breed and see if there is one local to you. They usually need foster families, so you can probably foster a dog first to see if it is a good match. Our neighbor got a "calm" boxer from the animal shelter. It turns out it was only calm because he'd been locked in a crate the last 6 months. It was a nightmare once they got it home. I'm all about the fostering first.

  17. Have you considered a mixed breed? German Shepard with Huskie or Pittbull?

  18. Michelle (patti's mom)March 2, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Hi! It's Michelle, Patti's mom :) I just read your blog!! How wonderful and special your family really is!!! I still proclaim, "it's a miracle!!!!!" Patti really did choose the right house to be watched over and loved while she was "lost". I think she was actually mad at me becasue I left her home, usually I take her EVERYWHERE with me. She stays in the car when I shop and goes to any family parties with us even if the family really doesent like dogs!! We just hold her. Anyway, she knew we left her (for the first time with a dog/house sitter and on the second day she bolted when Kaitlin (dog sitter)let her out to pee. When Kaitlin called I wasent too upset because Patti had always stayed right around our house and the neighborhood. When she called again a couple hours later and still had not found her after hours of searching and calling her name, I got sick to my stomach and thought she would never survive the night out in the snow and how many people are out at that time of the night in the cold???? My miracle family!!!!!!!!

    Thank you so much to all of your family for taking such good care of our Patti!! As you know she is our "inheritance" from when my husbands parents passed away about 7 years ago. My husband was very sad and bummed that the last connection with his parents was probably gone. (he didnt think she could survive) Thank you for searching and finding us because if we didnt find her we would always, always wonder what happened to our poor little Patti. I walk my dogs everyday and I would never stop looking for thank you so much for finding us!!!

    As for dogs you know I am a dog lover. These dogs love you so much unconditionally. You have opened your home and given these kids a life some could only dream of!! You should do the same for a dog and rescue one!!! But they are definatley a commitment!!! But worth it to me. We have had many dogs and many heartbreaks with them. Having to put them down is super hard. Brings tears to my eyes still. But I am proud of the life I give each of my dogs while they are here, and thats whats important!! So many people have dogs in kennels and grow tired of them...disgusting... My dogs are lucky for the life I give them, I think your family would do the same for a dog!!!

    Thank you again for saving Patti's life. We love her and are so happy to have her home. Even the big dog Sasha is happier!!! See you Saturday :) Michelle

    P.S. you write beautifully!! Love reading your stuff!!

  19. I run a greyhound rescue and am a HUGE dog lover!! I agree with those who said to get an adult dog from a shelter. Especially if you can find one from a shelter that uses foster homes instead of a kennel setup. That way, you can get a dog with a predictable personality that has been socialized. Do NOT under any circumstances get a puppy!!!!! With all the loving the dog will be getting from the kids, I would NOT recommend getting a small dog. They will too easily get hurt by over-exuberant affection, and are more likely to snap than a big dog. Get a large adult mixed breed from a rescue group. If your kids are the type who will want the dog to be playing fetch for 2 hours at a time, get some kind of Lab or Retriever mix. If you don't want to have to worry about a dog not getting enough exercise, then get something lower-energy. Bulldog mix maybe? Rottweilers and pittbulls can be EXCELLENT with kids if they have had the right upbringing. Rotties are especially great family dogs, low energy and pretty low maintenance.

    On the other hand, here's an article I wrote on "Reasons NOT to Get a Dog" :-)

    Good luck!

    Mom to Sunshine (age 7, cerebral palsy), Maisy (age 6), Milo (age 4, born without arms), Poppy (age 4, missing right arm), all from China!

  20. Hi! I just came across your blog today. An adoptive parent friend of mine posted your Dynamite Announcement video on Facebook!

    Have you considered a therapy dog? It would be out of the "puppy phase" and trained not only for obedience but also for behavior, so it would let your kids love all over it without grumbling or snapping. I think you can contact your local Red Cross to get started.


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