Einstein, Age 11, Has a Brilliant Grasp of Language and a Tender Grasp on Life
"Einstein took possession of me in August 1987, after much begging and pleading on my sons' part for another dog. I swore I would never have another after the loss of my beloved Irish Setter. But, being a softie, I relented, and Einstein came into our lives. From the start, he seemed to have an incredible grasp of 'human speak' -- thus his name. He is a gentle-natured soul, but stubborn in his own subtle way ('Get off my bed' garners only a yawn and a sigh). When he was 2, my sons brought home a very pregnant kitty with the usual plea of 'Can we keep her? Please, please, please!' A few weeks later, Abby gave birth to five kittens. She was a very protective mom. Several days after the kittens were born, there was a terrible commotion with a great deal of hissing coming from my bedroom. There I found Einstein on my bed, a kitten clutched firmly but gently in his two very large paws -- licking it to the point of sopping. He had selected a kitten for his very own and was determined to keep it. From then on, we would often see him with a guilty look on his face and his mouth partially open. We would ask him, 'Einstein, do you have a kitty?' His mouth would pop open and out would flop a very wet but completely unharmed kitten. I am fortunate that I can take my beloved Einstein to work with me almost daily, and have from the very beginning. His eyesight is beginning to fail, but he has no trouble finding his favorite Frisbee. He is my constant companion, my best friend, and a bright light in my life. When he is gone, I will be forever thankful that he allowed me to share his life." Contributed by Pat Campbell, Missouri, USA
Ellie "Wandered" Her Way to a Great New Family
The Senior Dogs Project posted an ad for Ellie, a Chocolate Lab who was surrendered by her family because they said she ". . . likes to wander to the neighbor's house when not watched." Ellie's ad had been posted for less than 48 hours when she found a home, thanks to a wonderful family in Mundelein, IL (near Chicago) who read about the Senior Dogs Project website in Dog Fancy magazine's July 2000 issue. A year later, we heard from her new family: "I had to send you this update. We adopted Ellie after seeing her on your site last July 3. She had been posted on your site by a wonderful individual, Shelly Reardon, who posts pictures of dogs she would like to rescue from kill shelters. Ellie has dropped 7 pounds since last summer, and enjoys many walks, friends, treats, delicious meals and a loving family. She has provided an untold number of hours of fun for my daughter Stephanie who found her on your website after seeing your site advertised on a dog magazine cover. I never thought having an older dog like Ellie could be so wonderful, she walks without a leash, listens 100% to commands, and now she has won the town of Mundelein pet costume contest. The pics I'm attaching are not great, great, but good enough for you to see that I made her a firecracker. She won two free baths and a gift basket from the dog bakery in town, Tres Bone. Good luck and my prayers are with your continued effort to save others like Ellie. Contributed by Signlang7@aol.com, Sparta, Wisconsin, June 2000 and July 2001.
Ellie, a Stray, Is Diagnosed with Cancer....But Will Be Kept Safe, Happy and Well-fed for the Time She Has Left
"At least 12, and more likely 13 or 14 years old, Ellie was found as a stray in March 2000, and eventually made her way to the Berkeley, CA, shelter. I heard about her from Beagle rescue, but didn't think twice until someone else sent me an E-mail about her a few days later. There was reportedly a large tumor on her left leg that looked like cancer to the vet. I knew then that she'd be coming home to us. When I arrived at the shelter and asked for her, I was introduced to the greyest face I'd ever seen, and a skinny, skinny girl with a crooked tail. She barked the whole way home but calmed down once we arrived. A biopsy revealed that her tumor is cancer, and it's malignant. Her tumor cannot be cured -- just made smaller (it will grow back) -- and will eventually spread to her liver and spleen. Our best hope is that we can give her six happy months, but I'm afraid that even six months may be asking too much. Most days, Ellie does very well, sleeping much of the time but attacking our twice-daily walks with an enthusiasm I wouldn't have expected. We keep her tumor wrapped, and that seems to help her get around more easily. Today, at her bandage change, we found out that her tumor has grown. She still seems happy, though. Every day, our Ellie is teaching us that love is a gift, no matter how long you're able to have it. We're grateful that she can be a part of our lives, even for only a few months, and that she'll spend her final days safe, happy and well-fed." Contributed by Liz Doughty. June 2000.
Update, October 2000, Liz Doughty wrote: "I just wanted to let you know that my Beagle, Ellie, finally succumbed to the cancer and arthritis this weekend. She passed away in my arms at 7:50 p.m. on Sunday October 8, six months and eight days after she came into our lives. She was an amazing girl whom I'll miss ever day and always, but I know that adopting her and being able to let her go when it was time were two of the best things I've ever done. She was indeed the sweetest of girls; it was an honor to be her mom for those six months and eight days. I think we packed a lifetime into that period."
Update, April 2001, Liz Doughty wrote: "Every time I visit your site and read my Beagle Ellie's story, I cry. Six months after she left us, there's still a 22 pound, barking, beautiful hole in my heart. But I wanted you to know that Ellie has a namesake -- a Basset Hound saved from a puppy mill. Another Ellie, a Basset Hound, came into rescue very pregnant and had 12 beautiful puppies on New Year's Eve. Just as we were missing our Ellie so very much, Ellie the Basset's rescuers asked us if we wanted to adopt a puppy. Though we've always had seniors (Ellie's sister Alice is 11 1/2 and still doing great, our new Beagle Zeus is 8), these pups seemed like our Ellie's grandkids, so we'll be bringing a very special connection to Ellie home in May. I know she's looking out for us from the Rainbow Bridge. We miss her every day but are grateful for the time we shared with her."
Emma, a "Dumped" Dobie, Rescued the Day She Was to Die, Miraculously Beats Cancer
"The Saturday after Christmas 1997, while thumbing though a magazine in search of a particular car, I saw a beautiful year-and-a-half-old Doberman bitch for adoption from the local Animal Services. I called immediately and wasn't surprised to hear that she'd been quickly adopted by another Dobe lover. Would I like to leave my name and number if another Dobe came in, I was asked. Sure, I said. Two weeks later, a message on my answering machine described an 'older Dobe female who needs lots of love and attention.' I returned the call Monday morning, mostly out of courtesy. I'd just had a medical problem - a torn shoulder - and was headed for six months of therapy. Besides, an 'older' female? The volunteer at Animal Services told me this little girl had been 'dumped'; she was found wandering alone, and, although she had a collar on, no one claimed her. She was on 'death row,' and the clock was ticking. So, off I went with Gordon, my significant other, to Animal Services in San Luis Obispo, with my dog Gillis along too, of course. All of us in dog rescue have seen all kinds of nightmarish treatment of dogs, but I'd be surprised if this little girl didn't make the 'worst ten' list. She had a tumor hanging between her hind legs the size of a tennis ball (no exaggeration). Her nails were overgrown to the point that they curled around under her feet and pierced her footpads (her feet will never be normal). And on and on. She was SO sick, in such awful shape when she hit Animal Services on Saturday, January 10 ('98) that she was scheduled to die the next working morning --Monday. I didn't get their message till after they closed on Saturday. But Animal Services got backlogged, and so, by some miracle, she was still alive Monday afternoon. Even shivering, frightened, and so sick, she was so sweet; she immediately started nudging my hand for attention. I knew I had to take her. Animals Services tried to talk me out of it. They said just about everything short of, 'Why not take a better dog?' Well, Gordon and I figured the worst-case scenario was that one of our wonderful vets (we have a super team of three) would give her a better exit than she'd get at Animal Services, should she be too ill to save. So, Tuesday morning, she was delivered to Drs. Steve, Renee, and Stephanie. After examination and a day's observation, Steve called to tell us all the surgery she'd need -- but that she should do fine, and have at least a few happy years -- IF the tissue was benign. Best guess was that she was about 7 years old, give or take a year, but had been so badly treated -- and used for so much breeding -- that it was a tough call. The little girl underwent hours of surgery the next afternoon, and she came home -- to her LAST home -- a day later. She spent most of her time snoozing, but ate well, and was better and stronger each day. Then the word came that the removed tissue was malignant. 'Emma' ('Dog F333,' as they called her at Animal Services certainly didn't fit her charming personality) and I were now bonded like Crazy Glue, so I was already in mourning. But she kept getting better, and happier, and more confident. And more beautiful. In October, more lumps appeared on Emma's belly. Dr. Steve operated again. We all figured more malignancy, but I insisted the tissue go to the lab just in case we'd see a minor miracle. We did; it was benign! This sweet angel, this darling Dobergirl to whom we hoped to give a few happy months, who made us hold our breath over her medical reports, has now been with us a year. I've never, ever seen a happier dog, nor a dog who loves people more than Emma does. I love my other dogs dearly, but Emma has been the most fulfilling and the most rewarding. I'll leave it to others to go for the ribbons on the dog-show circuit now, and focus on the warmth I've gotten from a graying Doberman who was scheduled to die the day I found her." Contributed by Karen Green, San Luis Obispo, CA. February 1999
Ten-year-old Emma Lou's "Visit" Turns into a Four-Year Residency
" 'Miss Emma Lou of Butler's Farm' came to us under the premise of a 'visit.' Our one- year-old female Newfoundland, Holly, developed separation anxiety. While explaining our plight to Sam and Joyce Butler of Butler's Farm Newfoundlands, they suggested that we take Emma home with us to ease Holly's fear of being alone. Emma was just going on 10 at the time. She was retired from her roles as 'Mom' and decorated 'Search and Rescue Dog,' biding her time lovingly between the kennel and the Butler's farm house. As 10 is considered old for a Newfoundland, we had some reservations (mostly that we might only have her for a year at the most), but, once we laid eyes on her, it was love at first sight! Emma's 'visit' turned into permanent adoption, and she has been a loving member of our family ever since. In addition, she is now going on her 14th birthday! So much for having her for only a year!" Contributed by Julie McKenzie, Aliquippa, PA. September 2001. Update October 15, 2001: Julie McKenzie wrote: "It is with a heavy heart that I must let you know that Emma Lou crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on Oct. 6. Her decline was quick and she was not in pain in the end. She is missed terribly! Thank you for adding her to your exceptional website. The experience of living with Emma taught me that it is not important how old they ar;, what is important is that they are a member of your family. What a privilege it was to have had her in our lives."
Esther's Story....as told by Esther, Herself
"My name is Esther and, at 12, I'm definitely what you'd call a 'senior' dog. Kerrin, my adoptive mom, saw me out on the Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue (CCDR) website one day. She read that I was a very sweet wirehaired Dachshund and a former champion show dog, no less, who needed a home. Soon I landed on the Barrett's doorstep with Debbie, my foster mom. I sniffed around with my tail between my legs. Pretty soon I felt a little more comfortable and Debbie left. I looked at the front door and barked. Already I missed her. You see, this is the fourth home I've lived in over my long life, so I got pretty sentimental.
"Kerrin explained that her husband, Richard, would be coming home the next day from something called 'rehab,' and that he needed a companion while she was at work all day. Richard's about my age (in people years) and had broken his hip. The next day Kerrin left me to go pick up Richard. I immediately took advantage of the situation to jump way up and dive into the big Easter basket on the table. Fortunately for everyone, Kerrin had forgotten her purse and caught me -- er, ah -- red-pawed before I could eat everything in sight. Kerrin, Richard, and two friends eventually arrived back home with all sorts of things like a 'wheelchair' and a 'walker.' Richard looked even more frightened than I did when I arrived. I was a good dog and stayed out of everyone's way.
"The next day Richard and Kerrin had one of those things humans call 'a talk.' He told her he didn't really like me because I was so quiet, and that he wanted to give me back. (I'm not really quiet, it's just that I'm shy at first, like most wirehairs.) I stayed under the table, close by Kerrin, who said we were keeping me and that was that. I just knew that I'd win him over. It would take time, but I was confident we'd become best friends.
"It wasn't long before Kerrin found kibble in Richard's bathrobe pocket. Then he let it slip that we share the couch when I nap. Soon he was fixing my dinner for me before she got home from work. Then one day Richard said the words that made my big ol' heart leap with joy -- 'forever home.' That's right, I'd won him over!
"Richard and I now go for walks every day. Weekends we go to the park as a family. I love running off the leash and sniffing in the leaves. We play a little game -- they yell 'Come!' and I run to them and get a treat. They're really well trained. And, can I ever bark up a storm! Turns out I knew how to 'speak' all along! Those silly humans just had to figure out the magic word. At nighttime I snuggle close to them to stay warm. I guess you could say I'm one lucky dog -- and they're one lucky family." Contributed by Kerrin & Richard Barrett, Arlington, MA. January 2002.
Fanni and Moses
"Fanni, our very sweet little gray faced lady, will be ten in May 2004. She has survived many mast cell tumors, with one round of radiation, and she has had both anterior cruciate ligaments rebuilt. She has so many scars, we jokingly refer to her as 'Frankendog.' Fanni is a seriously stubborn girl, but we believe that's what's gotten her through. She still has Great Spirit, just not as much get up and go. Don't tell her that, she still thinks she flies.
"Moses -- what a baby boy, he is! -- timid, precious, rough and furious -- all wrapped into one. He is a fighter and has had to be. Rescued on Christmas Eve when he was nine weeks old, he weighed only 4.8 lbs. He had a serious respiratory infection and had had his tail amputated . He is 9 1/2 years old now, but the effects of that early trauma have followed him through the years. He has survived pancreatitis, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, and an injury to his left eye that has left him with compromised vision. (We think it makes him look like a pirate.) He is a very brave guy.
"Fanni and Moses are the dearest friends. They are inseparable. The two love to go wherever we go, and, when possible, they always do. We have become experts on vacationing with dogs. These two angels have given us the gift of joy and laughter. Our gift to them will be helping them remain happy and peaceful during their senior years." Contributed by Sandi & Ken Aguiar, San Jose, CA. March 2004.
Flappy Blessed Another Family
"We have three female long-haired mini Dachshunds, all of them horribly spoiled. In the early winter of 1999, we took two of them to the vet for their shots. While there, the vet said, 'You like Dachshunds, eh?' He told us they had an 18- year-old black smooth male Doxie in the kennel who had belonged to an old woman who went into a nursing home. While tidying up the lady's affairs, her family took care of a loose end by dropping their mom's little friend off at the vet saying, 'We don't care; you can put him to sleep.' 'He's in pretty bad health,' the vet said, 'but we all like him and he seems like a nice guy. He does have some behavior problems.'
"My wife and I took him home the next day. Poor old 'Swartzie' looked like a skeleton and was afraid of everything. But the 'behavior problems' turned out, on closer observation, to be be minsunderstandings. The dog was actually gentle and kind. He was terrified and obviously trying hard to be good. Within a couple of days we realized he was deaf! No wonder he hadn't responded too well!
"Swartzie had been treated well by his old lady and was used to kindness. Someone hadn't been good to him at one point, though, and he did not like men in baseball caps. So we stopped wearing ball caps around him. Also, we figured out a sign language to communicate and spent a lot of time petting him and giving him positive reinforcement tactilely. You couldn't tell him he was a 'Good Dog!' like you could the others, because he could not hear you.
"He got along well with the other dogs. The 'bad habits' we'd been warned about included 'stealing kibbles.' Alas, poor old Swartzie was simply not in the same league as our Doxies, especially 'Eva the queen,' who can push a chair to a table, leap up and get a roast, or little Nickie who can pull a trash can down, or Sasha who unzips purses, opens up tubes and eats chapstick. At his very baddest, Swartzue was nowhere near as wicked as our three.
"We thought Swartzie was a dumb name, and, of course, it didn't matter what we called him because he was deaf. We found his leathery old ears made a flapping sound as he shook his head, so we called him 'Flappy,' and it stuck. Flappy filled out and began to look quite elegant. He seemed to get younger every week. His confidence increased, and he began to trust and love us. He was a very cuddly guy and liked to sit on laps and curl up on the couch. He especiually loved my wife, because she was a 'lady,' and he'd been used to a woman. He would play with us, and we had fun, but we never seemed to get the game just right. At times he would wander around the house, searching, and we think he was looking for his old lady. We tried to contact the lady so that we could visit or at least tell her that her friend was okay, but we found out that her health had deteriorated and she had passed away.
"Flappy got healthier and handsomer. His energy level went up, and he remained gentle, although he picked up some bad habits from Eva. He travelled with us and got to play on beaches. He romped in the snow. He chased squirrels in the yard. And he was very content and happy, seeming to smile, calm and trusting. He turned 21 in the winter of 2002.
"One day in early August 2002, he had been happy all day and happy at dinner, but at 8:00 PM he wasn't walking very well. At 11:00 PM, he wasn't walking at all. We took him to the emergency clinic at 3:00 AM, completely unconscious. The X-rays showed he had a fast-growing tumor in his belly and he was dying. At 21-and-a-half, you wouldn't cut him open, so we held him while they put him to sleep.
"Now he's back with his old lady, and I hope he speaks kindly of us, the nice people who took care of him, loved him and miss him a lot. If anyone is thinking about rescuing an older Dachshund, my advice is be understanding and patient, but to do it. Too many old pups lose their home through no fault of their own, and are gentle and good friends. You may not have them as long, but the time you spend with them is golden, and you'll know you've done a good and innocent creature a very good turn. That dog will repay your efforts with love and gratitude. Remember Swartzie, who could have been put down, alone and frightened, never having done anything wrong. Instead, he came to bless another family on his way to heaven with his guardian. I'm sure the old lady is grateful, too. But she's not going to be very happy with the bad tricks Eva taught him." Contributed by C. Moss. October 2002.
Several Lives and Counting -- The Story of Fred, a Springer Spaniel
"During the nearly 13 years of his life, our Springer Spaniel Fred has lived through many adventures. Two such incidents might have taken the life of a lesser dog, but Fred prevailed. We got Fred from a pet store in Norfolk, VA, in 1986 while my husband, then a Navy chief, was stationed in the area. From there, Fred moved with us to Oberamergau, Germany, where we lived in an apartment complex that was patrolled by German Shepherd guard dogs every hour. One afternoon, Fred slipped through the door. As luck would have it, one of the guard dog patrols came by simultaneously. The next thing I knew, Fred was hanging from the large German Shepherd's mouth and being violently shaken from side to side as the guard screamed for the animal to release its victim. When the dog finally released Fred, I expected to see a very dead dog. To my surprise, Fred leaped up and tried to attack the guard dog! All he had to show for the encounter was a small hole in his neck that soon healed. Apparently the large, thick collar he wore had saved him. After that, Fred hated German Shepherds with a passion. When my husband retired from the Navy, we bought a house in Michigan. Several years later, Fred had his second brush with death. We had found a small lump on his side, and his vet thought that it should be removed and tested. The operation seemed a complete success and to our relief the lump was benign. However, within 24 hours, Fred's side had swollen up with a baseball-sized lump of pus and blood and his eyes had taken on a yellow tinge. Horrified, we got him back to the vet, where she discovered that he was having an auto-immune deficiency reaction related to the medications used during the surgery. For the next week, Fred seemed close to death as our vet researched his condition and tried various treatments. Her persistence paid off, and Fred gradually became stronger. In order to get him to eat, she fed him chicken pot pies and roast beef sandwiches. We truly knew he was his old self again when he began stealing apples out of a basket she had at the clinic. For Fred, an apple a day may not have kept the doctor away, but it showed one vet that her patient was going to make it. Now ,nearly three years later, Fred is a little stiffer due to arthritis, and his sight and hearing have declined. But he still wags his tail and bays his welcome when we come home, and he demands his fair share of any treats offered to him or our other dog, Millie. Only God knows how much longer Fred will be with us, but until that day comes he will continue to be a beloved member of our family." Contributed by Teresa Firth, Fort Sheridan, IL. April 1999
Frida Was Not Quite "As Advertised"
From an E-mail received in early January 2004: "I got a dog from the Dewey Animal Care Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. I have always wanted a female standard Poodle, so when I saw one advertised on Petfinder.com, I got my name on the list for her. Even though someone else was first on the list and I was second, I was fortunate that the person ahead of me didn't show up, and the shelter decided that the dog could be mine. My fiance Matthew and I drove 16 hours to Las Vegas to get her. We really wanted that dog! The description on thePetfinder.com site was 'a female two-year-old black standard Poodle.' We were taken to meet her and found her in a small space with two other black dogs -- one was very agressive (barking, snarling, growling), and there she was, shaking and shivering and looking terrified -- not to mention starved and dirty. Finally, someone came to take her out of the kennel for us. At that point we realized that she was definitely not two years old, as advertised. We could see the cataracts in her eyes. But it didn't matter. I was already in love with her and so was Matthew. The paperwork we eventually got to sign said she was six years old. I mentioned to one of the staff that the dog's Petfinder.com file said she was two years old. She answered, 'Oh, a volunteer puts pets on the site for us, and she messes up a lot.' But ,once again, it didn't matter....that big silly girl was ours now, and we wanted to give her a new and loving home! I took our new girl to our vet as soon as we got home, and here are the facts about her: she's about 8 years old, she has advanced cataracts, she has a slow heartbeat, she has bad back legs and wobbles a bit, the abscess we initially noticed was the result of a bite from another dog (but she had had her rabies vaccine and the abscess will heal), and she is a bit hard of hearing, but responds to clapping really well. And she is an angel! We have named her Frida, after Frida Kahlo, one of the most stunning and powerful female artists of all time. So now Frida is a part of our lives. She will be loved."
Update -- February 25, 2004: "Frida is doing great! She takes a good liquid multivitamin daily, and I give her a dose of oils (in one pill -- borage, fish, and flax) daily for her skin and coat. Her skin is a little dry, but getting better. We've finally figured out her bathroom schedule. We had some accidents for a while, but everyone was very patient. She got a nice new cedar stuffed fleece dog bed the other day, so now at night I place her on her bed by my head and she sleeps like a log...and snores! The vitamins have made her a new dog. When I take her to the park, she runs with me, and we have discovered that she likes to chase birds just like our black mini-Poodle Meelo does! The vet also had some good news -- no heartworm, healthy kidneys and liver, great teeth, no Addison's disease. Frida eats like a pig now, and she's gaining some weight. The abscess is all cleaned up and gone. She no longer sleeps all the time or hangs her head or keeps her tail between her legs. In fact, she gets up to greet us at the door with her tail wagging, follows me around the house, loves Meelo (he has grown to love her too!), comes to the kitchen when I'm cooking, and RUNS and walks with her head up high! We are so happy to have her!" Contributed by Vicky, Roseburg, OR. February 2004.
Frisky, Age 12, Gets Good Home Cooking
"We have a 12-year-old German Short-haired Pointer. We were feeding him a premium senior dog food and noticed his eyes were getting cloudy and his coat was looking dry. So I decided to try home-cooking for a week to see if he would look better. I noticed a difference right away, so I decided to continue cooking for him. (I didn't realize how much work it is!) I read a lot on the subject, searching for dog recipes and general care information on the Internet, and looking for cookbooks for dogs. I base most of the diet I use for Frisky on a book by Bernard Tonken, DVM, called "The Dog Lover's Cookbook." Frisky runs everyday for up to a solid hour. What amazes us is that he runs as fast as he did when he was younger. His coat is just gorgeous now and his eyes are much brighter. He loves his food -- and has never looked better. We know his hearing is good because he barks when anyone comes to the door. His eyesight is great, too. On a recent run we took with him, he saw three deer at quite a distance and began to point. Some of the things I cook for him, based on Dr. Tonken's book, are: liver with onions; liver with rice and peas; liver or bacon with eggs and bread crumbs (his favorite food is liver so we tend to feed him more of it); hamburger patties; grated carrots and rice; wieners dipped in egg and cornflakes, then pan-fried; kidney or heart; rolled oats with yogurt and hamburger; stew (any meat with vegetables); apples, vegetables every day, such as carrots, broccoli, zucchini -- whatever I have on hand." Contributed by Dave and Peggy Bradbury.
Frodo and Sassy Are Adopted to Cheer Up Bob....and They Do a Great Job!
"This is Bob (13 years old, September 2002), Frodo (10+ years) , and Sassy (10+ years). Jody is the human. Frodo and Sassy were rescued from the animal shelter in November 2001 on what was supposed to be their last day of life. They were both senior dogs and, of course, senior dogs are rarely adopted -- especially senior dogs as old as they are. Sassy also had a large breast tumor and several bad teeth, all of which needed to be removed. Frodo has bladder problems, so he frequently mistakes things in the house for trees.
"Bob, who has cancer, had lost his lifelong companion, Muffin (Collie mix, 17 years of age), the prior year. He had gone through a period of mourning and had come through it even seeming to enjoy life as the only dog in the household. Last fall, though, Bob went back into a depression, so we set out to find another companion for him. We found a picture of Sassy on the Internet, and we set about trying to contact the shelter, which was 40 miles away, to visit her. When we got there, Frodo was in the next cell awaiting death, too. We took them both home with us.
"One thing that amazed us was that when we got home all three dogs acted as though they had been together their whole lives. Frodo was immediately allowed to be alpha male in the house without a growl from anyone. Bob, being a big boy, could have easily objected. Frodo and Sassy have brought so much joy to Bob and to our family that it has been well worth dealing with the surgeries and other minor issues like the occasional floor wetting." Contributed by Cliff & Jody Mortimer, Detroit, MI. November 2002.