Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Instapuppy

cash1

My father-in-law texted me a photo of two little curled up lab-ish looking puppies in the early morning of June 1st with the question "want another lab?"  He was on a business call in Columbia, Tn. which had him visiting a scrap metal working shop.  As he walked up to the office door two little, filthy puppies approached him, a little shiver-y after a rainy night (queue heart string yanking music).

cash9

Our good boy Leo had a hard winter.  At not quite 8 years old we had him X-rayed to find some aggravated and swollen joints from a puppy injury, a bit of arthritis and evidence of his spine having fused and rebroken in a few spots.  Not fun stuff for a 100lb dog to deal with.  I spent lots of nights down on the floor with him, giving him nice slow rubs, to hopefully lessen his discomfort, and gave him some pain killers on and off when he seemed to just not be able to move.  One night he sat whining on the back porch because he wanted to come back in after his bathroom break in the yard- and I stood in the open door welcoming him, but he couldn't lift his hind end off the ground.  And he wanted to so badly.  He was just in so much pain.  I cried a bit with him, and in the cold dark, I convinced him to let me carry his back end while he walked his front end into the house, up a few brick steps.  It was as though he was more emotionally hurt than physically at the notion of me helping him.  We found his soft spot on the warm rug, where he spent most winter nights.

cash10

Some days we would see a little improvement, but most days I was reluctantly coming to the a slow realization that maybe Leo wouldn't ever get back to his happy normal.  Jeff suggested we think about going ahead and getting another dog, and the thought not only made me cry but infuriated me.  All dogs should be like Leo.  He is perfection.  He is gentle, beautiful, protective and spirited.  More than anyone could ever hope for.  I have felt sure that even if he could speak words, he would never utter one complaint.  I wanted nothing to do with another dog.  I couldn't think of another.

cash2

With the warm weather returning, so has Leo's mobility, comfort and old self.  He's even shared a family walk or two and seemed no worse for wear after.  It was after a few months of Leo back to his old self that I got the text from Jack.  I caved.  This little pair of puppies had been left there, likely just dumped.  No tags.  No houses anywhere for miles.  I checked all the missing listings and shelters that I could, but it appeared they were intentionally left.  So I set out on a trip, about an hour south, to have a look for myself.  Something in me switched on when I saw the picture.  Not just the puppies' need.  But also of Leo's gift.  What a perfect pet he has been.  And what a perfect teacher he would be to a new little one.  On how to be.  How to live with us

cash3

Deciding between the two puppies was agonizing, but better once a metal worker there had agreed to take home which ever I didn't choose.  So I took the one that didn't jump up and greet us right away.  I took the one that was napping through our whole visit and only looked up to make sure we posed no threat, then went back to sleep with a little tail wag.  I took the one that looked more like Leo. And he is settling in just fine.

cash4

And Leo?  It's like I brought home a baby just for him.  The little one follows Leo and does as Leo does.  Leo is so tolerant and has developed one special growl for "okay, I'm done with the biting and rolling around thing for now".  Little one obeys, sits down and takes a big hrumpf sigh.  Then finds a sock.  Or a kid.  And goes right back to it.

cash8

But then they sleep like this.

cash6

Or like this.

cash7

And also like that.  They are a pair.  And so happy, both of them.  All of us.

cash5

We named him Cash.  As in Johnny.  Getting left in a parking lot in Maury County waiting to be saved was altogether too southern and tragic not to name him as such.  And it was on the first day of June.  So.  We love him.  He is a lucky boy to have a perfect surrogate father, not to mention a flock of adoring people brothers and sisters.  Jeff and I sorta love him too.

So an early happy Father's Day to our Leo.
And, if you haven't guessed it, I'm instagraming @annamariahorner.  So if you want more play by play of puppies, what I eat for breakfast, what beer I nurse as I put on date-night makeup and other important details, just follow.

xoxo, AM

94 comments:

  1. these photos are incredible. i'm sitting here with my own four-legged friend (see here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/littleolivebranch/7270992298/in/photostream) and nodding my head along as i read your post. magical creatures, aren't they? and definitely for each other. much love to your dog filled house! follow me in IG @bighairforpeace for doggies, DC and of course quilting. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous6:44 PM

    This is such a beautiful post, thank you. Dogs, animals, really, are so amazing in their ability to love and play and be a huge part of human families. Being a somewhat new first-time doggie parent, I was wondering if you have any idea how Leo broke his back? It seems so . . . inconceivable.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am all weepy now reading this post, and seeing the pictures of Leo and Cash. You did such a kind thing to bring home that sweet little guy. Clearly Leo approves. Lucky pups, both of them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anon- I have NO idea how Leo's injuries happened other than likely genetics- and it is not so much that his back broke as much as the spine fused in a few places where it shouldn't have and then those fusings have further broken. So it has likely given him nerve pain just like it would an adult with back problems.

    I am thankful for my sweet pets! xo, Anna

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love these pictures! what a gift of a little guy pup you've all been given! thanks for sharing - it is a joy to see!

    ReplyDelete
  6. So gorgeous! My 5yr old (eldest) is hounding us for a dog, before kids we had a german shepherd with a beautiful nature. We love dogs too but waiting for the little folk to be less dependent before we get another one.

    I'm a Johnny Cash fan too so I love the name! I'll join you on Instagram (@a-labour-of-love)

    dxx

    ReplyDelete
  7. Adorable! We love our two collies... it's great that they have each other too. Oh, and Cash is a fabulous name. We named ours Bo and Blayde, after someone Dad knew in high school and a movie character. *smile*
    xox! Achaia

    PS I'm finishing up an Art Student Tote and will be sure to Flickr it once I am done! xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. How awesome of you to give Cash a good home. Kudos to Leo for being such a good mentor.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Melting my heart :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. so heart warming! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I had to comment.

    Thanks for the great puppy tale. Love the name Cash and how you came to that conclusion.

    Love that Leo has a new BFF. I went thru the "old dog is getting old" thing and am so glad to hear that Leo has gone up instead of down! :) Go, Leo, go!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love love love it! We adopted a yellow Lab last September and he is wonderful. So glad you have given Leo a new little brother and Cash has a role model.

    ReplyDelete
  13. That was just such a sweet post. Thank you for posting it! Happy Father's Day to Leo!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Well, your beautiful post has made me cry. Not just because I have a yellow lab who looks just like Leo (95 pounds and all) and not just because I have his mom, a black lab named Sarah with a petite snout and ears, who is 6 today and has arthritic pain, also. I'm weepy because the love between those two doggies of yours reflects the love you give them. I never thought I'd agree to get another puppy, but now you have me wondering....

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm a cat person, but that is absolutely precious.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Awww... that was such a lovely little tale. I'm not usually a dog fan, but this was truly magical.

    ReplyDelete
  17. And just think, if you hadn't brought the puppy home now, you would have missed out on all those beautiful images of him mirroring Leo. Not to mention Leo missing out on what is clearly a joy to him!

    ReplyDelete
  18. So very very sweet...

    ReplyDelete
  19. how perfect June & Johnny :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Incredibly heart-warming! They are a perfect pair.
    We've been debating getting a puppy as our dog just celebrated his 16th birthday. At first I thought no, like you, but now my heartstrings are sufficiently tugged!
    Thank you Anna!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I just love this story - its amazing how much our animals are part of our families. As for Cash - hes perfect! :)

    xx steffani k burton

    ReplyDelete
  22. Beautiful. Couldn't be more perfect.

    And now I think I'll go curl up with my own yellow labradork and give him some love.

    xo.

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a lucky family you are to have these wonderful dogs in your lives...and of course, they are lucky as well! My Stirling (a Sheltie) is currently circling the table as his human brother is playing solitaire...apparently card playing requires constant vigilance from our resident herder!

    We humans with dogs in our lives are so blessed!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh my, how these pictures made me cry tonight. We lost our 12 year old yellow lab, Jackson ("The Big Lug"), just five weeks ago, who was trained by our older lab, Jemima, whom we lost 5 years ago. I miss him (well, both of them) madly every day. And tonight your puppies (old and young)are so sweet to see. And are bittersweet reminders. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  25. oh I just shed a tear over my breakfast what a beautiful pair!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh my how totally sweet is that, I'm all sweetened up for the day :)
    Karen x

    ReplyDelete
  27. That is just how we chose our black Labrador. He was the one that sat back and looked dopey while all the others (14 of them) bounced around crazily. We are lad back so we wanted a dog just the same and that is what he has always been-chilled out. However, we also got a second dog 2 years later and she is fairly bouncy during the day but chilled in the evening and she is the perfect compliment to him. Cash will probably give Leo a new lease of life. X

    ReplyDelete
  28. So sweet how Leo and Cash interacts. Lovely pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Looks like perfect timing for Leo. I predict Cash will extend and enrich Leo's life immeasurably. It happened for us with our then-12 year old lab Molly. We had a rougher start than you did (Molly was GRUMPY) but Muttel melted her into a puddle of love and she taught him that certain things will NOT be tolerated.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Beautiful post. Love the name giving, being a Johnny cash fan as long as I remember. We just got 2 abandoned kittens.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh, isn't he beautiful?

    Getting him is a wonderful thing for Leo. When we got our puppy (now an almost-9-year-old) we had a very old cat who had been very sick, and my husband worried about getting a puppy while she was still with us. As it turned out, the puppy - temporarily, of course - turned the calendar back *years* & the cat spent her last six months having the time of her life with her new little puppy friend.

    I'm glad Leo is doing better. They are adorable together… xo

    ReplyDelete
  32. So wonderful. We brought home a puppy to our 10-year-old perfect dog this winter. Just as Leo, he poses the perfect parent, protective, fun, and disciplined. He lets Beau (the puppy) know when he's had enough and yet they play when he's up to it. They sleep as yours do too... so cute, so precious... their own little father/son pair... and we were nervous about bringing another boy home but it has just worked for everyone... and he fits just as our boy T.K. does and always has. It's actually seemed to make T.K. a little more lively and energetic.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Beautiful photos. I found your blog very nice.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Oh my. Tugging on my heart strings! We've been thinking of adopting a dog from the shelter. This may have just convinced me.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I got all misty-eyed reading this. I had labs growing up and this makes me think of Jim, the runt of his litter...a big barrel of a black lab who was the most loving, gentle dog I have ever met. He had lung cancer in his later years, and I would lay down beside him on the basement floor and comfort him when he was in pain. Thank you for this lovely story. Hugs to Leo and Cash!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Question yet to be answered:
    Will Cash sit up with his front legs crossed like Leo does?

    ReplyDelete
  37. I recently got a new puppy ~ but still my heart is with my ever so wonderful Lab ~ Daisy. She's been gone for about 3 years now and was the most sweet dog I'd ever had. I miss her still ~ think I always will.
    Wonderful story about Leo ~ so sorry he's experiencing so much pain, but think Cash will bring him back to his old self!

    ReplyDelete
  38. This made me cry. At work. I'm such a dog person, and this is a lovely story. I'm so glad the puppies have found homes, and Leo found a friend!

    ReplyDelete
  39. This was the last post I read before going to sleep last night. Our yellow lab, Stella, is 12. We had been toying around with adding a new puppy to the mix for awhile but when our friend bred his lab, that sealed the deal. Our new puppy, Luna, who is now 4-1/2 months, is fitting in just like Cash is. They are so fun to watch together and Stella often instigates the play so I guess she doesn't mind. Thanks for sharing your story and pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Dang! Could you have at least posted a tissue warning first? LOL. We had a black lab mix for 16 years, and we'd love to have another one some day. As for now, though, we have two 9 year old Beagles and a year old cat. Thanks for sharing your story about Leo and Cash. Sounds like a children's book!

    ReplyDelete
  41. this is so sweet it breaks my heart. thanks for sharing this story and these photos!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Heart wrenching. You write heartwrenchingly. Oof. Xxx

    ReplyDelete
  43. This brought tears to my eyes. It's a really lovely story! It's good to be reminded that a mentor role even helps the older dog too. Smooches to both Leo and Cash, they're stars!!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Jobeth2:09 PM

    Awww Anna! I could just kiss both their faces off! (But it's Maury County dear, not Murray)

    ReplyDelete
  45. haha! thank you Jobeth---- I knew that wasn't right ;-P

    ReplyDelete
  46. Anonymous4:45 PM

    So sweet and a little melancholy too. In the past, I resisted getting a puppy when our dog was "going back" and like you, I was amused and bemused at how much life the puppy seemed to bring to our senior dog. For your Leo, have you looked into acupuncture for the arthritis? We tried it out of desperation and it really did seem to help.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Oh, but what happened to the second abandoned puppy??

    ReplyDelete
  48. Anna Maria Horner, I love, absolutely love, this post. Your much loved old dog and this new puppy will have a grand time knowing each other and feeling all the love and care that your family will give them.

    Wow.

    I live in a small NYC apartment, and just could not inflict that on a pup. I love them too much, and still hope that I will eventually have space, indoor and outdoor, to resume my own personal affection for sweet pups.

    Best wishes.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Ana- I mentioned it in there, a worker at the metal shop he would take him home :) xo, Anna

    ReplyDelete
  50. What sweet puppers you have! I love how they sleep in the same kind of positions in these photos.

    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  51. Oh goodness, those two are adorable together! I love it! The sleeping pics are my favorite. :)

    ReplyDelete
  52. Oh my goodness. There are tears running down my face. Happy Fathers Day Leo! Cash is a very lucky little boy.

    We will be getting a lab in the fall. He or she will hopefully become a guide dog next year after they spend 9 months with us learning to sit, stay and come - and going everywhere we go. It should be fun!

    ReplyDelete
  53. How absolutely precious!...and the name is just priceless!! Congrats to all of you!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Perfect story. Leo you are so loved and it is so nice you will be able to love this puppy and help him grow up.

    Congrats.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Debby8:56 PM

    We are dog crazy here at our house! We have had our share of 'old faithfuls'and found that giving them Buffered Aspirin provided a lot of comfort for those sore joints. It has to be buffered not enteric coated to be absorbed properly. Have fun with them both!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Jessie D.9:51 PM

    I work in vet medicine and am always amazed by how much an older dog's life is improved by the addition of a younger pup! Our medical director always recommends getting a "buddy dog" for the older pooch, it really adds years to their lives! And ridiculously cute pictures to ours! congrats to you and to Cash! He's a lucky little dude!

    ReplyDelete
  57. My favourite post EVER! Oh Cash, lucky lucky boy! You have found your way into the heart and home of a wonderful family.
    I have taken heart from this that My 7 year old beloved lab will take to a new companion...been umming and ahing, but now I will act! Thank you,

    Sarah -x-

    ReplyDelete
  58. This post completely made my day. Thank you so much for sharing all this happiness!

    ReplyDelete
  59. What a wonderful post! :)
    He's a lucky boy to find such a loving family.
    Gorgeous ~ both of them!!
    Vivienne x

    ReplyDelete
  60. this post made me cry. how lucky you are to have two beautiful dogs and how lucky they are to have you. It makes me wonder who saved who?

    ReplyDelete
  61. Oh my, this is such a sweet post. I'm happy little Cash found a loving home with you and has Leo as a mentor.

    ReplyDelete
  62. OMG... I am in bit of tears. Lol, no worries I am okay! It's more because I miss having a dog and so relate to what Leo is going through. I loved reading this post. I miss our dog Dutch, talk about a good to have. Yep, they are a one of a kind to be able to have found one very good natured but to have two is a blessing.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Anna Maria,

    Thank you for sharing your new addition to your family with us.. I hope Leo continues to make progress.

    Have a good day.

    Linda

    ReplyDelete
  64. lovely post! welcome, Cash.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Kelly8:02 PM

    We've always had the notion that, when you have the perfect dog, get that dog a puppy. They'll teach that pup everything they know. The puppy won't be exactly the same as the perfect dog, but the influence will show. And when the pup is full grown, and your perfect dog has passed, you'll smile at all the things your pup does that you KNOW your perfect dog taught him. And one life flows into another. And that life is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  66. They look so sweet together! What a sad (but so happy) story! Thanks for sharing :) Hope Leo stays feeling good for a long time to come :)

    ReplyDelete
  67. Love your post. Miss my golden Labrador who is now at my parents place.

    Virtual Receptionist

    ReplyDelete
  68. Marcia6:04 AM

    Great story- it reminds me of my be-loved shepard mix, Spencer. We lost him after 10 wonderful years (cancer) and I never thought I would love another dog that much again. We now have Bear, a rescue- shepard mix, the kids begged for and I found out I love him just as much as I loved Spencer! Enjoy Cash- he's adorable!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Oh oh oh so wonderful -- congratulations you guys. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  70. Anonymous4:54 PM

    Had to comment--love, love, love this little story. Makes me teary/happy! Love your blog and your sweet heart!

    ReplyDelete
  71. okay, I'm at work (early) and tearing up! good thing I have my makeup bag with me! This is so lovely. You have a wonderful dog in Leo and I'm sure he'll teach Cash to behave properly! thank you for sharing this with us.

    ReplyDelete
  72. our big ol dog is having similar problems to Leo, he is 9 and a retriever mix. He is soooo stiff. I am glad you have a companion for Leo and that he is feeling a little better.

    ReplyDelete
  73. What sweet puppers you have! I love how they sleep in the same kind of positions in these photos

    ReplyDelete
  74. Anonymous4:49 PM

    love love the story and pictures.....my husband and i sit and watch our dogs and their antics like others watch tv.......that little one will keep the older one stronger....they really do like to set a good example.....i had 13 yr old and took in my sons dog(a lab) ....the older dog had kind of lost her purpose.....the youngun sure got her going again........thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  75. Oh I love love this post! This why I like your blog Anna, I mean puppies, old dogs that you love. We can relate!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Our sweet Lab is getting so old and we've considered many times getting a new puppy while Belle is still here to train it. You've about got me convinced, now just to get the hubby convinced and find the right pup. Maybe one will fall into our laps like little Cash!

    ReplyDelete
  77. Fabulous! Love Leo! What a good big brother.

    Our old dog Casey couldn't lift his hind legs (lived to 17) until we put him on dog food with glucosimine. It really made all the difference.

    Love to Leo and Cash!

    ReplyDelete
  78. What a sweet perfect addition to your family.

    ReplyDelete
  79. perfect, i love to read what you write, have you ever thought of writing a book?. Because i'm sure you have time, hehe.

    ReplyDelete
  80. This was a really touching and lovely read. A big yay for the doggy world! Thankyou.x

    ReplyDelete
  81. Somehow I missed seeing this post... but no matter; I think I could read this story over, and over, anytime, and enjoy the same thankful, happy feelings.

    ReplyDelete
  82. The pictures are so cute! I have fallen in love with your puppies. I wish I had a similar pair.

    Kodak ink cartridges

    ReplyDelete
  83. Anonymous9:50 AM

    This is so awesome! I love Leo, Cash, and all of you for loving them...

    ReplyDelete
  84. Kristan6:11 PM

    Ugh, so precious. My oldest pup is 14 now. When he was nine and slowing down, I noticed he was a little thick around the middle. After trimming him down a few pounds, giving him a joint supplement, and getting a new puppy, he was like his young self again! I almost felt bad for waiting so long to get another dog since he loved the company so much.

    ReplyDelete
  85. This is such a heartwarming story. And I love both the puppies.

    Fashion Style Tips

    ReplyDelete
  86. This was not the simplest way your Memphis Lions might have inspired to turn out cheap windows 7 product key to be bowl entitled nevertheless they will take windows 7 professional product key that however they can get this. Devoid of the get, the Tigers wouldn't be taking part in in a very bowl sport. Memphis has had a less strenuous way windows 7 key to a bowl video game in the past a long time. This can be any good thing within conceal given it induced the actual clubs to develop personality.

    ReplyDelete
  87. What a beautiful story. Being owned by my lovely dog, I know just how you feel about Leo and SO happy for all of you that Cash has joined the family. They look just perfect together! Thanks for all the photos. Love them!

    ReplyDelete
  88. Anonymous4:32 PM

    Our sweet girl Marley (also a yellow Lab) had very similar pain to what you describe in Leo, starting when she was about 10. She just died last February at the ripe old age of 16! There are good pain killers...and when we re-did the kitchen, we put in heated floors, which she loved. Our new puppy is coming this fall; looking at your photos, I feel very happy and excited!

    ReplyDelete
  89. Best.post.ever. Yes, I love fabric and sewing and quilts but dogs just TUG at my heart. Been through a few of those Leo moments a few times. I think that having a pup wander into your life has to be one of those "meant to be" moments. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  90. I love this. I love your fabrics. I love my family, my dear little dog and America.

    ReplyDelete
  91. What youre saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I also love the images you put in here. They fit so well with what youre trying to say. Im sure youll reach so many people with what youve got to say. Ibcbet.com Online Sbobet.com Online

    ReplyDelete
  92. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. Travel Rail Tips for Kids

    ReplyDelete
  93. Anonymous9:56 AM

    One of the advice is, listen to the opinions of the Photography Equipment two river right, buy will buy the Camera Equipment expensive ones don't buy right. Another argument is that you can afford to buy the most expensive lens. 20000 yuan software.significant lens not less than $200 phoenix lens better than 100 times, the actual situation is, can be more thanLagu Stay Together For The Kids- Blink 182
    Lagu After Midnight- Blink 182
    Boxing Day- Blink 182
    Dammit- Blink 182
    Lagu Up All Night- Blink 182
    Lagu I Miss You- Blink 182
    Download Lirik dan Lagu Blink Full Album 10% of the camera tripod possibility is very little. May be that we spent 20000 yuan, 90% is used in cheerful spirit aspect, after all,

    ReplyDelete