I love this issue of My Generation. If you know me, or follow any of my columns or blogs, you know that I am a huge dog lover. I am an animal lover in general, but my animal of choice is dog. And, I have three at home (down one from my usual herd of four), all adopted from local shelters, with various personalities and quirks, but all full of love, love, love.
My oldest is Georgia Rae, a 5-year-old stray that showed up in Kennebunk at the Animal Welfare Society shelter, where I met her just over three years ago. Georgia is 22 pounds of sassy, blonde bitchiness and is here to let everyone else know that she is in charge. She couldn’t be cuter with her wavy blonde hair and auburn eyes, surrounded by a natural deep brown eyeliner. She is a beautiful specimen. I understand how she became a stray because she loves to run. We take her hiking in the hills of Carrabassett Valley and she puts out 3 miles to our every 1, climbing as many hills as she can find. She was born to run. I can only imagine that in a previous life she took off and just kept going.
My middle child, a sad and confused boy named Chad Harper, traveled far to make his way to the Coastal Humane Society in Brunswick. His elderly Florida-based owner passed away, and Chad was a guest at many southern kill shelters before he was delivered via land and air to his destination. When I met him, he was very shy and folks at the shelter were worried that he may be aggressive. He is a 27-pound standard, long-hair dachschund/border collie mix and a handsome beast. He had no hair on his underside, toes or ears, and his tail looked like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. I had to bribe him out of the cage with carrots and he did not want to be with me at all. But, there was something in his deep brown eyes that made me want to rescue him. And now, two years later, I have a best friend for life. Chad Harper has found his true love in me and he lets me know it. Though he is still very shy and awkward, he has found comfort and security in his new home, with both his people and dog family.
My baby is named Emmy Lou (you may have noticed that all of my dogs are named after rock stars). Em was born at a southern shelter and made her way with her mom and siblings to the AWS in Kennebunk a year or so ago. I went there with my youngest daughter soon after my love Riley died suddenly at age 5 (Riley was a chi-weenie). Emmy and her siblings were just 8 weeks old and they were all playing outside and she looked exactly like Riley did when he was that age, and just 4 pounds. Ahhhh, the rest is history. Emmy is a sweet, 14.5 pound cocker spaniel/chihuahua (we guess) mix who is by my side, night and day. She is full of fun and joy and energy, and most days makes her way to the office with me, where she spends her time as a therapy dog of sorts, bringing joy to everyone here.
I hope that you enjoy our pet issue of My Generation as much as I do. If you need any advice or if you want me to go with you to pick out your next shelter dog – just give me a call.
In addition to all of the great pet stories in this issue, you will find a special section for the next Senior Expo on pages 8-13. I have been to these events since they started, and I can tell you that they are worth the time to go and learn and enjoy. The next Senior Expo will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport on Oct. 1. I hope to see you there.
Lee Hews, Publisher