I love dogs. Well, I truly love all animals, but so far, dogs are my favorite. I have four dogs at home now, and each one will eventually break my heart (as so many others have before). But every day that I come home to my own personal fan club of drool, yips, barking and happy dog grins, I forget about their short little lives and just appreciate the love, love, love.
All four of my dogs are rescues. Georgia Rae, the oldest at about 10, looks sort of like a little mini golden retriever. She was a stray when we found her at Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk about eight years ago. Chad Harper, a 9-year-old long-haired dachshund/border collie (maybe) mix was rescued from a kill shelter in the south and transported north to a shelter in Brunswick. My sweetest little Emmylou, a 5-year-old who has been with us since she was just 8 weeks, was born in the shelter to a cocker spaniel mom but clearly looks just like her chihuahua dad. Finally, there is the clown of the crew, Lucy T, a 4-year-old dachshund/papillon mix and a 12-pound bundle of endless energy. My life is a comedy starring four ill-behaved, misfit dogs.
As you can imagine, I spend a lot of time with veterinarians. Several years ago, my favorite vet, Deirdre Frey, started her own mobile vet business, Vet at Your Door. At first, I was leery about having a vet come to my home—maybe because of cost, probably because with four dogs around, my house is usually a mess. But I had her come for a visit, and I have never gone back to a vet’s office since (other than for an emergency or X-ray). It’s less stressful for my dogs and I set an appointment that is convenient to my schedule.
Frey has since expanded Vet at Your Door, hiring Abigail Messina and Tina King, who are featured in this issue on page 18. A year-and-a-half ago, when Emmylou became almost paralyzed with disc disease, it was Messina who brought her back (twice) with meds and acupuncture. Georgia Rae had horrible gum disease and dental issues her whole life. When I said I couldn’t spend another $3,000 in this dog’s mouth with dental work and anesthesia, Messina tried a new approach. Through trial and error with medication, we discovered that Georgia Rae’s dental issues are likely a result of an autoimmune disease, and after a couple of days on steroids, I had a very happy, symptom-free dog who now actually loves to eat!
While I see the uniqueness in each of my dogs, I’ve never had a dog with any BIG talent like Mike Ferron’s dog Buck. Buck, a Labrador mix, landed in the right place when he came home to Gorham with Ferron a couple of years ago. It wasn’t long before Ferron saw and helped Buck explore his talent as a Dock Dog. Read this wonderful story on page 12. I love that this animal ended up in a place where he is so appreciated and allowed to really do the work he wants to do. Like people, dogs have unique personalities, interests and skills. Do you have a wonderful pet story that you could share? Tell us about it. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you. Thanks for reading, and watch for the next issue of My Generation in late November.