"There's no place like home." Since I am a Kansas girl, and watched the "The Wizard of Oz" at least 100 times, that phrase has particular significance to me since it was Dorothy's mantra when she was desperately trying to get back to her family in Kansas.
Last week I told you about our "senior moment" and the resulting kitchen fire. This week we were temporarily evicted from our home for 48 hours so the professionals could use a process called O-Zoning to rid the house of the smoke odor. We had to find a place to go with seven dogs; three English Bulldogs, two Australian Shepherds, one Lab and one Great Pyrenees (and a partridge in a pear tree). Some great friends offered us their deceased mother's vacant home in which to "camp out." Rich slept there surrounded by a snoring trio of English Bulldogs. I slept at a motel with the non-snoring ones.
We made a boarding reservation for Lilypad so she would be safely confined and also receive a badly needed grooming. The morning we packed up to leave the house; Lily knew something was up when she spied the leash hanging out of Rich's pocket. She disappeared into the woods at a high rate of speed. We had no choice but to leave her behind. I left food and water, knowing she'd return when the coast was clear and the dreaded leash disappeared. A little later, I returned to the house to pick up our large dog food container, plus a few things I'd forgotten. Just as I hoisted the dog food into the car, Lily came from out of nowhere, making a giant leap into the back of the Jeep. She gave me a look like, "OK, that does it! This looks serious! If everybody is leaving, I'm not getting left behind." Suddenly, Lilypad's home was not home if her family was not there.
For three days we have bounced around between our offices, hotel room and vacant house with very restless, confused canines. We appreciate our home more than ever before and if our dogs could talk, they would say "Amen" to that! I did make an observation though. As long as the dogs were where we were — wherever that was, they would eventually settle down and relax.
Just experiencing a couple of days in which I could not go "home" caused me to think about the deep sadness, fear and longing that abandoned dogs must go through when they lose the "people" they call home. There are countless stories about dogs who travel unbelievable distances and face all odds to get back to the people they love.
This week we celebrated the adoption of an adorable, petite, little old lady named "Minny Pinny." This little red Min Pin was more than likely a used up "breeding dog." She was left on the side of a highway in the cold and rain last winter. A kind soul brought her to a vet clinic, frozen, wet and terrified. The clinic called and asked if we would take her in. Minny Pinny had several health issues that took time to resolve. She had to have all her teeth pulled. She was hard to house train since she had existed in a cage her whole life. But, her affectionate, sweet personality and her trust in us just made her too precious to give up on. She spent many weeks at the animal hospital and then went to a loving home to be fostered for several months. We wondered who would ever want a little, old, toothless Min Pin who's little pink tongue hung out the side of her mouth and still struggled with "hit and miss" potty training — but, that one very special person found us and Miss Minny last week. Minny Pinny has found her forever home in the arms of someone who will love and spoil this sweet little dog. Her "golden years" have truly begun! She has gone from existence in a cold wire cage to a real "home" where someone sees her as a loving, trusting little creature she is, deserving of loving kindness and respect.
Page 2 of 2 - "Home" is where your heart lives and for dogs, home is where you are.
Leanne Williams writes a weekly column for the Daily News.