Sunday, September 7, 2008


ALBERT! There he is. I never have to call twice. Funny, the dogs that show up in your life and become part of your life. I found him on a 100 degree day last year, trying to lick drops of water draining to the gutter. A 50 pound lab puppy, I palmed him off on a friend after lost dog signs and calls to shelters turned up no takers. But Albert ate through hoses, insulation, and Sally said, you've got to take Albert back.

I named him Albert because I hadn't planned to stay with him long, and it seemed a nice nerdish name for a clumsy cross-eyed dog. But now I have the dog and he has the name. Albert has a heart of gold, and no longer chews up anything but his plastic bone. But he does have terrors. I came home tonight and he was cowering in a corner of the yard. My gardeners had shown up to put in a new raised bed, and Albert is terrified of gardeners. And weed whackers, leaf blowers, vacuum cleaners, drills, blow dryers.

I'll never know the sad little story that preceded our relationship. He's put on 35 pounds and lives to fetch. He loves, in no particular order, his tennis ball, our boxer Phoebe, and me. And water. Put down a bowl of water and he'll drink it to the bottom. Every drink is his last drink. I'll never convince him there will be more water the next minute, the next hour, the next day. Love, food, warmth, and a soft bed just seem, may be, oh so temporary.


  1. Pasadena Adjacent
    I have a girlfriend who was driving on Vermont when she caught sight of a shepherd dog who was running down the center of traffic. She opened her car door and without hesitation, he jumped in. She eventually moved out of downtown L.A. and into the desert taking "James" with her. This was a good thing because her loyal friend had his quirks. He hated homeless people, especially if they had alcohol on their breath. Guess he too had a story to tell.

  2. I love the story of Albert. (good beginning, middle, end.) Each rescued dog has a story.

    Bless the people who take them in--either one dog, or a few, or the ones who run the rescue shelters.

    Boz lived in a shelter for a year before we brought him home. He was shy and quiet, probably didn't "show up" when people came dog-shopping.

    Boz likes great big guys who smoke cigarettes. If they have tattoos and look scary to me, all the better for Boz. I think his previous owner was someone like that who treated him well. I think he wasn't abused, he just got out--the gate was left open and no one was watching, and he got lost. Some big, tough guy still misses him.

    He should have shut that gate, because Boz is our gain and we're keeping him. We love him like crazy.

    His insecurity is other dogs in large crowds. Also losing us: he stays with us off-leash. He doesn't want to lose track of his peeps.

  3. I love reading happy rescue stories! more....

  4. Your Albert has some of the characteristics of my rescued pooches of the past. 4 Great Danes, plus 2 I had from pups. The combination of Grayber,a beautiful fawn dane who, at the age of 3 had never been inside a house. It finally attacked a pup belonging to a little girl. I think he thought it was one of the desert animals he had chased all his life. I gave him to a dane Rescue center and got Theseus. A vet actually caused him such problems that we had to put him down. Now there is Winston! Last of a litter, papers, an alla that. Dogs have added $20 - $30 thousand in repairs and upgrades to my house over the past 10-12 years. Were they worth it. Yeah! Would I do it again? Yeah! Only, I would get a second job to absorb costs.

  5. A 35 pound weight gain? Albert and I need to hang.

    BTW, I picked up some of the Tex Mex trail mix from Target. Good rec!

  6. Nice stories. And I like the "home James" sound of the first. My boxer Phoebe sounds like Boz. Got her at boxer rescue, and she seemed very aloof at first. Huh! P loves everyone, absolutely everyone, especially if they have interesting tats. Susan -- did you read the back -- 1 billion calories per half handful.

  7. I love Albert. I don't know him but I do know that I would love him if I met him. The message of Albert is special to me and to all of us.

  8. I loved to know the story of Albert. He looks adorable! What a lucky boy to has you.

    PS: I enjoy to visit old posts...