Saturday night I was sitting at the top of the Bridge looking over the steps that dogs climb as they complete their final journey. It had been weeks since I had written a Pup of the Week blog that did not involve a dog’s passing. I gave one final look to confirm there would be no new angels or broken-hearted parents to honor.
I went to my cottage, opened my computer, and began to search for an inspiring dog that I could honor. If I couldn’t find one I would create one Yes, it would be fake news, but no one complains about fake news when it is a happy story.
Luckily I did not have to rely on my imagination. I quickly found some amazing dogs.
I am glad there is more than one because the first dog is named River, like my sister, and if I titled a blog “River is our Pup of the Week,” I would scare many friends.
This River is a black lab who lives with the Beaudreau family in St. Louis’ southern county. Last Sunday, at 2:00 AM, River, who is usually a mellow dog and sleeps through the night, poked and barked at her mom Lauren Beaudreau.
Lauren could no get River to settle. She took her outside, she fed her, and still, River was barking and jumping. Lauren woke her husband, Mark. River was preoccupied with the inside garage door. When Mark checked it, he discovered the garage was ablaze.
The Beaudreau’s were able to get there three children, and River, outside safely before the windows blew. Their home was severely damaged, but to the Beaudreau's all that mattered was their children and their heroic dog was safe.
I recognize the second dog for her persistence. Her name is Cathleen. Her family moved from Prague Oklahoma to Seminole Oklahoma, and they could not keep her. The family gave Cathleen to a friend in Prague until they could find her new home.
Cathleen did not agree with their decision. In December the Grand Pyrenees took a twenty mile, six-hour walk to Seminole to find her family. They were stunned to see Cathleen, but were still unable to keep her and returned her to their friend. A few days later Cathleen got out of the house again and walked back to her family’s Seminole neighborhood. The animal control officer picked her up. The friend in Prague, who could not stop Cathleen's roaming, surrendered her to the shelter, but by then Cathleen’s determination made her a local hero with many applicants willing to give her a permanent home.
Cathleen is now with a new family who promises never to move and not take her with them. It is a promise they better keep because she will track them down if she does.
Finally, there is Sophie, a 13-year-old Labrador retriever from Bryant Pond Maine who was lost during a terrible snow storm on January 4. People searched for Sophie for days with no trace to be found. The family came to accept that Sophie had been lost
Five days after the storm a man saw something moving inside a snowbank on a neighboring property. When he got a closer look, he saw it was a dog. A tractor cleared a path to the snowbank and Sophie was dug out and reunited with her family.
Three persistent dogs, one who kept barking to save her family, one who kept walking to try and be reunited with her family, and one somehow stayed alive inside a snowbank to make it home again.
Never underestimate dogs. Our love, loyalty, and survival skills are beyond humans comprehension.
And that’ how we like it.