A Pirate’s Life for Me!


Another “Tail” From the Shelter

I want to thank all of you for reading my tales and sharing the joy of seeing families grow when adoptions take place. Truly the signs sometimes affixed to the bumpers of cars proclaiming “who rescued who?” are very accurate.

In my own life, it was a little dog named Star who shared with me good times and bad. A little, sweet-natured dog who stalwartly loved me no matter what life presented us with.

Honestly, I don’t know if I could have made it through some of the rough circumstances without his consistent devotion.

I am often reminded of Star when I walk the shelter dogs. While sitting at the curb on the Edison Access Road and having a dog put a paw on my knee and press his face next to my cheek, I am reminded of what pure, unconditional love is.

I want them all to know that they are cared for and special. It just takes one person to see their uniqueness.

Perhaps that special quality is hidden beneath an exterior that is rather plain, and perhaps it will require a person with eyes that are able to see past the facade.

I would like to share with you the story of my special little grand puppy, Penny.

It all came about when my now 23-year-old grandson, Justin, was just 3 years old and already wanted a furry companion.

The family visited a high-kill shelter and Justin found an employee to ask this question, “Mister, what dog are they going to kill today?” The attendant said the cart currently being wheeled down the aisle was headed to the euthanasia room, and there on the top of the cart was a cage containing a little, nondescript black dog. Justin turned to my son, Michael, and said, “Daddy that’s the dog I want.”

And so it was that Penny came into our lives.

I may be partial, but I have to tell you that for the next almost 18 years she was one of the smartest, sweetest dogs I have ever had the privilege of knowing.

She was patient, lovable, and understood everything that was said to her. I cannot think of my family without thoughts of both Star and Penny.

When I walked down the aisle of our shelter a couple of months ago and saw Pirate, my first thought was that he reminded me of Penny — another little, nondescript black dog with a huge personality.

pirate dog
Pirate is what is referred to as ‘plain-wrapped’ wearing a black coat and a little notch on his ear; perhaps his name was given because it was once graced by an earring à la Johnny Depp’s pirate character, Jack Sparrow?

The real beauty of Pirate is his desire to please and be with humans.

Yesterday when I walked him down the road adjacent to the shelter I decided to give him a little lesson in walking properly, and guided him to my side with the command “heel.” It only took a couple of reminders until he lined himself up with my knee and stopped pulling. He is one smart little man!

When I sat at the curb on the Edison Access Road he immediately came up to my knee and leaned his face against my cheek. I talked to him about the life I want him to experience. Lots of love, a warm bed at night, and people who can see the special little guy he is. Pirate closed his eyes and let out a sigh.

I honestly think he understood what I was saying and we both enjoyed a moment of just being together. He is a sweet young dog with so much love to share.

Please don’t walk past his pen at the shelter, he is worth stopping by to visit. Ask to take him for a walk and see if this little pirate will capture your heart as he has mine.

Look past the plain cover and see the pirate’s treasure inside!

pirate dog

oc shelter info

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Having lived these good many years, (71 to be exact), has given me the opportunity to reflect on what I value most. Family, good friends, and the precious pets that have shared my life  have enriched me as a person. I’ve evaluated what is most important to me and what lessons I’ve learned, and what I’ve determined is that I want to leave this world a better place for having lived here. It is one of my deepest desires to be able to help those who have no voice — because animals have always played an important role in my life. They were constant friends when the world around me was changing.  One, (a small parakeet named Petie), accompanied me when as a child my family moved across country twice, (New York to California and back again)-I can still see Petie in his small travel cage sitting on my lap as I explained to him where we were stopping for the night and feeling that his company as well as my dear parents were all I needed to feel safe and secure. My pets were with me in good times and bad, often being the consistent non-judgmental voice my heart needed. Although I spent my working years as a commercial artist, both teaching the craft at a local college and in my own studio, it seems that in my later years it is by painting with words that I am now able to reach out to people, and it is my joy to do just that. I hope my stories help to connect people to kindred souls that wear fur on their faces but are just as capable as we are to feel great love in their hearts.  Rescue animals particularly deserve another chance at a happy life and it is my honor to bring their stories to light and hopefully be the catalyst that joins two different species on their journey. The connection we share with our pets is like no other, There is no need to be anything other than who and what you are. No amount of money or privilege will impress them as much as your kindness and attention. I do know that in the final analysis, life is good and most people honestly want to do the right thing. If that includes opening their home and heart to another living being, then my purpose is accomplished. I hope in some small way I can contribute to that greater good. Bio- Born in Middle Village, New York- 1945 Mother to a wonderful son, Michael who truly would be a cherished friend even if we weren't related--and fortunate in meeting my kind and thoughtful soulmate, Burt, in later life- I am blessed indeed. Retired teacher/ Orange Coast College/ former owner and operator of a commercial art business in Huntington Beach, California.
 Lucky to have had the opportunity to work in the art field where I was often quoted as saying, "You mean I am being paid for something I love to do?!"

 Interests: travel, enjoying local points of interest, movies, volunteering at the Newland Animal Shelter and writing about the wonderful personalities I have been honored to meet there, both human and furry-faced, and generally enjoying the retired life.


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