Tag Archives: Labrador Retriever

A Dog’s Loyalty Knows No Limits

A Dog’s Loyalty Knows No Limits

As we celebrated the safe finish at the second Boston Marathon after the catastrophic bombing of 2013, we remember those who helped our family and friends during that horrific day.

Being a dog lover, I was so touched by Adele’s story as told to me by her mom. Adele is the first cardiac dog in the United States. Adele was one block away with her mom, whom she protects with her life, when the explosions began. With all of the chaos and confusion, Adele’s dad, had been separated from the two of them. Seeing the panic in the eyes of Adele and her mom, searching and screaming desperately for her husband, the crowds rallied and chanted, “Jeff” until they were thankfully re-united. When the crowds realized how vulnerable Adele was with the hoards of people running for their lives, many formed a human shield to keep them from being trampled.

There were so many heartwarming stories played over and over that day. The love of this dog for her mom, instinctively knowing that the tremendous stress being placed on her heart, literally and figuratively, could bring imminent danger and require life saving efforts.

Because all transportation had ceased, Adele and her mom and dad, had to walk 11 miles before they reached their home.

It has been two years since the bombings. Adele is now preparing to retire and let the transition begin with a new service dog taking care of her mother. Due to the major expenses that will be incurred, there will be a fundraiser in Boston on Friday, May 15th. These contributions will assist with the costs of training the new labrador, Hector, through Canine Partners For Life. Please go to Adele’s website to get more information on the fundraising efforts, www.bit.ly/martyandadele

Adele is in my book, DOGS ON CAPE COD. I am honored to have her; she is an outstanding dog who has given her mom a quality of life she could have never had without her.

A Service Dog Brings a Shelter Dog Home

Adele, a black Labrador Retriever, was the first cardiac alert service dog in the United States. Trained from a puppy through Canine Partners for Life, she was able to join a family, once she graduated, at two years old. The family she joined had a young mom who had been diagnosed with neurocardiogenic syncope, a chronic condition that causes frequent fainting. With Adele’s ability to recognize a change in scent or sound, she can detect the warning signs before the fainting occurs.

Adele IMG_4280 for blog post 4x50Adele is not allowed to play with others in the family for fear of distraction, so the decision was made to adopt a dog for their seven-year-old son. The boy wanted his own companion and playmate.

Taking a drive to a nearby shelter with Adele in tow, they set out to find the perfect dog. Upon arrival, Adele began to inspect all of the dogs. She was methodical in guiding her mom to every cage, around every corner, to observe each dog. Approaching one cage, Adele noticed a four-year-old Collie. Her body language spoke volumes. Adele had made her selection. Within minutes, she settled down in front of the Collie’s cage. She wasn’t moving until it was confirmed that this dog was coming home.

Chewbacca IMG_4427 for blog post 4x50The Collie, now named Chewbacca, became a wonderful family dog. Adele and Chewbacca, Chewy for short, were instantly fast friends. Both have now been part of the family for eight years. They understand their defined roles. They both provide the unconditional gift of comfort, security and companionship.

A Shelter Dog Rescued This Family

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”—Roger A. Caras

There is nothing more painful than losing a member of your family. When it is your innocent and vulnerable four-legged fur child who has given you his unconditional love for his whole life, the pain is searing.

Dog Looking Out Window

After my husband and I lost our beautiful Jack to cancer, we were absolutely lost. He was our shining star; the one who made us laugh every day. He was a gentleman beyond description who truly, like the quote says, made our lives whole. Jack was a Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever mix we rescued from the Animal Rescue League in Brewster in 2002. After a long grieving period, to comfort myself, I bravely clicked on the Retriever rescue site to see dogs that reminded me of Jack and needed a home. My husband couldn’t bear to even contemplate getting another dog. The pain was too great. Clicking on a site I was not familiar with, NEARR (North East All Retriever Rescue, a Retriever rescue organization in New England), I was stunned to see a dog named Hank, who looked remarkably like Jack. I became obsessed with Hank. I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I called to inquire about adopting Hank. Before I knew it, I was filling out an online questionnaire to get one step closer.

Hank was an eight-year-old yellow lab who was at a vet’s office ready to be euthanized. When the NEARR organization found this out, they immediately stepped in to pay for his surgery and save his life. Following surgery and recovery, Hank then spent three months with a nurturing foster family who nursed him back to health and got him ready for adoption.

Just when everything seemed in place to start the adoption process, we were informed there were two other families interested in Hank. I was devastated! I felt I had a connection to Hank I couldn’t explain. It went beyond his physical characteristics resembling my dear Jack. Having always had rescue dogs, I decided to be a bigger person and tell NEARR that due to the other people trying to adopt him, I would let Hank go and continue my search for another dog that had no candidates for adoption. But I was emotionally beat up and decided to put off my search for a new dog.

Two weeks later, I received a call from NEARR. They informed me that the other two families had changed their minds. If I was still interested, Hank was mine, pending other inspections. The saying, “If you set it free and it comes back to you, it’s meant to be,” suddenly had tremendous meaning.

Ironically, everything came to fruition on my fiftieth birthday. I was two hours away from having a birthday bash at my home when NEARR called and said that someone would come and inspect our home for the last phase of the adoption process in twenty minutes. After a successful inspection, the representative was getting ready to leave when my best friend’s dad marched down my driveway, in full Scottish regalia, playing Happy Birthday on his bagpipes! It was a wonderful finale in the process to adopt Hank.

Dog With Scarf

On November eleventh, my husband Rooney and I drove to retrieve our beautiful Hank. From the moment he jumped into the car, Hank wholeheartedly trusted us.
At that moment, all was right with the world!

Hank just celebrated his tenth birthday. He is the perfect dog: affectionate, funny, sociable, and loyal. This rescue dog saved our family.

We are so grateful for the heroic efforts of NEARR to save our perfect boy!

You can find other photos of Jack and Hank in DOGS ON CAPE COD.