Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A new assistant in my office...with paws

This post is  a day late, and for that I apologize to everyone!  Every winter I am felled with bronchitis that exacerbates my asthma, and  I get so little done--just kind of drag along for weeks.  Though with the highly energetic and cheerful presence of my new buddy (and rescuing books, shoes, jackets, lingerie and newspapers from his teeth) my days are still  full--if not very productive!

I know so many authors who have pets who lounge on their desk or curl at their feet while they are working.   My two were Harold (a huge, fluffy part border collie (who looked as if he were part Newfoundland)  and Elmo, a mostly-border collie we adopted from a humane shelter.  Harold passed on last fall and things just weren't the same with just one dog in the house.

I have longed to have another golden retriever since our last one died in 1993, but somehow we ended up with other breeds after that, and I wondered if it

would ever happen.  But God sure moves in interesting ways in answer to prayer!  A month ago, my dh and I were cooking at church for  the Saturday Evening Meal Program, which provides free meals to those in need. One of the other helpers mentioned she was working at the Cedar Valley Humane Shelter, and I told her how much I longed for a dog with at least some measure of golden retriever...but we believe in rescue, not buying from breeders or pet shops, and I'd never seen a golden at the local shelters.  Two weeks later she called--and said to come fast!  I was there in five minutes, and totally fell in love with this big nine-month old pup.

Sage was way too powerful, rambunctious and undisciplined for his previous family, and I can sure see why--our first few days were awful.  He's  65# of pure muscle, jumped on us endlessly, dragged me all over when on the leash, ceaselessly wanted to gnaw and mouth our legs and arms, never stopped moving.  He's still not perfect, but has calmed down so much, and I love him to pieces!

Here he is in my office,  where he (and Elmo) are now my writing buddies.  And something else--Sage happened to be registered.  That didn't matter to me when I met him, but because he is, we were able to enroll him in a lifelong golden retriever study being done by the Morris Foundation, which is studying  the sadly high prevalence of cancer in this beautiful breed.  Over half of all goldens over the age of two die of cancer. So for the rest of his life, he will have  a complete annual physical with bloodwork, and all of those results will be submitted to the study along with hair and even toenail clippings.  And, they not only have his bloodlines recorded, but will be following detailed data that I provide on a wide range of environmental, behavior and dietary factors over the years, too.  I hope the study reaches its goal of 3,000 dogs, and the result will eventually lead to better and longer lives for this wonderful breed.

So...do you have a furry or feathered buddy with whom you share your days?  I would love to hear about it!

Roxanne Rustand


  1. I have two four legged loves, Heidi and Josie. Heidi is a mini dachshund and Josie is a cha weenie. The both have great personalities and are precious. I have had and loved dogs all my life.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  2. They sound darling, Melanie! Tell me more about Josie--I'm guessing dachshund but I'm not sure about that other part!

  3. The other part of Josie is a chihuahua. She has ears that stick up, a long tail that curls up, long legs and a long body. She is so hyper, jumps constantly and loves to be loved.

  4. Hi Roxanne, Love the dog comments..we lost our Boston Terrier last year and looked for another puppy but when could not find we settled with a mini dauchand...she is 5 months now and named her Holly Dey....tiny but full of energy, can outrun me. we sure get attached to our pets.
    Paula O

  5. Sorry to be slow replying--we were up on Wisconsin, and just got back. What a sweet name for your new puppy!!