We love to hear how our dogs have affect the families with whom they live. We have included some quotes of how the dogs have enriched peoples lives. This is the best part of placing our puppies.
"Sharay's Healing Grace."
We had only begun to grieve over the loss of our beloved "Moses" when two days later Auntie Sharon and Uncle Ray presented us with an irresistible puppy which we named "Grace." Talk about a roller coaster of emotions. Sadness for the loss of a wonderful dog, yet joy over having a new, sweet puppy. Nothing like the antics of a puppy along with routine pee-pee breaks to redirect one's focus! Grace became "Sharay's Healing Grace." Her name will always remind us of the circumstances surrounding her placement in our home and Sharon and Ray's love.
Grace came to us a few days before Christmas 2001. Just a few days later, we learned one of the reasons that she was destine to be with us. What seemed like another uneventful potty break, unfolded into a remarkable event.
We live on high bluff waterfront where it is common to hear people on the beach below walking and playing. However, this was late December, very clear and cold, with the sun about to set behind the Olympic mountains. Grace was ambling around the yard, trying to decide if she should continue to play with the pine cones, or just do her thing. While waiting, we could hear people below, off and on shouting and yelling. I finally began to wonder who in the world was having so much fun, and went and looked to see who was out there. To my surprise, the tide was in and there wasn't any beach...just water! Where were the shouts coming from? I couldn't see anyone! Again, more yelling and shouting. Dusk was falling and it was getting pretty difficult to see anything out on the water. I momentarily thought I saw something way out. It looked like some herons sitting on a floating log. I ran into the house to grab the binoculars and the phone since, as I ran to the house, I got a bad feeling over what seemed to be happening. Sure enough, the binoculars proved the worst. Three boys were holding onto an overturned dinghy boat and they were being carried further and further from shore with the current. We immediately called 911 while calling out words of encouragement to the boys. Hearing the yelling and all the commotion, neighbors up and down the beach came out of their homes and joined us in yelling to the boys from their own decks. At the same time their family members were trying to find someone that still had a boat in the water at that time of year. It was a tough 45 minutes, but the boys were eventually rescued. I might add that their calls back to us began to weaken as the cold was overwhelming and the strength began to fade from their arms. There was a swift current and one of the boys had a crab pot rope tangled around his legs that was pulling him down throughout the ordeal. We are certain that Grace's puppy needs at just that time saved the lives of those three boys. A later discovery of their situation would not have been in time.
Having no idea that night who they were, we were amazed when one of our neighbors drove up our driveway the next day with her son. It turned out, it was her son and two of his friends from church who were rescued from the cold water. Our neighbor was still shaking as she thanked us for being alert. But, we had to share with her who was the true hero. Our new family member, the little yellow fluff ball with the tiny bladder was the reason we had been outside on that cold night.
We all had quite a laugh as it occurred to us that there is now a new meaning to the Scripture, "By Grace are ye saved!"
Abby note # 1
I just wanted to tell you about Abby's first official duck hunt. Duck hunting this year has been very slow, mainly because it has been so warm up North that the ducks started their migration about a month and a half late this year. Anyhow, we have been doing quite a bit of upland game hunting this season, and Abby continues to impress me with her natural abilities. She has an extremely good nose!
Last weekend we went duck hunting in Eastern Washington. It was cold, and there was about 1/4 inch of ice on the water. Up to this point, I had shot a couple of ducks over land on opening day back in October, and Abby was somewhat confused as to what the ducks were all about. I remember writing to you about that. Well, she is no longer confused. In fact, she is borderline maniac! The first duck I shot this weekend fell out about 40 yards, on top of the ice. I thought that she would not be too enthused about retrieving anything that wasn't in the water....WRONG. She went out and busted right through the ice, whimpering all of the way out to the bird!! I was ecstatic! I could not believe it. She crashed and fought through the ice and retrieved the duck to my hand like just like she was supposed to. I don't know what I'm going to do when she's gone because I don't think I'll ever have a dog that will measure up to her abilities. She retrieved every duck that we shot this weekend without a hitch. It's like she's an all-star in her rookie season!
I'm thankful that I was given such a great dog. Thanks, Sharon, for the opportunity and blessing that you gave us with Abby. She is very special to us.
I will be hunting this weekend, as it is the last weekend of the season. Last weekend, my hunting buddies knocked down two mallards in very thick, tall reeds. Abby and I were about 500 yards down the shoreline, so neither of us saw anything...we just heard the shots. So, we hustled over to where they were, and I sent Abby in after them. I didn't think she had much of a chance due to the fact that we got there about 10 minutes after they were shot. The area covered by the reeds and cattails was huge...roughly 50 square yards. One bird was only wounded, and once they get in those reeds they can cruise around in there for days. Lo and behold, after about 5 minutes, Abby came out with the wounded duck. She quickly brought it over to me, and I sent her back in to find the other duck. Another 5 minutes or so, and out she came with the other duck.
What a dog!
Mindy has became a fine hunting dog, a great pet and my best friend. I live alone but have lots of nearby family and friends. Mindy has become part of the family and is loved by all, especially me. Mindy is my first dog as an adult. My parents had Labs as a I grew up so I am familiar with the breed and had expectations of what a Lab is.
Each year Mindy and I take a trip to Alberta and hunt geese and ducks. This area (Alberta / Saskatchewan border) is considered the goose hunting capital of the world. Once we get there we hook up with my resident cousins and their friends. This trip is an annual tradition involving between 5 to 8 hunters. Mindy is the only dog allowed. This is a serious hunt and some of the guys lost their patience for dogs back in their 50's. However they all like Mindy and are happy to watch her work. This year we got into some big geese. Many weighing 14 pounds. Mindy retrieved these big birds without dragging them. Well most of them. With 6 guns shooting the dog gets pretty busy. Some days she will retrive up to 60 birds.
I am so happy with my dog. She is smart and wants to please me. She has such a personality and is very vocal. Another distinguishing characteristic is she is gentle. Gentle with birds, people, babies and other dogs. I am thankfull for this too for she has retreived other peoples pets and luckly not harmed them.
With this letter are a couple of pictures featuring " ShaRay Amanda" (Mindy). Thank you for providing me with such an excellent companion.