She is the light of my life, the most amazing dog--no, the most amazing pet--I've ever owned. She is great with all other dogs, with people, with cats, and she loves children and is amazingly gentle with them.
She is, however, scared of horses.
But seriously, how could you not love this face?
It all began in June 2008. At this point I had quit my job as a travel agent (or rather, quit working at the agency) and was working part-time at a doggie day care and part-time at a horse barn. What can I say, I was tired of working behind a desk! Of course, working at the doggie day care made me long for another dog, since the husky Ex and I owned together was far more his than mine.
One day I mentioned to a co-worker my desire for a dog of "my own" and she suggested I check out the adoption booklet up front as a few dogs had been added recently. I had always been planning on adopting so I thought nothing of opening that binder.
And there she was, right on the first page, in all of her orange floppy-eared glory--"Nell". And I knew that I had to have her. I asked my co-worker if she thought this dog was still available and she said probably, as Susan of Speak for Animals had only recently added her to the book.
I called Susan and the rest was history. Of course, adopting from a rescue organization isn't really like picking out a dog at the humane society. I had to fill out a lengthy application, give vet references and sign a contract promising that if I adopted a dog from SFA and ever had to give him or her up, I would contact Susan before doing so. And of course there was a home visit, but with our fenced-in yard and friendly dog Meeka, plus the knowledge that I worked for Camp Bow Wow (Susan knew the owner), we passed with flying colors. And on Tuesday June 17, 2008 I brought home "Nell" (and immediately renamed her Wendy, as Nell had only been a temporary name that Susan gave her, anyway).
Wendy's origins are questionable. We do know that she was an owner surrender to Greenville County Animal Care Services and that she was likely a "chain dog" kept outside for most if not all of her life. When she was dropped off she had already been spayed but there was evidence that she'd had puppies. As she was only about two, though, it was probably only one litter. And Susan was told that a couple of days after dropping her off, the man who brought her to GCACS came back and tried to take her home again because "his kids missed her". Upon questioning this person and realizing that Wendy had been and would continue to be kept on a chain, and knowing that Susan was already planning on rescuing her from the PTS (put to sleep) list, they refused to give her back. And now she's mine :o)
The thing is, it was actually Steve who made me fully appreciate Wendy, and it was Wendy who turned Steve into a "dog person". Because she's just that awesome. Sure, she doesn't fetch. Sometimes she eats cat litter (I'll never understand that). And if it's between coming to me when I call and taking off after a squirrel, I damn well better hope she's fenced in or I won't see her for hours (and I'll spend that entire time dreading that she's been hit by a car). But considering what she went through in the first two or so years of her life, she has a friendliness, an openness, a lust for life and so much love for everything and everyone that it's hard not to be amazed. Amazed at her resilience and her sweetness and her lack of prejudice.
Yes, I know she's only a dog and I'm talking about her as if she's a human. But she's a hell of a lot more human than some people I know, and she is absolutely one of The Loves of My Life.
And if you want to know what breed she is, the technical answer is that I don't know. We even had one of those dog DNA tests done on her and it came back inconclusive (though she does have something like 10% Golden Retriever in her, apparently). However, my mother-in-law took her to the dog park once and a man stopped to tell her what a beautiful Novia Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Wendy was. Of course the M.I.L. didn't have any idea what a Novia Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was, but she was pretty sure that Wendy wasn't one. She told the man as much but he insisted that she look up this breed when she got home. She did, then we did, and well. yeah: