THE DOG WHO SPREADS JOY – BY ELLIN CURLEY

When someone new comes into your life, the whole family dynamic can change. The vibe in the household can also change. This is true even if the new family member is not human, but canine.

We are approaching the one year anniversary of adopting our dog Remy. She has enhanced our lives in ways I never would have imagined. She has palpably lightened our moods and dramatically increased our daily quota of smiles and laughs. We are thrilled to greet each new day with this happy goofball.

Remy

Before Remy, we had two dogs, Lexi and Lucky. Lexi was a seven-year old, (she’s now eight) 40 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback mix and Lucky was a sixteen year old, 50 pound Chow/Siba Inu mix. We adored them both but Lucky was getting old and had some serious medical problems. He hadn’t really played with Lexi for years.

Lexi and Lucky

When Lucky died, we were devastated. We mourned for a month and then we were ready to adopt another rescue dog. Enter Remy.

Remy was eight months old when we got her and is twenty months old now. She’s a 45 pound hound mix with a magnificent reddish-brown coat and glorious hazel eyes. She’s beautiful, elegant and sleek-looking. And she exudes sweetness.

Remy was very anxious and fearful when we got her. She was too terrified to go anywhere near our doggie door for three months. We weren’t sure how much she would open up with love and time. But since then, the transformation has been miraculous.

Remy

Now this dog is pure sunshine! She is the happiest dog I’ve ever had. She literally bounces and bounds up to us every morning for her ritual happy dance and love fest. She seems to be greeting us every day thinking, “Oh boy! Oh boy! I get another wonderful day with my loving humans in my terrific home! I’m so lucky!”

Remy loves people and everyone loves Remy. She has a magnetic personality. And she is an incredibly interactive dog. She can be independent and do her own thing, but she also wants heavy doses of attention and playtime. And when she wants attention, she can be very seductive. She’ll look at you with excitement and anticipation in her eyes. Sometimes she wags her tail and often she wiggles her whole body. Sometimes she whines and ‘talks’ to us, or puts her paw on us or even jumps on us. She has us both wrapped around her little paw. Especially Tom. I’ve never seen him hug and kiss a dog so much, and we’ve had dogs together for over eighteen years.

Remy

Whenever we come home, Remy leaps in the air and yells, jumps on us and around us, licks us and shows such glee, it’s contagious. We drop everything and greet her enthusiastically. We both get such a kick out of Remy. We just can’t get enough of her.

Remy gets the usually sedentary Tom to go outside and run around with her and Lexi. The dogs go tearing back and forth, chasing each other around the backyard and wrestling. Then they run around Tom or crash into him and jump on him. It’s a pleasure to watch, especially since Lexi hasn’t been able to romp and play like this for a long time. I particularly enjoy watching Tom’s face, smiling from ear to ear the whole time. It makes me smile too, both inside and out.

Remy has also gotten Tom to invent an indoor game that produces the same glee all around. Tom runs around the house with the dogs in hot pursuit. Tom tries to trick them and switch directions or hide. They whine and bark but love every minute of it. Remy is definitely a Daddy’s girl. And she’s become a constant pal to Lexi.

With me, Remy is gentler. She goes into play position and/or nuzzles me or paws me when she wants attention. From me, she settles for lots of hugs and belly rubs. She also cuddles with me on the sofa when we watch television. Her coat is so soft and silky, particularly her head and her ears. She feels so good, I stroke her obsessively. I can almost feel my endorphins flowing when I pet her. I just can’t keep my hands off of her!

We did a Mitzvah (good deed) by taking on this shy and anxious dog who needed a home. She did a Mitzvah for us by bringing extra doses of laughter and fun, warmth and love into our lives.

15 thoughts on “THE DOG WHO SPREADS JOY – BY ELLIN CURLEY”

  1. I was just looking at your pictures and thinking about dogs, which I think about a lot anyway. While I was thinking, Duke was trying very hard to put his head on my keyboard because he seems sure that the secret to life in somewhere in this machine. and I realized — all our furniture is covered with these cheap throws because it’s the only hope we have to keep them from becoming trash … and I realized every dog owner I know has everything dog-proofed because we love them, we need them, and we make a lot of changes in our lives to have them with us. I really can’t even imagine life without dogs. Even when they are driving us crazy, the world would be a dull, dry place without them. But don’t tell them I said that 🐶 💕

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    1. I just saw friends who took in her father’s nine year old rescue dog right after he died last month. The fahter had just adopted this older dog and the dog had all kinds of medical problems. The vet is working on getting him back to normal. He’s adjusting really well and is in a good home with two other dogs who are accepting him into their pack.It’s so nice to be with other dog lovers who do everything they can to make life as good as possible for their dogs. My son and his fiancee just moved in together and have 5 dogs between them! The whole house has to revolve around the dogs. Fortunately the dogs all get along great. But several of the dogs have special needs. One needs to be diapered or he pees all over the house. Another has to be crated when the people leave the house. They have to be fed in separate rooms. It’s a logistical hassle but every dog is loved and respected. It’s a very happy household.

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      1. Yes, that is the way it is. Bonnie now gets eye drops three times a day. We’re trying to keep her eyesight, and of course Duke is getting “pilled” after dinner, though I hope that will not be permanent. I’m trying to figure out how to be away from the house. It is to be away from them without becoming really anxious about them.

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        1. Duke’s medication probably will be permanent. It was for my dogs. Like with people, if their nature is anxious and in your case hyper, that’s their default position. The medication puts their brains where they should be, minus the anxiety. In Duke’s case, some of his anxiety may have been situational. So after a year or so on the meds and in a happy and stable home, you could try to take him off and see what happens.

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          1. I’m hoping. He is behaving like a normal, happy dog. I knew it was anxiety because as soon as either Garry or I touch another dog, he went into hyper drive. For all that, he and Bonnie are serious playmates. For an 11-year-old dog, that’s wonderful. Gibbs plays too — not as much as Bonnie, but a lot more. With all his anxiety, Duke has never been mean or bitey, just worried. I think he may calm down as he round the corner into two years. He is still very alert and frisky, just not as wired.

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      1. I think some dogs do know and others never get it the same way. Remy knows her power over us but Lexi doesn’t. Lexi can still be a little shy and tentative. Remy is just out there with the whole world.

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    1. We really lucked out! This dog is perfect for us and for Lexi. After dealing with an old dog for so long, it’s a breath of fresh air to have the energy and enthusiasm of a happy young dog in the house again.

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    1. All of my dogs have always slept next to each other, usually just touching. Not all of them draped themselves over each other the way Remy does with Lexi. It is so adorable!

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    1. We have all adjusted to eachother beautifully. Remy is a seamless part of the household now. She has her routines with Tom and with me and with Lexi. Lexi is definately happier and more active with Remy around – and so is Tom! I shower these dog with hugs and kisses all day, much more than when our older dog was with us. So we are all more connected and more joyful with Remy in our lives.

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