The furry pieces of our heart

Last week went straight to the dogs!

No, seriously.

I worked on a number of stories last week and three of them had to do with dogs.

I worked on these stories while two of my own pups, Lucy and Minnie, rested at my feet. Awesome working conditions, huh?!

One story had to do with one man’s search for the link between dogs, humans and cancers. 2 Million Dogs raises awareness of the possible environmental links between dogs, humans and cancers. This mission was started by Luke Robinson after suffering the loss of his beautiful Pyrenees, named Malcolm to cancer.  He later put to rest another furry buddy named Murphy. He said he wants to know why his best friends-and zillions of other dogs, cats and humans die from cancer. (This full story will appear in Health and Family section of the Chicago Tribune Wednesday Oct. 10)

The other story had to do with how pet owners can learn a dog’s parentage through DNA testing. By learning exactly what breeds your dog is made of will help in knowing what illnesses, common injuries and other important information to watch out for. (The test cost about $150 and is available at most vet clinics, full story will be out next month in the Chicago Tribune)

The third story was  about  Shakira, a beautiful Siberian Husky with piercing blue eyes who disappeared from her family in Georgia five years ago. It’s unclear where she was for that five years, but she eventually was sent from a shelter in Georgia up to Harvard Illinois to a Siberian Husky rescue.  While at that shelter, she was scanned and an identification chip was found under her skin. The family back in Georgia was finally notified. The last time they had seen this beautiful dog was when she was just 1. They never knew what happened to her, but they  likely never stopped thinking about her or loving her.

So after receiving a call from the shelter that their dog was alive and well, Shakira’s human mamma drove 14 hours, straight through the night, to get her back. The reunion was swift and they turned around and headed right back home to where three children were waiting to reunite with their dog.

Wow!

Where was she all that time? Why was she not scanned by the shelter in Georgia five years ago? Or, if she was not at the shelter all that time, where was she? And how did a shelter in Harvard Illinois, more than 700 miles away from Georgia, get involved anyway?

Many questions went unanswered because the dog and her owner left so quickly after their reunion and Shakira’s owner never returned my calls for the story.

But on the important side, the family is reunited. In the photos provided by the McHenry County shelter,  the dog looked beautiful, healthy and her human mamma, she looked so happy, relieved, and well, tired.(story and photos on-line at ChicagoTribune.com)

Again, what was learned, what was observed here in this last week?

Well, first off, I can say that I for sure, without  a doubt, have the very best working conditions, the most attentive and loyal assistants.

When a human loved one or a pet gets cancer we want to know why. We need to feel that we are  doing what ever we can to learn how to save them. We fund studies, create organizations, participate in walks, to find the answers as to “why” and learn “how” can we fix them.

When we really love another person– or a pet– so much, we want to learn everything there is to know about them. We want to know how best to care for them and keep them with us for as long as possible.

There is no love like the love a parent has for her child —or for her pets. As if a child were lost to us, emotionally or physically, when a dog is lost, no matter how long he or she is away, or how far they travel, they never stop being part of our family.

And  when we love a pet so much -as we love our two-legged children- and suffer their loss only to learn they are still in this world with us, there is no distance too far to travel to retrieve that little furry piece of our heart.

Let’s see what this week’s news brings. See you next Monday!

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