Saturday, June 16, 2012

Denalidawg to the Rescue by Beth Anderson

Beth Anderson is the author of seven novels; Harlequin Superromance--Count On Me, followed by a mainstream mystery at Dorchester titled Diamonds, then All That Glitters at Ballantine/Ivy, three more mainstream mysteries at Amber Quill Press: Second Generation, Murder Online and Night Sounds. Last (so far) another mainstream mystery, Raven Talks Back from Krill Press in June 2012. Beth recently moved to the upper northwest (Washington state) where she is currently unpacking AND mulling over a new mainstream novel, this time taking place in a wine dynasty in Washington state where she quite enjoys her research. She swears she's writing another mainstream murder mystery, but she keeps laughing at her characters who are appearing one by one, peeking around and through the grapevines and smiling at her, so we'll see who they really are. The photo is of Beth and her son in law, Chris Cary, at a winemakers' dinner party. It's all research, folks. Honest. It is. ;-) 

by Beth Anderson

We all hear stories about animals being rescued. This time, one animal went way past the extra mile for another animal of a different species.

This all happened at my youngest daughter’s home in Las Vegas while she was entertaining visitors, one of whom happened to be our family dog, Denalidawg. Side note: I added the dawg to his original name, Denali, partly because it seemed to fit him so well, being the laid back good ol’ southern boy he always appeared to be, and partly because, let’s face it, I see the funny or quirky side of just about everything. Anyhow, a bowl of his favorite kibbles, clean water, pats and hugs and kisses galore from every available human in the area, and he’s good to go. He a bit slower now, though, since this happened years ago.

A little background.  My daughter and her two daughters rescued Denali from a kennel in southern Illinois where they were about to do the unspeakable until, looking for a dog to replace their old one who had died a while back, one of the girls said to this new dog, who was sniffing around and looking lost, “If you’re going to come home with us, you’d better say so.”  Denali, never one to miss a trick (or a meal) walked over to her and put his paws up on her shoulders and gave her several very wet kisses. Of course that was all it took. Denali had his new family firmly wrapped around his paws. He had settled it. He went home with them. 

A few years later my oldest granddaughter Kristen took him with while she traveled around the country preparing with several jobs for med school. She was spending a summer in Las Vegas working for some medical place and living with my youngest daughter Beth Lyn for that time. And of course, Denali went with Kris and made himself right at home. Beth Lyn had, at the time, three Basset Hounds, one parrot, and God knows how many cats, so what was one more dog? Fortunately, Denali got along famously with all of them as he does everywhere because by this time he had been just about everywhere and done just about everything a dog could do.

Then came the afternoon he became famous, at least in Beth Lyn’s town. Their neighborhood was pretty much an open world, where people visited and partied with each other all the time and no doors were ever closed.  Kids, dogs, cats ran around playing all the time and that was fine.

However, one day while Denali was taking his afternoon nap, Sleepy, one of Beth Lyn’s cats happened to go outside at just the wrong time and one of their neighbor’s new dogs got loose, grabbed Sleepy and started shaking him. Hard. Nobody could get the cat away from the dog and they all thought Sleepy was a goner.

Eventually, the dog got tired of his game and dropped Sleepy, who shot back into the house and ran under a bed. My daughter thought he went under the bed to die. He wouldn’t come out and  nobody could get to him until Denali came into the room, somehow made himself small enough to get under the bed, and went to Sleepy, who was in shock, covered with dirt and mud, his own urine and feces, and bleeding.

Denali started cleaning him. Lick by lick, it took him a couple of hours, but eventually he got Sleepy clean. Denali stayed right there with him, periodically licking him all over, basically forcing him to keep breathing. Denali didn’t move from his side. Dinnertime came and went. Denali skipped one of the things he loves most, his dinner, and stayed under the bed with Sleepy all night.

The next morning both Sleepy and Denali crawled back out from under the bed, and from that day on, as long as Denali was there, Sleepy was his closest bud. They were inseparable.

Soon it was time for Kris and Denali to move on. Kris went to Israel where she entered Columbia’s Ben Gurion University, specializing in international womens’ medical issues, and Denali moved back home with Barb. Time moved on, Kris graduated, Barb remarried, and Denali moved here and there with whoever in the family could take him while all this moving and changing was going on.

Finally it was my turn. Barb and her new husband had to move to Washington and couldn’t take Denali because they were going to be living in an apartment for a few months while they house searched and got settled. Denali moved in with me and became Denalidawg. More time passed while he put up with me, until I got ready to move to Washington. At this point, Denalidawg was quite old and one leg was getting crippled with arthritis. Not in good shape at all, we knew he could not make the trip by plane and survive.

By that time, Beth Lyn and Co. had moved from Las Vegas to Indiana, so it was decided that Bethie’s was the only logical place for Denali to go. Shortly before I left Beth Lyn came and got him, packed up all his toys and bankies and food and took him to live with her in her apartment.

When they walked in her door, Sleepy ran straight to Denali and they had a huge reunion, kissing each other hello. As you can see in the photo, they take their naps together and sleep pretty close to each other all the time.  

Denalidawg has the eyes of an Old Soul, and there’s not a doubt in my mind that’s exactly what he is. His eyes are the eyes of a person who has seen and heard it all, and he probably has because you cannot fool him. Ever. You’d swear, when he looks at you, that he’s reading your mind and I believe he is. You know how you look at one of your kids when they do something goofy…well, he’s done that to me more than once, and caused me to re-evaluate things. He has that effect on everyone. I know a lot of people believe their animals are human, or have been human, or something of that nature. I believe that about Denali, and I also believe it’s a good thing he was up on his own medical schooling when he was in Las Vegas and saved Sleepy.


Patty said...

Wonderful story. Love Denalidawg and what he did for Sleepy is just one sign of how wonderful dogs are and what they think of family. It isn't always what we think it is.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Oh, Beth - I loved this story. Thank you.

Sending you, Denalidawg and Sleepy a hug.

lil Gluckstern said...

What a wonderful story. He has had good homes,and deserves it. Animals continue to amaze me.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this did require some kleenex. What a lovely story - and those of us who love our pets KNOW it really happened. We have so much to learn from this realm of creatures - thank you for sharing it with us. And to you, Kaye, for reminding us on DL..Thelma Straw in Manhattan

jenny milchman said...

What an amazing story of animal bonding, and friendship.

Beth Anderson said...

Thank you, Folks, for stopping by here at Kaye's nice place. This dog, more than any other any of us has had, has touched my heart like this more than once. Many times in fact. They are God's creatures, for sure. I often think how wonderful this world would be if more of us were more like them. Cheers, Beth

Jean Henry Mead said...

Hi, Beth. Great story and a lovely interviw!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm such a sentimental goof when I read an animal story like this. Yes, I have tears in my eyes.

Thanks, Beth, for this wonderful story...and thanks to Kaye for hosting you.

Beth Anderson said...

Thanks for dropping over at Kaye's nice blogsite, Jean and Patricia. Pat, I'm the same way. Animals can touch us in so many different ways. I honestly think they're often nicer than people. I know my own animals have always been wonderful and loving and kind.

Earl Staggs said...

What a wonderful story, Beth. I have a hunch Denalidawg will show up in one of your books someday. . .if he hasn't already. Thanks for sharing this.