They’ve weathered the pandemic storm by our sides oblivious to what has transpired except for a curiosity about why we are always home. As we became a virtual office in late ’20, a silver lining, they’re curled at our feet M-F 9-5. With watchful eyes even when closed (takes the saying ‘eyes in the back of one’s head’ to a whole new level) they jump up on all fours with any sign of a W-A-L-K. We’ve learned the art of getting our sneakers on, a leash attached, tucked that little plastic bag in our pocket-a public service announcement please bring yours-while they’re in a constant state of motion awaiting release to the great outdoors.
In the last year and a half, we’ve waved goodbye to our BFFs who’ve crossed over the rainbow bridge to be greeted on the other side by those who went before. Is this not one of the hardest farewells one makes? Get yourself some colleagues like mine who ‘get it’ and help you through. While our team took turns mending or having hearts split in two, we chose to be brave and vulnerable by welcoming new puppies in our homes. Never to replace, but as a tribute to the dear soul who came before. We’ve fostered, trained therapy dogs, volunteered and have gotten gigs walking dogs for our neighbors.
Better than humans in their ability to love unconditionally. Lessons learned from our dogs are numerous and here for our taking. Play hard, take lots of naps. wait patiently, enjoy your meals, stay near to your people, and require nothing in return. Meet the Dogs of EA in words penned by my colleagues.
Margy Judd: Lily, our Coton de Tulear passed on in March ’21. Also known as the Royal Dog of Madagascar, legend has it that there was a shipwreck off the island that during colonial times had strong ties to the French. A cargo of small white dogs washed ashore, formed a feral pack, mixed and mingled with indigenous dogs resulting in this affectionate, playful, and intelligent breed. My first pet ever it was love at first site. 13yo Lily and 56yo me neither of us was a spring chicken. And, because 1 human year=7 dog years, Lily surpassed me and was in her 90s! This adorable 15# of white fluff laid at my feet as I WFH during COVID. Our daily routine: 4:45pm Lily gave a wiggle, 4:55 she placed a paw on me, 5pm I put food in her bowl, repeated day after day. This schedule lent a bit of normalcy to a very abnormal year. Lily’s favorites included shredded cheese, avocado, cantaloupe, and tuna. I am searching for my next BF to add to Craig’s and my home in ’22. What breeds should I consider?
Laura Uhle: Tess is a 5yo Schnauzer Terrier mix. She was rescued from a shelter in Akron 3 yrs ago, found on the side of the road with a broken leg. It hasn’t slowed her down! She is technically our son’s dog but we get to enjoy her at our home when he is working late or traveling. She has traveled with Marty and I to Sanibel and loves the beach and kayaking.
Suzanne Dannemiller: Meet Jaxon, a 3yo Chocolate Lab rescued by Lake Erie Labrador Retriever Rescue (LELRR). He enjoys his daily walks with Dave and I to Huntington Beach. Always ends his time in the sand by chasing sticks into the lake. We call this “tag” instead of “fetch” as Jaxson chases a stick, tackles it, and repeat! He has 3 sticks going at all times. Jaxson enjoys cruising in our yellow jeep with the top off and when home at home he is my shadow curled at my feet.
Brad Withers: This is Charlie a 12yo Golden. He walks a mile a day for his second “mom” and goes off leash on his own adventures.Cari Ross: Two of the sweetest most snuggly dogs we’ve ever had, Golden Retrievers, 4yo Phinda and 1.5yo McKinley. Their names come from Africa and Alaska which clearly inspires a sense of energy and adventure in them. They’re always ready to hike in the ravine, run, jump, swim in lakes and creeks, and play frisbee if the activity is followed by some serious snuggling with each other and our family!
Caroline Weingart: Meet our trio! Ajax came to us through a Sun Newspaper ad from South Euclid Animal Shelter 12 years ago. We had lost our female Jack Russell, Dolly and my husband said “Let’s adopt him”. He loves to eat the mail and bark, despite his size he manages to boss around his two large female Samoyeds.Sochi, a Samoyed, raised since being a puppy, we are in our second year of being certified as a therapy dog. We started training her for her “job” from our early days together. Sochi knows when she’s working, loves people and especially children. Spending a few hours visiting the young patients at Rainbow Babies and Children leaves her exhausted and me filled with gratitude.Starkie, also a Samoyed was found at Rescue Village. She was rescued along with 169 other dogs from a kennel in Iowa by the ASPCA. My intention was to foster two dogs Starkie and another Scout until they were place in permanent homes. We found an amazing home for Scout and kept Starkie! She loves cookies, walks and toys.Helen Day: Here’s a picture of my furry best friend, Shadow, a Shih tzu and Poodle mix (Shih Poo) and the most loveable lap dog that has ever lived! She weighs just over 8# but acts as tough as a 100# dog! Shadow loves to be loved and is always happy to give kisses.Margie Biggar: This is Oscar, a much loved and faithful member of the Biggar family for 15 years. A Tibetan Terrier with a sweet, kind disposition who has recently claimed his seat under the dining room table at EA’s monthly Leadership Team meetings at our home. He can be found lying on the floor in anticipation of the next tummy rub forever confident that a little love will be coming his way soon!
Tonia Yard: Both of our pups are 12 years young! Sidney came to us as a 4 month old rescue dog from One of a Kind Pets. Her mother was rescued on the streets of downtown Akron while she was pregnant with 4 pups. We don’t know what breed she is but has Golden Retriever and Chow (she has a black tongue!) with some Collie/Husky in the mix. Sidney is named after the Pittsburgh Penguin hockey player, Sidney Crosby – a nod to our Pittsburgh roots and our love of the sport. She is a lover of all things outdoors, and especially lying in the mulch, leaves and deep snow!Moxie is a Maltese/Pekingese mix and has been been with us for 10 years. She is a sweet dog who loves to cuddle on the couch, all day, every day!
Kristen Joyce: Say hello to our Goldendoodle, Sunningdale, we call her Sunny. She was the fulfillment of a promise to our children to get a dog when we repatriated to the States 7 years ago. This docile, sweet boy has stolen our hearts, and is certainly a ‘Momma’s boy’. He loves to chase squirrels and curl up on my feet in the kitchen. He is very well behaved, rarely barks, isn’t allowed on furniture and greets visitors with a hug!
Jeff Moreau: Here’s our almost 1yo Lulu, a Teddy Bear dog, Shichon which is a cross between a shih tzu and bichon frise. She splits her time between taking in the sites in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood and enjoying warm winters in Naples, Florida. Lulu is a little dog with a big playful attitude. She gives the biggest dogs a run for their money, and has even been called the playground’s personal trainer.
Annie DePerro: I’ve got a crew to keep me company! Oscar, is a 10yo Cavachon. He enjoys hiking in the CVNP, sticks to himself, but secretly loves his family. Once, while hiking on the Buckeye Trail I let Oscar off leash on a late afternoon hike in early fall. Within ten minutes he had run so far ahead I had trouble seeing him. Five minutes later I called a friend in a panic fearing he had gotten himself lost. It’s a big park! Deb who lived nearby arrived in the parking lot only to see Oscar waiting patiently behind my car waiting for me. Fearless and full of adventure, just like his mom, if he had a catch phrase it would be “Love me, just leave me alone”.8yo Baylor is the classic middle child. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Quiet, seemingly sweet and people-friendly, and cuddly but if given the opportunity will attempt to steal a dog biscuit from one of his dog siblings. Loves to hang out on the front seat of a car just for fun. Even if the car is not moving and parked in a garage.The baby of the family, Aspen, a 5yo English Cream Golden Retriever, walks around all day with a pink bear in her mouth, her security blanket. She’s fifty pounds but thinks she’s a lap dog. Her human older sister nicknamed her “Chicken” which is completely appropriate, given that she is scared of her own shadow. She loves her older brother Baylor to protect her and recently started hiking with Oscar.
Anu Ramakrishnan: The pandemic gave me an opportunity to foster three beautiful dogs through Golden Treasures. They came to me very traumatized and often malnourished, and one even traveled all the way from China. It was a joy to see them grow healthy and happy, and to help them find their fur-ever homes.
Pete the yoga dog had his own yoga mat for Zoom yoga classes! Ellie (a puppy mill discard) was the most loving dog I’ve ever met!
Beautiful Pearl traveled all the way from China. I put my EA skills to good use to properly introduce her to Ohio.
Peg Furnas: We found our Golden Retriever in a litter of 11 pups after losing our 10yo Millie October ’20. Did you know that expectant mama dogs enlist midwives for delivery and endure C-sections when they’ve got a near dozen pups on the way? Me neither! Daisy arrived home on NYE as we gladly said farewell to 2020. The next morning we discovered her crate empty, the top bolt engaged but the second bolt unfastened. Found asleep under our down coats I suggested changing her name to Houdini with no takers.Daisy just turned one and has perfected the leans as all Goldens do never being close enough to their human. She enjoys walks, the kennel (should we take this personally), and her red Kong filled with peanut butter. Daisy is also fond of dried sweet potatoes and rocks. Yes rocks and luckily thus far we’ve been successful in retrieving it from the hollows of her throat. Never fear always have the vet phone number near. Surprise, it’s the day in the life with a Golden!
If you’ve spent a day in the car with or hired us, are friend or family, you’ve come to know that a Cleveland suggestion or recommendation is but a breath away. We don’t want to disappoint or veer from our endearing habits so here you go.
- If you are relocating with kids or as an empty nester getting a dog to help the family adjust or to make friends with strangers is a good move.
- These awesome places have opened their doors to us as we show newcomers/job candidates around. They welcome and are in need of volunteers, donations and new homes; Cleveland Animal Protective League and Rescue Village in Russell
- Therapy pets lift hearts and demeanors in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice. Cleveland All Breed Training Club is one such place you can take your dog to be trained and certified.
- With so much greenspace to hike with our pals outdoors in looking towards winter we can’t wait for the newest indoor dog-friendly spot, BrewDog Cleveland, set to open December 3rd!