Tiny Dog Stories – Summer 2023
Dog love in short form: miniature, reader-submitted dog stories of no more than 100 words.
A Hero in This Life & Beyond
Robby was bred to be a guide dog but was released after evaluation. I got him at 10 weeks old, and during the car ride home, I knew I had a very special boy. He became a registered therapy dog and for many years visited with seniors, special needs children, and kids at our local library. He developed a small fan following and brought comfort and joy to everyone he met. He recently passed at the age of 12, and we donated him to the Cornell Veterinary Biobank so he could be, as they put it, a hero for science.—Christy Ann Coppola
First training appointment, Maria's dog, Conrad, a gorgeous Boxer jumped on me with what felt like a cross between an eel and a soft, soggy salami slapping against my arm. It was his tongue. Sniffing outside it dragged over broken glass. Maria's embarrassment at people's reaction to the tongue was heartbreaking. Her vet had no solution. I called the Animal Medical Center and two weeks later Conrad looked normal, at no charge to Maria because it was a first-of-its-kind operation for the Center. And the best part was seeing Maria beam with pride when she walked Conrad.—Tom Shelby
I take comfort in Richie’s L.L. Bean flannel against my cheek, his sturdy arms across my back, and the smell of the coconut oil in his hair. But it’s when I hear the jingle of Seymour’s collar and feel our little gray dog’s front paws on the side of my leg that I am complete. “Family hug!” Richie and I say in unison, as Seymour jumps up and joins us. We are three beings, held together in one embrace. As my friend Annie said: two people is just a couple, but two people and a dog is a family.—E.B. Bartels
The Joy of Fostering Senior Dogs
My first senior foster dog was a tiny 14-year-old Chihuahua named Daydream from Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco. The nearly 60 senior dogs I’ve fostered have taught me how to love life every day. All they want is to be loved, even when various life circumstances leave them searching for a new home, sometimes after more than a decade. The resiliency of senior dogs has shown me that the past doesn’t matter, it is the here and now that counts. Adopt a senior dog, and you will know what true love is.—Lisa Arden
Indominable Spirit, Unwavering Love
A bleeding, broken puppy hobbled down a street after escaping from a horrific place where he was being deliberately abused—three broken legs, a broken jaw, and burns over half his body.
A human angel rescued him. He kissed his doctors although he had only known cruelty from humans. I knew I had to be his mom to nurture him, to help him heal. Now it’s six years later. He still limps, much of his fur has not grown back, but my Barney’s love has never wavered.—Rosemarie M. Hawkins
No Way Out
Lily was the worst puppy imaginable: interminable diarrhea, poop-eating, vomiting, biting, chewing, clawing, and jumping… with dead-fish eyes that looked up at you while she recharged her almost nondepletable German Shepherd battery. We wouldn’t have given her to our worst enemy! We were doomed.
But, somehow, miraculously, we survived—and became much better people. Lily taught us patience, perseverance, and unconditional love. It paid off: She is five now, and the love of our lives! Lily is sweet, funny, and affectionate… and she no longer looks up at us with dead-fish eyes. Her eyes are now soft and adoring.—Carolyn Luna