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Tiny Dog Stories—Winter 2022

Dog love in short form: miniature, reader-submitted dog stories of no more than 100 words.

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Illustration by ssstocker/

Love at First Sight

During my volunteer shift at Muttville, a grinning, wagging, matted, obese Cocker Spaniel came up and locked eyes with me. I immediately started smiling and crying! I knew my previous Muttville pup, Perla, had sent her to me. I wasn’t looking to adopt a dog, but I knew Cocoa Puff was meant to be a part of our family. After much convincing, my husband agreed to adopt her! She went from 40 pounds down to 25 and was even featured on We named her Penelope, and she has kept us entertained with her ridiculous antics every day!—Christine Falletti


Modern Medicine

For days the medical team at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital tried everything to get a tiny patient to talk, but on top of not feeling well, he was scared. Then SHE walked into the room, wearing a huge, toothy smile. “She” is Melena, a Golden Retriever and specially trained facility dog owned by the hospital. “DOGGIE!” squealed the previously silent child. “Can you come up in bed with me? Your ears are so soft. What’s your name? You’re sooo cute. I LOVE you!” And just like that, Melena became a huge part of the patient’s recovery process.—Diane Pekarek


Henry and Molly

He was adopted at nine months. She was adopted when he was just two. They romped, chased, played, fetched, and fussed. Inseparable. Best friends. True siblings. Now at 12, she mostly naps. At 14, he mostly plays games on his computer. But at the end of the day, they always search for each other. Paw reaches out to hand, and hand stretches out to paw. Every dog needs her boy. Every boy needs his dog.—Lori Bugaj


The Best Medicine 

When I saw a picture of Fuzz Aldrin, my heart ached. He came into rescue emaciated and with horrible skin. Muttville did everything they could for him and deemed him a hospice dog. Whatever time he had left, I wanted to make up for his sad past. I was recovering from surgery and the loss of another dog, and Fuzz was the best medicine for my heart. He blossomed with love and good food, and we shared 23 amazing months together. Don’t let fear of loss keep you from opening your heart and home to a senior rescue!—Roxane Fritz


Sammie’s Journey

Sammie’s life had gotten off to a rough start. He had been brought into the Placerville County shelter as a cruelty seizure. Best guess is that he was bitten on the base of his tail by another dog so severely that his tail was infected and necrotic. Sammie is now a cherished member of the family doing the “cha-cha-cha wigglebutt dance” when he greets you. He does Pet Therapy with children at the Pleasanton Library where children read to the dogs to improve their reading skills. He was the first ever Dachshund admitted to the program.—Tammy Rieser


Timeshare Puppy

Uh oh, here comes Chase! I call him our timeshare puppy—he’s my responsibility three weeks each month. I broaden his horizons and teach him gentlemanly public behaviour. Chewed up slippers, little “accidents” on the floor, and his overly rambunctious nature aside, I’m thrilled by his rapid progress. One week a month is spent with his future family. They are learning to create time and space in their busy lives for what will be “Chase, the Service Dog.” His mission: to protect their son on the autism spectrum in public spaces, as well as ease his night fears.—Mona Tellier 


The Bandit Book Club

In her former life before she developed epilepsy, our rescued Border Collie, Bandit, had been a working farm-dog herding cattle. I’ve often wondered if she misses her old job. But this summer she started a new one, putting the intense focus for which her breed is famous to use, helping her young friend, Will, who has Down’s syndrome, to work on his reading. Watching Bandit lock her gaze onto Will while he reads her story after story is mesmerizing. It’s gratifying to witness both of them reaping the benefits.—Denise Kirshenbaum



Here and There

Tim called it “the house” 
Grandma lived there for a time
No one really stays long
Years we spent together
While Tim worked
Before she got sick
Too weak to stand
Too strong to let go
My vigil is steadfast
In a chair by her bed
She is here but not here
There but not there
I can see angels in the room
What remains of her here
Will soon be there
At the foot of the Bridge
Take care of my boy
She whispers
You know that I will
It’s what dogs do
—Timothy McHenry


Kaylee’s Fall

“Kaylee, come!” Mitch called.

My Springer turned, bolting toward us on the narrow trail on the side of a hill. Suddenly she veered left, over a stone wall, disappearing over a limestone cliff.

Finding a nearby staircase, my heartbeat matched my pounding feet down
seven flights.

Nearing the bottom, white boulders and brown vegetation abounded—the same colours as Kaylee. We stopped and stared, fearing the worst.

“There she is! She’s looking at us,”
Mitch exclaimed while he lobbed
over the wooden railing.

Fifteen minutes later, a vet examined her. Kaylee survived with only a
broken leg.—Sandy Kubillus


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