Friday, October 29, 2010

How Cookie Came Into Our Family

My Sweet Cookie

Many of you know Cookie from this blog. She is the wise woman of my dog trio. I've never had such a grateful dog as this one. There isn't a day that goes by where I see the gratitude and appreciation in her soulful brown eyes. As part of Animal Adoption Month, I thought you all would be interested in how Cookie came into our family.

A Look Back

Before Cookie joined our brood, we had two dogs, Cosmo (Siberian Husky mix) and Elvis(Rhodesian Ridgeback). We first had Cosmo and a month later Elvis came into the mix as a young puppy. The dogs were basically a month apart when the met each other as young puppies.

Elvis and Cosmo
Elvis was adopted from a farm where the breeder regularly hit him. He was hit so often that his head was bumpy from broken bones as a puppy. My brother found him covered in feces so at that moment, he decided to rescue him in 1995. He was so scared the first day, he refused to move from the spot he was laying down. It wasn't until I picked him up and put him outside and then went over to the garage to give him space, that he actually felt free to move around in the yard.

Cosmo, on the other hand was very outgoing and enthusiastic. He was able to help Elvis get used to living with Blackie, our other dog and my family. Soon, Elvis came into his own, and you couldn't find Cosmo without Elvis nearby.

In 2004, Cosmo had been stricken with cancer. He was only nine years old and his cancer was very aggressive. Surely enough, he was suffering and crossed the rainbow bridge shortly after. Elvis was at a loss. He was nervous, panting constantly and drooling excessively. He had severe separation anxiety when we would have to go. He never knew what it was like to be the only dog because even when Blackie passed, he still had Cosmo.

Mom and I had given him two weeks to see if he would get better and he was just getting worse. He refused to eat and was constantly scared. We knew that he would need a companion before he could be himself again. We also didn't want to get a carbon copy of Cosmo because we didn't want Elvis to think we were replacing Cosmo. Cosmo was a true original and we all knew it.

Our Trip To The Shelter

My mom and I headed out to the major animal shelter in the city of Chicago. We decided that we would have a smaller dog who would be a female. We looked among the dogs and then we came across Cookie. To see her at first glance, one would do a double take.

Cookie, Short and Sassy

Cookie was a site to be seen. You couldn't see her eyes because she had so much hair covering them. She had mats the size of golf balls behind her paws. She probably hadn't had her hair cut in six months. She smelled because she was a stray picked up on the street. To top it off she gave birth to puppies on the street which had already found permanent homes. It's because of this, she was available after 24 hours. Small dogs are usually adopted quickly. It was estimated that she was three years old but since we didn't know when or where she was born, it was a guess at best.

Getting to know her, the first thing I noticed was her sweetness. We were holding her on the leash and all she wanted to do was be petted. Both of us realized that she was a gem and knew she had to be part of the family.

When Cookie Met Elvis

When we brought Cookie home, Elvis didn't know what to think. She looked nothing like Cosmo and smelled dreadful. She also had a nasty case of kennel cough which Elvis caught from her since it was contagious. After taking Cookie to the groomer, she was wetted down and basically shaved all over since she still had stitches from her spaying. The groomer had removed so much hair, she couldn't believe how much lighter she felt and shook her body with excitement. After the stitches were removed we took her back for another bath. She was a brand new dog.

In addition to getting Elvis and Cookie comfortable with each other, I had to deal with the fact that Elvis had no appetite. Nothing would get him to eat. He wouldn't even succumb to canned food. I asked my friend who was an animal rescuer what I could do, and she told me to force feed him baby food. Considering Elvis was down to 60 lbs (27 kg) and looking really emaciated, I had nothing to lose. Sure enough, it worked and after a few days, Elvis got his appetite back. He came around to accept Cookie to and acted like a big brother to her.

Elvis had gotten to live with her for a couple of years. He lived a long and healthy life but got hit with cancer the same way Cosmo did. He did have a great companion in Cookie and I am certain that without Cookie, he would have passed away before she was part of the picture.

Cookie After Elvis

After Elvis passed, Mom and I decided to keep Cookie as a solo dog. She seemed to enjoy the extra attention and it seemed like the right thing to do for our family. In 2008, my mom missed having a second dog and that's how Gigi came into our lives. Even though we've had ups and downs with Cookie (more ups than downs), we've always felt that her presence in our lives has been a gift that keeps giving.

Let's Discuss!

Do you have a story where animal adoption has changed your life?

Thanks for all stopping in. I hope you have a happy and safe Halloween.


  1. It's great that you have rescued so many dogs, a happy tail I enjoyed reading. I am going to get a rescue dog next. Hope Cookie doing well, swimming was a good idea and you're very lucky to have found such a nice place to go.

  2. Thank you Juliette. Dogs just have this way where they make your life so rich and vibrant. Every dog I've owned has a story and they're all original. Cookie isn't crazy about swimming but she'll do it reluctantly. It does help her with her leg though.



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