Wednesday, February 13, 2008


It's a word I've used many times. Heartwarming. Or, seeing such and such just warms the heart. But I'd never truly experienced it, never actually lived it until last night.

I do not like winter. I do not complain in the summer with heat indeces of "a hundurd 'n teeyin" and ninety-eight percent humidity in Western Kentucky, because I know that soon enough it will be under forty, and I save my moaning for the cold. And this winter has been mean and cruel and it seems like this southern city has forgotten its identity. And I come to bed with blocks of ice for feet, and I cannot get warm.

Until last night.

On August 16, 2006 a litter of puppies were born by emergency Ceasarian section. I had known the mom, Maggie Mae, all of her life, and I had shown her to her first point and her last major, and when she got her Award of Merit. Her people are my dear, dear, dear good friends. They entrusted me with Maggie Mae for this litter, so she could be bred to my Maria's grandson, and they would have a new puppy. I love Maggie Mae. During the labor, Maggie Mae's uterus ruptured, and we came perilously close to losing her. Only thanks to the skill, compassion, and talent of my wonderful vet, Maggie Mae and her eight puppies thrived.

Because Maggie needed help after her surgery, I practically lived in the whelping box. Even more than I normally would. I had the "nursery" all set up in the TV room upstairs, but since Maggie couldn't do steps, I slept on the couch downstairs for three weeks with the new family, until they were ready to move upstairs. I loved Maggie Mae more than ever, and I loved those puppies fiercely.

As the pups' personalities emerged, I started the daunting task of matching pups to the waiting homes. In the past, I didn't have to wonder about keeping in touch with the puppies as they grew, because I breed so infrequently that the pups have gone to close, personal, long term friends. In this litter, one pup was going to a home with folks I didn't know. They were referred by one of my very closest friends, and they had been waiting over a year for their first whippet. They were willing to drive the fifteen hours from Pennsylvania, and they passed their home visit by a fellow Rescue Rep with flying colors. But they would have only one dog. My job was to pick which puppy in this litter would do best in an only dog household.

The thing was, I was in love with the puppy who would do the best as an only dog. I called her Leslie, and she was a force of nature. She had a crooked little stripe on her face and she was just born with a laughing sense of herself. And she planted her feet on my heart and wouldn't let go.

But, I was in love with all the puppies, and I didn't think that Lindy Loo would thrive as an only dog, and I was certain that self assured, bossy little Leslie would and what good would it do to put a puppy in a situation that was potentially doomed? So, Leslie became Rexie and went to Pennsylvania. And my heart broke just the tiniest bit.

I hear regularly from the pups; after all they're with friends, and we talk anyway. But I hadn't heard from Rexie for a long time. I have a big old clause that states if the new home cannot keep the dog for any reason at any time ever in its life that dog comes back to me, no questions asked. Period. And I mentioned that my husband has Italian cousins in Philadelphia. I wasn't really worried. And emails can get lost in cyberspace and people are busy, and I could be more insistant, though I didn't want to be a pain, but it had really been a while and I was aching more than a little. So last night I emailed Rexie's folks and asked them please to assure me that she was OK.

And not a minute later my Inbox pinged and there were attachments! And I clicked on the paperclip icon, and I saw these

and I read the email saying she was a wonderful member of the family and my eyes started stinging and before I knew it my entire face was soggy wet.

But then, as I got Bill out of bed to come see the photos, I noticed I felt warm. Glowingly warm. It started in my chest and it spread to my ears, and my blue fingers turned pink, and my ice cold toes melted and I didn't even need to wear socks to bed. Deliciously, heavenly, toastily comfortable. I was transported from the chill of my little computer room to a sunny private beach on Eleuthera.

Synonyms for the adjective warm include, affectionate, caring, tender, and loving.


Hug your hounds.


And we have recieved an Award!

This award recognizes excellence in blogging

It was given to us by AOJ and the Lurchers whose most excellent blog puts mine to shame, but we thank them and now we get to pass the award to:

  • Amanda (who writes better than I think she knows)

  • Maggie and Mitch who are smile-makers

  • Teka! because we love her too

  • Dining Alone (aka Joe Stain's ma), as the most excellent, inspiring cooking blog

  • Bill's Blog as it truly is way excellent and he hasn't promoted it

  • The Ragracers another whippet blog, whose photography and writing will knock you silly

  • Abby Creek Art whose dog portraits you will love, love, love

  • Vee whose needle felted masterpieces you won't believe!

  • Peanut for writing a post titled "Sickness and poop and throwup"! Does it get better? We think not.

  • and Asta whose blog is just E for Excellent and who is Sam I Am's very special hairy friend


  1. You'd have to be made out of gwanite not to be wawm and melt at the sight of this gowgeous doggie..Those eyes say it thwough and thwough!
    what a lovely stowy..thank you, Mommi and i awe vewy wawm inside too

    I can't wait to see Sweed William, LindyLoo and my Sam i Am at koobie's
    smoochie kisses

  2. We are so glad that story had a happy ending. Rexie is beautiful, and we feel all warm and fuzzy too now!

    Toodle pip
    Harry x

  3. What a wonderful story!

    Happy Valentine's day!

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

  4. Dagnabbit - broke my 'do not read Patience's blog while at your desk at work' rule and see what happens...



  5. Happy Valentine's Day!


  6. What a priceless photo the puppy lying on its Mother's face is.
    It isn't hard to imagine your relief and delight when that email came in. A very SPECIAL dog without a doubt! "Mummy" dog would also be quite delighted!!

  7. awwwww....that's all I can think to say...


  8. She turned into a lovely lady and looks very much loved. Oh, if only all pups could feel like that.

  9. OMG, look at you sis. You look beautful.. Hey is that me on moms head???



  10. We melted too to read your tale. But if you stopped by our blog, which you did, you saw that we wished everyone a heartwarming moment or two for Valentine's Day.

    Wish fulfilled in the best of ways!!

    Hugs for sure!!!

    Jake and Just Harry

  11. OH BOY....thank you thank you thank you. I will go post it on my blog. Give me an hour and come visit!

    Teka Toy

  12. Oh my dog, you have done it. She is off and running. Muzzer says she loves the story about the puppy. I love all puppy stories, but you had me worried with all the past tense stuff.


  13. Awwwwwwwww, we're smile makers! Thank you, Patience! I love my new M&M collar so much! I walked with it on this morning and it worked very well, mom said!

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

  14. OMG!! Another award..Thanks so much Patience. You are a star.



  15. What a beautiful Valentine story, Miss Patience. Thanks for making my day with that one!

    Happy Valentine's day to you and Bill and the sweetest Nine of Hearts.

    P.S. Thanks for the award too!:)

  16. How fantastic! She has grown into a lovely dog. And thank you so much for the award! I have so much darn stuff to blog about that I might have to break it up into several posts, lol.

  17. Sam I Am..I am blushing all ovew..I will give you youw Thank you kiss at Koobie's pawty!
    Congwatulations to all of you fow a most Excellent weally desewve this awawd!
    smoochie kisses

  18. My blog puts yours to shame!!?? Just who is it that's written the book Patience!!?? ;)

    (Which has arrived by the way and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in to it!)

  19. Mom said THANK YOU for the award, I would let her log in to comment but then she forgets because she is old and ends commenting all over my dog friends blog with her name! She appreciates you reading and commenting.

    As for this entry, every single picture made us smile, but especially the line up of dogs. It was such a wonderful story.

    Happy Valentine's Day!

  20. Oh that is a wonderful story! And I do love the pictures.

    Have a wonderful heart day, guys! Take good care of your hearts. Remember they need regular use to stay fresh so be sure to love on each other!


  21. Happy Valentines Day to all the Whippets! (and their servants, too.)


  22. Wonderful,lovely Rexie-grew up to be as beautiful as the rest, and bet she still loves her "gramma P"-Happy Valentine's Day, P, Bill, and Waggle-Martha and P-Doggy

  23. Well we are all warm inside too,and how cute were those little pups!!!(and how cute all grown up too!!) Love and kisses A+A

  24. Thank you very much for sharing such a wonderful story! I would love to have a cutie like Rexie in my family!

    Love your blog as well! Keep up the good work!


    Dog lover

  25. Hi my whippet friends,

    The Mommy always loves reading your bloggie because she thinks your Mommy is the best writer she knows. Me loved the story she told. It always makes the Mommy happy to hear good adoption sucess stories.

    Me wants you to come over to my bloggie and see the roses he Mommy got today. Me wants to share them with all the Mommies of my DWB friends.

    Love you all lots and lots...Mona

  26. Thank you for that very heartwarming story. It gets cold at night here in California too.

  27. I'm so glad youw cuties awe enjoying themselves..don't wowwy Maria, we won't let anything happen to any of the pwecious whippet waggle..wight now they'we all snoozing in fwont of the fiwe..and they assuwed me they would dwesss vewy wawmly fow the spowts..althoufgh they all go so fst , I don't see how they dould get cold...did you see how full Lorenza's suitcase was??
    smoochie kisses

  28. That's such a heartwarming story. Rexie sure is a beauty!

  29. I don't know how folks do it! Having all those sweet little puppies and then sending them away. I was on the edge of my seat with your story, and then those lovely pictures. She is sooooo pretty!


  30. Loved this!! Happy belated Valentine's day...although we think you already got a fabulous heartwarming gift!

    kari & kijsa

  31. Oh, I cannot believe how I teared up to see beautiful Rexie after all these months! I haven't seen her since she was little when her sister SImmer came home with me. I know it was so hard for you to let Rexie (well, all of them) go, but so nice for you to have the contact that you have with your puppy people!
    She is so pretty and it is so fun to see how much this litter looks like each other!!
    Big hugs!
    laurie, Simmer, Riv and Spats

  32. I'm so glad about that puppy who grew up and got so beautiful. We just heard about our foster pup Stewie who went to his new home about 2 1/2 weeks ago. He's doing great and they love him! Mom's sorry she missed seeing him at her friend the groomer's house and told her to let her know next time he comes! I just hope she doesn't end up bringing him home to us again -- six weeks was enough for ME! (heh heh)


  33. Thanks for the award. We are going to post it on our blog later. Mom got sick also so it's been a hard week here.

  34. I have never seen baby whippets before--loved the pics of those three out on deck, porch? And so glad you got confirmation that you'd place your favorite girl in the right home.


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