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Just a dog”

 By Richard Biby

Permission granted to reprint the text portion of the article Just a Dog

NAVHDA Feb 2006 issue (


People have said to me from time to time things like “lighten up, it’s just a dog” or “that’s a lot of money for just a dog”.  They say to me they don’t understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for “just a dog”.  Some of my proudest moments have come about with “just a dog”.  Many hours have passed and the only company I had was “just a dog” but I did not once feel slighted.  Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by “just a dog”, and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “just a dog” gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day. 


For those of you who do not understand the whys and wherefores of “just a dog”, then you will probably understand phases like “just a friend”, “just a sunrise”, or “just a promise”.  “Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy.  “Just a dog” brings out in me the compassion and patience that make me a better person.  Because of “just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.  So for me and folks like me, it’s not “just a dog” but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.  “Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.


I hope that someday they can understand that it’s not “just a dog” but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being just a man.  So the next time you hear the phrase “just a dog”, just smile, because they - - -“just don’t understand”.


Just a thought, 

Richard Biby

Dozer: "People are thinking of their animals as four-legged humans and not understanding what normal dog or cat behavior is and what the true behavioral needs of the dog and cat are.  . . . Dogs, if we look at the wolf model, would normally spend 20 hours a day with members of their pack. Now we are their pack, and we leave for 10, 12 hours a day and now the dog is alone. And we wonder why they get destructive and develop separation anxiety." - Bonnie Beaver, past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association and faculty member at Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

It was after reading this quote from the CNN website that my husband and I decided to get a second dog. Our 3-year old male beagle, Max, whom we've had since he was 8 weeks old, was terribly lonely when we were away at work. It was crystal clear that adding another beagle to our "pack" would be the most loving thing that we could do for him. So the search was on.

I typed in "beagle" on the web and came across 1-800-SAVE-A-PET. When I typed my search criteria for a young beagle, I was appalled to find 4200 matches!!!  How could 4200 people give up their precious beagles??? Although my husband wanted to start out with another puppy, I wanted to give one of those 4200 dogs a second chance. That's how we found Cascade Beagle Rescue.

Pattie, co-founder of Cascade Beagle Rescue East, contacted me about a 1-year old pup named Dozer who got along well with her alpha male. He and his brother Blaze had a hard time in Ohio, and were only days away from being put to sleep. He even had a little shave mark on his leg that showed that he was "on his way out".  When Cascade rescued him he weighed only 20 lbs, two-thirds of what he should have weighed. But his difficult start didn't make him any less loveable. When I went to meet him, he ran up the steps, put his paws on my shoulders, and gave me a big kiss. As they say in the movies, "he had me at hello. . . "

Dozer is a beautiful, loving, sweet puppy and I've come to totally adore him. The trainer in his obedience class says he's a really good dog, and he's a favorite of his class-mates with his clownish antics. He's up to 26 lbs now, and filling out nicely. The haunted look in his huge brown eyes is being replaced with a happy loving smile. Although he and Max had a rocky start, they're getting used to each other and I can tell that Max is glad that he's not alone any more. They like to do "border patrol" along our fence-line together, making sure that the yard is well guarded, and bark in tandem at every squirrel that comes their way. And what a joy it is to curl up on the sofa with a velvety-soft beagle on either side of me to give belly rubs!!! There's nothing more loving that pair of beagles."

- Audrey & Jim, Max and Dozer (CBR-E April 2006)



Macey: Enclosed are pictures of Macey which I promised to send to you.  She if filling out nicely as you can see by the side view pictures.  Two days ago I weighed Macey on our bathroom scale.  According to that reading she now weighs 14 lbs.  Every time we walk Macey, someone always stops the car and tells us how cute she is.  Of course we agree.  Thank you again for making it possible to have Macey a part of our family. 








Wayne & Phyllis (adopted Macey, CBR-E May 2006)



Baxter & Benny:

CBR-East's First "Pair" Adoption!

Baxter and Benny are both doing great! Everyone that comes to the house tells me how adorable they are and spoiled too.  The boys seem very happy here, and love all of the attention that their getting.  We couldn't be happier.

- Pat & Ron (adopted Baxter and Benny, CBR-E June 2006)

Rosie (formerly Dot): Just a little note to say thanks for helping us get Rosie (formerly "Dot").  Our daughter had her heart set on getting a puppy.  Five year olds get their hopes up very easily and quickly as you know.  To prepare ourselves for her arrival we had gone out and picked up some supplies and also got some stuff for your organization as I think it is fantastic what you are doing.  I hope you can use the things I purchased for your doggies!!! Thanks again for finding Rosie for our family - we love her to death. Here is a photo too to share!  

- The Knowlton Family [adopted Rosie, CBR-E July 2006]

Daisy (formerly Merrie): We wanted to give you an update on our little princess Merrie! We changed her name (hope that's okay) because our male beagle, Marley, was getting confused (the names sound similar)...So Merrie is now Daisey..... Daisey is doing fabulous, she is so sweet and loves to cuddle, she adjusted so easily to our family. I can't tell you how happy she makes both my husband and I, and our 7 year old beagle Marley...he loves his new little sister and is so patient with her, he seems happier too, he always has someone to play with and is never bored...Daisey loves to play in our backyard (see the pic) and is doing so well on her leash. She's loving the long walks in the woods with her brother and was so adorable the first time she saw the stream by our house!! We wanted to thank you and everyone at Cascade for the work that you do. Daisey is precious to us and we are so grateful she got a second chance at a great life with a family that adores her. We promise to keep in touch and support Cascade however we can...... Thank you for your kindness to all the beagles whose lives you touch.

- Ryan, Bethany, Daisey (CBR-E July 2006) & Marley McNamee

Diamond (formerly Spencer): Lorraine here, just dropping you a line to let you know how Diamond aka Spencer is doing. He is just so amazing. I couldn't have asked for a better friend. He is just so full of life and love, words cannot describe how I feel about this little guy. Thank you so much for making this adoption possible. One last thing I want to say to you. I did not rescue Diamond, he rescued me.

- Lorraine [adopted Diamond, CBR-E June 2006]

Diamond has a new brother, Desperado!  Here is his CBR happy ending!

Odie: We adopted Odie on June 10,2006-and boy did he become part of our family! In the beginning I think little Odie (6 1/2 months) was on his best behavior, hoping we wouldn't send him away. But once he realized that he could trust us, his true personality shone through. He combines puppy playfulness with snuggles & snoozes-we think he is the best dog ever! Of course we have had our share of obstacles to overcome (and are still working on!) but our Odie is so special, it is all worth it. Thank you, Pattie, & Cascade Beagle East, for bringing this furry boy into our lives-we don't know what we would do without him.

- The Durkin Family (adopted Odie, CBR-E June 2006)

Sadie (formerly Cassie): Sadie was adopted on August 6th, and to date it's as though she's been with us for years. She was strange and nervous at first when we brought her home, tail always down and sometimes between her legs, slowly venturing and smelling around the house to find her way and afraid to eliminate for days.  Presently, Sadie is quite happy and content, she loves all of us and plays, eats, runs and of course wag her tail most of the times. Sadie came into our lives through CBR as a result of my Jake, an 11 year old beagle who was diagnosed with kidney disease and within weeks of the diagnosis was gone. We're very happy to have this little girl and are confident that she will grow to love us more and more and become a mainstay in our family.

- The Rubin Family [adopted Sadie, CBR-E August 2006]

Bogie: It didn't take Bogie very long to figure out that with 6 people living in his new home, there would always be someone willing to scratch his belly!  If you're in the sitting position, he's right next to you lying on his back with his nose nudging your arm.  The great part of this story is that we have family living across the street and right next door and they have all fallen for him.  He's averaging 5 or 6 walks a day because people just show up to take him out!!  I've actually had neighbors ask me who he really belongs to because they see so many people with him.  He's just the sweetest dog ever and fit into our family instantly.  We enjoy telling his rescue story and everyone holds you in the highest regard for the work you do.

- The de Labry Family (adopted Bogie, CBR-E August 2006)

Remy (formerly Scoop): I can't begin to tell you how wonderful this little girl is...Pattie, thank you from the bottom of my heart!!


She's up to 25 pounds now, from the 18 when we first got her...and you can see in the pics it's solid muscle.  She and Jack spend hours playing tag and running with toys in the backyard, and she is now the queen of fetch!


She's definitely a little love-monkey, will come to be petted and stand there for hours if she could; she no longer starts at loud noises, and can be walked without jumping and trying to bold if a truck goes by.


She's brought such joy into our lives with her quiet, gentle way, completely opposite her rambunctious, sometimes over-exuberant brother! (Although she does have her moments, lol, specially morning playtime!)


Finding you guys and adopting her has been one of the best experiences of my life.


Thank you all. - Jenny [adopted Remy, CBR-E August 2006]

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