About This Book

It's a dog's life. This collection of 101 new stories focuses on all the memorable ages and stages of our lovable canines' lives. Starting in puppyhood and covering a range of middle and senior years to the twilight and end when our dear friends leave us, this book captures the entire experience of living through the natural life cycle with our dogs. All dog lovers will laugh, cry, and recognize themselves and their furry friends in these heartwarming and inspiring stories of puppy antics, teenage rebellion, adapting to an aging dog and, finally, having to say goodbye.

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Five Ways to Celebrate the Stages of Your Dog’s Life

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Dog’s Life

By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Jennifer Quasha. Foreword by Wendy Diamond

Thousands of stories were submitted by devoted dog owners for Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Dog’s Life. These entertaining stories describe the funny, adventurous and touching times that dog owners have experienced with their four-legged friends. Following are some tips for celebrating and enjoying the many stages of your dog’s life, from those first puppy days to adolescence and adulthood and then finally to those bittersweet senior years.

1. Embrace puppyhood. Every puppy has its own personality and as its new owner, your focus is on getting to know your new friend. When Linda C. Wright first saw her Boykin Spaniel, Ginger, a cute, chocolate-brown puppy, she captured her heart. However, Linda soon grew tired of chasing her around the house to retrieve all the items she snatched when she wasn’t looking. In frustration, Linda took her to obedience training and Ginger failed the course. Disappointed, Linda left with Ginger and while sitting in the car, Linda read Ginger the riot act. Ginger climbed over to Linda and gave her puppy kisses and wagged her tail. Linda couldn’t resist. "I can’t live with you. I can’t live without you," Linda said as she hugged her mischievous yet adorable puppy.

2. Have patience and enjoy your teenage dog. Teenage dogs remind us of how sometimes they are kind of similar to the two-legged, human variety! Like some teens, dogs don’t understand that their crazy antics have consequences! Jennifer Quasha tells the story of her dog, a Bichon Frise named Scout, who ate a whole corncob after finding it in the garbage after a Labor Day picnic. Scout nearly died after surgery to remove it and the vet even proclaimed that he couldn’t be saved. However, Scout miraculously revived after Jennifer cradled him and told him he was a good dog.

3. Take time to laugh. When pets get older they love to help us: to love, to exercise, to be heard, to be strong and to laugh. Jane Marie Allen Farmer shares a story of a remarkable and obedient service dog for a blind woman who led his pet parent dutifully throughout the store to get the items she sought. Once her shopping was completed, he led his owner down the pet food aisle in the supermarket because he couldn’t resist smelling the dog food!

4. Celebrate your dog’s feisty spirit. Female 18-wheeler truck driver, Maria Mills Greenfield, rescued Barkley, an AKC-registered Lhasa Apso. Barkley was so much more than just her co-pilot; he was her confidant, her protector, and her "fella." He loved to bark, and did so a lot — anytime anyone would walk near her truck. He wasn’t mean, just vocal. He loved to sit in the driver’s seat when Maria would be out of the truck and it didn’t take long for him to learn how to blow the city horn on the steering wheel. Maria disconnected that horn but in order to get her attention, spirited Barkley figured out for himself how to pull the air horn chain with his mouth.

5. Say goodbye and celebrate your dog’s life. When your pet passes, you might think no one could possibly understand your grief, but anyone who has ever loved and lost an animal of their own has experienced a similar sorrow. When Laurie Birnsteel’s Irish Setter Maile passed, her family decided to have a wake and invited guests to their home to reminisce and celebrate Maile’s life. People recalled Maile’s funny antics, persistence and her smile. "Maile’s grin was as wide and beautiful as a rainbow," Laurie’s friend said. "And now she’s come to the end of that rainbow,” Laurie said. “And may she rest in peace."

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