Dog-gone love

Most people who follow my blog know that I lost my beloved dog The Beebs to old age last year. She was the perfect running buddy, and we ran thousands of trail miles together and many, many adventures. We were charged by a bear (once, and I peed my shorts, too) and moose (three times, and all three times I climbed trees). We ran so many trails: Lost Lake and the Historic Iditarod Trail down in Seward; Middle Fork and Powerline, Turnagain Pass and Flattop and Falls Creek and Bird Ridge Wolverine and on and on and on.
After she passed, I never thought I’d be able to love another dog.It was inconceivable. Who could ever compare to The Beebs?

Beebs in Mountains
Beebs on the top of a mountain outside of Kenai, Alaska.

But I’m a dog person and I’ll always be a dog person and last summer I realized that it was time to look for another dog. I checked the animal shelter almost daily, along with craigslist and rescue organizations, and while I did come across great dogs and beautiful dogs and endearing dogs and every kind of dog you could imagine, I didn’t come across my dog.

Then one day in mid-summer, a friend asked me on an impromptu evening trail run and even though I was tired from work I thought, ‘What the heck,’ because really, who can resist a trail run in the Alaska summer twilight?

DSCN1470 (2)
Sarana, on our twilight run. This is at about 11 p.m.

My friend had also recently lost her dog and because she’s also a dog person, she brought along her neighbor’s dog, a Doberman/Lab mix of about five years.

Enter Seriously.


I loved this dog almost immediately. There was something about her, a combination of the joy she exhibited as she ran through the brush and her personality, which was sweet and endearing, with a bit of sly cleverness thrown in. I loved the sly cleverness. Needless to say, I was smitten. But, sadly, she wasn’t my dog.

I ran with her a few more times, and the last time I said to Sarana, “This is my dog. I can just feel it.”

But of course she wasn’t my dog, and I knew this. Yet I couldn’t stop thinking about her. It’s as if I already carried her around inside my heart, as if in a sense we already belonged to each other (maybe this is what it’s like to fall in love with a married man?).

Months later, when I had given up on finding the perfect dog and was ready to settle for just any dog, I got a call from Seriously’s owner, a beautiful young woman with a beautiful 2-year-old daughter. She was off to captain a boat in Sitka and wanted to know if I could watch Seriously for six weeks?

“Yes,” I said. “Yes, yes, yes!”

And so Seriously came home with me. My partner soon fell in love with her, too. She fit inside our lives so easily, so smoothly. We took her on walks and runs, and she scattered toys around our living room and filled our days with so much joy.


When her owner came back, we returned Seriously and then picked her up a few weeks later, when her owner left for another captaining job.

That was last fall. Now we co-parent Seriously. We have her for a few days most weeks, and during those days we run and take long beach walks, we hide treats around the house for her to find (we call these “yummies”), and when we finally settle down in the living room with books and computers and movies, Seriously curls up beside me and places her warm head in my lap, and it’s the best of thing, having a dog to share my life with again.

IMG_0126I’m so thankful for this dog, and for her owner, who is generous enough to share her dog with people she knows loves her as much as she does.

It’s funny, isn’t it, how pets and people come into our lives, how they burrow inside our habits and daily routines, filling up the empty holes and leaving us so much richer, so much more blessed, than we ever thought possible.




18 thoughts on “Dog-gone love

  1. This post made me cry this morning, as a sister dog-lover who has also lost a dog last year (AceyBoy, a bichon frise). Sharing a dog is exactly what my husband and I think about right now! We do not want another dog right now, as we are often gone for long periods of time (both of us having elderly parents who need us), who live in different states, so air travel is involved sometimes. We are hoping that our neighbor, a single lady who loves dogs, will get one soon, so that we can dog-sit when she goes away for weekends. How wonderful. But really, you are all pretty amazing. Running trails in Alaska? Captain of a boat? Geesh. I feel proud if I take a slow two-mile walk. Cheers to you guys!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Carla honey, I know the feeling. Losing a dog is so hard. They are such a big part of our lives and face it, our partners and family are never as happy to see us (or as forgiving) as our dogs (I can’t think of the last time my partner jumped for joy when I came home from work, lol) We are so lucky to have found another family willing to co-parent. Hopefully you will also. Heck, if we lived near you I’d happily co-parent another dog.
      Cheers, big, big hugs, and have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Deborah! Dogs are the best, aren’t they. Well, cats are the best, too, but in an entirely different way. It’s just so, so nice having a dog in the house again.I feel blessed. Cheers, take care and have a great week.


  2. You mean how great it is when my Roxie curls up with me all day when I’m sick? Totally worth the mud, sticks and leaves she comes home home with from our Anchorage walks:). Great post, seriously looks like an old soul-seriously!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My slump is deeper than yours. I’ve been signing up for free online courses left and right, leaving me no time for writing. And I only just realized that it’s my procrastination settling in for a long, long visit 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a lovely post, and such lovely pups! Beebs was gorgeous, and so is Seriously. It’s hard to get another dog after the death of beloved pup. But I do think you sort of know when you’ve found “your dog” – at least, that’s how it’s worked for me. It sounds like you have a great situation there with Seriously and her owner. I’m sure she loves knowing that she can completely trust you guys to take care of her pup when she’s away.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How great to have a shared dog – no matter where you or the co-owners go, you know Seriously is well-cared for at ‘home’. I’m still looking for ‘the one’. Maybe I need a co-owner too…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we are “seriously” lucky to be able to co-parent a dog, and especially a dog that we love so much. And trust me, you’ll find “the one” soon. Take care, and big viral doggy slobbers your way.


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