Hippo birdy to Woo!

Someday, this week, my Rio was born!  Happy, happy day, whichever one it was!!!  I met Rio on Father’s Day 2000, and “they” said she was about 8 weeks old.  The sign on her cage said “German Shep/Lab Mix, Female.”  She had recently been spayed, (yes, that young!  The Humane Society won’t let a puppy go without sterilization, regardless of age.).  She was ADORABLE!  So tiny and sweet!  My heart said, “MINE!!!!”

Being this cute is exhausting!

I walked away, totally convinced that I couldn’t possibly fit this little girl into my chaotic life.  My husband and I had just put our house up for sale, packed all of our belongings into boxes, and put all but the essentials into storage.  We’d purchased property across the Sound, but weren’t sure where we were going to live while we built our new home.  We looked at rentals, but nobody wanted to rent to folks with two big dogs, let alone a puppy, too. We both worked full time, commuting and ferry, so we’d be gone about 10-12 hours a day.  How could we possibly take on a new baby?!

But that face!  I kept seeing that little face with that sweet puppy breath and those liquid brown eyes.  Resolve crumbling, I went back to “say goodbye.”  I even called my husband hoping he would talk me out of it, but in the end I paid her bail money and signed the paperwork, and she was MINE!

We ended up buying a 25′ trailer, and, in it, Rio grew into a teenager, all ears and legs, snoozing under the tiny dining table, chewing electrical cords, saying WOOWOOWOO when her sister, Shasta, escaped from the dog run.  Grampa came up from Oregon to be our general contractor.  He moved his trailer in next to ours, and he managed the “kids” while we were working.

Playing with sister Shasta

All the reasons why I shouldn’t bring her home, why I couldn’t fit her into my life ended up working themselves out, almost as if the universe rearranged itself just so that she could be with me.  So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TO YOU, SWEET BEAT OF MY HEART!!!

Rio in the mud



7 thoughts on “Hippo birdy to Woo!

  1. Oh I LOVE Birdys and Birthdays too! Moms making a chocolate cake but she said dawgs cant have chocolate so she filled up a cupcake paper with acceptable treats and we each had one for your special day. Wishing you many more!! Dont tell Monkeybaby Cosmos but you were almost as cute as he was, no wonder your momma couldnt leave you behind!

    • Thanks Daisy! Enjoy your “cupcakes.” Mom wanted to have a big party for me with all my local doggy friends, but I think it’s gonna have to wait until I’m done with my chemo. My doctor says no dog parks right now!

  2. As a quick PS to my story, Rio, with all of her health issues is our longest lived dog. Her 11 years is a milestone for our whole family. We lost Nakita at 8 from kidney failure and Shasta died in her sleep when she was just 9-1/2.

  3. Rio is absolutely beautiful and I completely understand the lure of that sweet puppy breath! What a heartwarming tale and proof you can always find a way to help a pet become a member of your family. Getting the trailer was a smart idea and imagine Rio is now 11 and the longest lived dog you had. Clearly she was meant to be with you. A belated happy birthday to Rio!

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