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  • Writer's pictureKathy Winkler Studio


Shiloh came into our lives as an 8-month old Black Labrador Retriever. One day, I got a call from one of the rescue leagues with the person on the other end of the line saying “we were told that you were the best dog parents” and she said in another breath that she had heard our Standard Poodle Max was critically ill. She went on to say, “would you take this abused puppy?” Well, without missing another beat, I said yes!!!! So, it was no time at all when in walked the rescue volunteer and Shiloh, and we exchanged donation fee for Shiloh. Well, it was definitely love at first sight. Shiloh was an amazing pup, who shared 11 plus years with us.

Like any lab, anything that looks interesting or not is fair game for chewing on. When our 4-year old grandson was visiting for the weekend, we didn’t get up all the toys, so Shiloh found one that was quite satisfying. Shiloh had only been with us a couple of months by this time. Anyway, Shiloh discovered the hard rubber opponent to Spider Man - the villain with all the arms. So, he swallowed it unbeknown to us. When our grandson went home, we noticed Shiloh wasn’t his bubbly self and he was trying to throw up. Being a Sunday, we rushed him to the emergency animal hospital. He was x-rayed and there was the culprit trying to get out but couldn’t, so emergency surgery was performed. After the surgery, the surgeon came out with this marvelous villain in a sandwich bag and asked me if I wanted it. Well, the surgery was $5,000, so I politely declined and told the surgeon that I couldn’t afford the plexiglass dome to treat it as a valuable art object.

Then, only about 2 months after that Shiloh walked in with a gapping wound on his left side. I couldn’t believe it. I went out on the 48’ deck, as that was where he was spending some time, so I could see if I could find a protruding object, anything to identify what happened. I couldn’t find a nail (?) or anything that would have caused his hide to be totally open. So, once again, he was rushed to the animal hospital, and this time a bargain of only $1,500.

Our $75 puppers was turning out to be a very valuable little man with our investments. But, we loved him and wouldn’t have abandoned him, as he had already had an abusive puppyhood. Graduating to adulthood was a marvelous feat for him, and us, too. The rest of his life was deliciously wonderful. We couldn’t have asked for a better pup.


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