An American Editor

October 9, 2013

Welcome, Brenda

Sometimes in life it seems pretty obvious that the fates intervene. Nearly 20 years ago, we adopted our first Cocker Spaniel as a result of such a twist of fate.

Carolyn and I never watch TV while cooking or eating. It is just not something we do or ever did. Except one fateful evening, when Carolyn turned on the local news while preparing dinner. The lead story was a raid that the local ASPCA had conducted on a puppy mill that day. One of the animal shelter employees was speaking about the raid while holding a tiny, irresistible Cocker Spaniel puppy. Carolyn and I were at the shelter the next morning and adopted Jasmin (below at age 14 years), our first Cocker.

Jasmin in a good moment April 2010

When we bought our house, we decided to get a second Cocker Spaniel puppy to keep Jasmin company. So we adopted Lilly (pictured below at age 12 years).

Lilly General summer 2011 027

Jasmin died several years ago and Lilly is now 14 years old and although still a wonderful dog, also a dog loaded with medical issues. So in conversation we have discussed adopting another Cocker Spaniel, but agreed to wait. We weren’t in a hurry.

But fate intervened once again. The parent of friends of a neighbor died leaving a Cocker Spaniel. The neighbor asked Carolyn if she knew of any rescue agencies. Instead of saying to the neighbor, “No. I’d have to search for one, which you can also do,” Carolyn said, “No, but I’ll check and let you know what I find.” So Carolyn did a search and came across Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue. Alas, she looked at the dogs they had for adoption and came across Brenda (pictured below, age 9 years, in our kitchen).

Brenda 015

Brenda is a 9-year-old rescue Cocker Spaniel who is blind. We adopted her as of last Thursday, so she has delighted us for nearly a week.

Brenda is a wonderful dog. She is quiet and patient and quite independent. The first thing she did was wander through our house, on her own (we followed), to learn the layout. She learned quickly and now wanders throughout the main floor without a problem.

One thing a blind dog can teach is patience. Although I generally am patient with children and dogs, Brenda really drives the lesson home. Within minutes of entering our home, Brenda became an integral part of the family. We look forward to many wonderful years with her companionship and hope that she and Lilly bond.

Even our cat, Shade, seems smitten with Brenda.

One of the advantages to working from home is that when our heartstrings are tugged, we can respond. I would be reluctant to adopt a dog with disabilities if someone wasn’t around all the time to ensure needs are met.

Brenda has adopted well to our routines. I tend to rise very early and she and Lilly rise with me and keep me company as I read the newspapers and have my breakfast in the dark hours of the morning. I admit that having pets brightens my days. If we could, we would adopt several more, but until I win the lottery, we’ll stick with the three we have.



  1. She’s beautiful, Rich. It sounds like you’ve made a real match there. Welcome home, Brenda.


    Comment by Vicki — October 9, 2013 @ 5:20 am | Reply

  2. Congratulations! Blind dogs are amazing!


    Comment by Eileen — October 9, 2013 @ 5:45 am | Reply

  3. Welcome to Brenda! So few impaired animals are able to find homes that it is heartwarming to learn you have adopted her — and she you! Best wishes for years of happy family.

    This line of the post really resonated: “If we could, we would adopt several more, but until I win the lottery, we’ll stick with the three we have.”

    Oh yes. If we didn’t enforce a number limit, I would turn into one of those crazy ladies with hundreds of cats, all of us living in a tarpaper shack on tinned catfood. My dream has always been to win the lottery, buy a huge farm, and become a fully staffed shelter for all adandoned and abused domestic animals.

    On reality’s wages, we’ll settle for the four rescue cats and kittens.


    Comment by Carolyn — October 9, 2013 @ 6:14 am | Reply

  4. Congratulations on your new family member! Brenda is beautiful, and I love her name.

    Thank you for adopting rather than shopping. There are so many adoptable, homeless dogs (and cats) that it makes no sense to buy from pet stores or breeders. And for those who insist on a pure-bred dog, you just proved that many are available in shelters and breed-specific rescues. In addition to a local SPCA or humane society, is a great place to search.


    Comment by Bobbi — October 9, 2013 @ 8:42 am | Reply

  5. Oh, she’s a sweetie! I hope you like having all the furniture in its present location. 🙂 Congratulations. (The rule I’ve heard for adopting dogs is that you should have no more dogs than adult hands in the household. so you’re good!)


    Comment by Amy J. Schneider — October 9, 2013 @ 9:09 am | Reply

  6. Thanks for writing about your lovely dogs–and posting photos! I agree with you about pets brightening our days. My cats (both rescues) are wonderful company in my home office.


    Comment by Katharine Wiencke — October 9, 2013 @ 9:43 am | Reply

  7. Worked from home today, and my “girls,” Cookie and Ruthie (dog and cat), were good company. Appreciate that you have a big heart to adopt a pet with a disability. Brenda is very pretty and sounds like a smart and friendly girl. We have been approved to adopt a senior lab as a companion for me and Cookie.


    Comment by Francine — October 9, 2013 @ 2:21 pm | Reply

  8. Thanks for sharing so much more than brilliant ideas about editing and the business of editing. (I’m glad you share those, too.)


    Comment by Camille DeSalme — October 9, 2013 @ 6:49 pm | Reply

  9. Since, it seems, editors are a different breed, does Brendy and friends know their ques and Ps?


    Comment by Alan J Zell — October 9, 2013 @ 8:29 pm | Reply

  10. Brenda is lucky to have found such a wonderful home. Congratulations!


    Comment by Karen — October 9, 2013 @ 8:40 pm | Reply

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