Sometimes you get pulled down a path, kicking and screaming… and you don’t know why until the end: A PUPPY STORY.

Saturday, February 16th, 2013 | Filed under Musings

I had been looking for a pup since we tragically lost Atticus on New Year’s Eve.

Poor Scout was devastated (as were we all) and lonesome without her littermate…  (You can read that story here.)

Almost immediately, I started looking for a companion puppy.  I wanted a large breed puppy who was young enough to assimilate into our menagerie without too much drama (read: likes cats – or young enough to get swatted a few times and learn).

I figured the task of finding a puppy would be really easy with all the dogs languishing in shelters.  I thought the most difficult part would be picking which one!

Au contraire.

That is when I wrote my rant about how I couldn’t get arrested in this town let alone have any of my adoption applications accepted.  You can read that rant here.

After that rant, many of you sent in ideas for me.  A few of them were local to California and I followed them…

Again, bust.

However, I did have a lead, finally, at a local pound where I saw online that they had a puppy who looked a lot like Atticus!  I wrote how excited I was about going to see her the next day… I also wrote that I was a bit upset at myself for not having gone to the shelter immediately after work (in my good clothes) to discover her, instead of going home first and looking online.


Now we are up to date… the last time I chatted about this, I was excited and couldn’t sleep because the next day I was going to go meet her at the Shelter after work.  You can read that blogpost here.

She needed a home and we needed her...

She needed a home and we needed her…


OK, so if you remember, a friend of a friend of a friend worked at that exact shelter and was going to let me know if the pup was still available the next day.  She was also going to read the pups’s card and tell me her exact age and whatever else she could find out.

Well, at 9am that morning, I received an email titled, “Bad News”.


I opened it.

The email said that the puppy already had ‘a hold’ on her.

I couldn’t believe it!  She had been there for a week and the day I want to go see her, there was a hold placed on her.


The one other female puppy I had seen was ‘bad with cats and other dogs’.  The male puppy was out being neutered.

I was totally stopped in my tracks – again!

I shook my head and turned my fist to the sky demanding, WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

How hard is it to get a large breed puppy who likes cats and fowl?!

An then, about a minute later,  I received another email from the owner of Scout and Atticus’ parents:

Dawn there is a possibility Scout’s sister Mayla is available for adoption. Let me know if you might be interested as the gentlemen who has her now has faced some recent hardships. Give me a call if you would like too chat about it.


I knew this guy and this puppy!  They had been there when we went to pick up Scout and Atticus!

I emailed back immediately.


I was given this man’s phone number.  I had to wait until 1pm to call.


Mayla’s baby photo… now you can feel Josh’s pain.

This is little Mayla and Clive, who is the father of all three pups, Atticus, Scout and Mayla.

This is little Mayla and Clive, who is the father of all three pups, Atticus, Scout and Mayla.



I had some time to think about what the man must be going through.  I know how devastated we were without Atticus.  I knew how quiet the house was without him.  I knew this guy was single and the loss of this pup would resound loudly.

I called him.

When he heard my voice and knew why I was calling, he started tearing up.

I asked if he was ready.

He said, “NO, but I know this is better.  I know it is better to have Mayla running on 10 acres and playing with her sister, than being cooped up all day in a crate or in a hotel room.”

And then he started to cry.

I told him that I understood… and I let him tell me all about her.

Mayla in the car on the way home from the meeting spot.

Mayla in the car on the way home from the meeting spot.


Josh (that’s his name) had a series of bad luck recently.  A big job fell through.  That job would have placed him on a large piece of property for years…  Instead, he was in a hotel room while he figured out what to do next.

Mayla had ‘destroyed’ it – basically – while he was looking for work.

Josh then moved into a home that had a small backyard.  But, Mayla dug too much.  The landlord said she had to go.

Josh was devastated and didn’t know what to do so he turned to his friend, the one who had bred the litter, and asked him if he could take Mayla back.

Josh made that call on the morning that I was headed to the shelter to get a pup.

Screen Shot 2013-02-15 at 6.02.32 PM

Pretty girl in her new surroundings.


I told Josh that I could meet him right away.

Josh was stoic and said that he would meet me in Truckee, halfway between us both.

I got in my car and drove there – without a leash or anything because I left from work.

We arrived in Truckee at the same time, a bit more than an hour later.  Me, excited.  Him, devastated.

When Josh pulled up beside me (Mayla was riding shotgun), I could feel his distress in his current situation and his distress with his decision.

Poor guy.

I looked at him and hugged him.

He exploded into tears.

You can probably surmise the contents of this brief meeting… I tried my best to assure him that I would take excellent care of Mayla and that he could really truly visit anytime.

He tried to maintain his composure but every moment was like a knife for him.  He begged me to not change her name…

Josh picked up his beautiful baby and put her in the back seat of my car – and like SOPHIE’S CHOICE he practically ran back to his car, leaving his heart ripped out and bleeding.

I just stood there, watching this scene and having total empathy.  I have known that pain and I wished I could have helped him more.

Josh drove off.

I sat in my car and we took each other in.

She was beautiful.  Mayla looked much like Scout but had Atticus’ face – just smaller.


Mayla sized me up and kindly licked my face.  She had no idea what had just happened but she was game for a ride.

I took a few pics and then got on the road.

It was Valentine’s Day.

Click image to watch a short movie of them playing!

Click image to watch a short movie of them playing!


After spending the entire ride with my elbow in her chest or my arm across the opening between my seat and the shotgun seat (she really wanted to sit up front and I really didn’t want her to sit up front while I was driving down snowy mountain roads…), we arrived back in Grass Valley.

It has been two days… Scout and Mayla are best buddies.  Mayla is much more happygolucky and energetic than Scout.  When Scout tried to dominate, Mayla just shrugs and finds something else to do.

“Whatever, Dude.  Don’t get your panties in a bunch…”

She’s fitting right in.

As I stand back and shake my head… I ponder… how in the world did it work out like this?!

I am amazed.

I realized that sometimes it all unfolds completely differently than expected – but more perfect than ever dreamed.

The girls and Hubby... already he is wrapped around her paw.

The girls and Hubby… already he is wrapped around her paw.

Buds.  Scout on left, Mayla on right.  Sigh.

Buds. Scout on left, Mayla on right. Sigh.

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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

20 comments have been posted...

  1. Theresa Nolet

    Sometimes when you think the universe is denying you your wish, you come to know that someone else had a more important wish to be fulfilled and you are actually going to fulfill a part of their need, not just yours. So happy for Maya, and so grateful that her owner had the inner strength to do the right thing by her. Josh is a true animal lover.

  2. Josh Blaine

    Hello All,
    This is the infamous”Josh”. Thank you all for your kind words. As difficult as it was to come to the decision to give Mayla up.I know it was the right thing to do.I’m confident she is in fantastic hands and the right place….to clarify one thing,I moved to Tahoe specifically to take a job with lake Tahoe adventures as a snowmobile guide and driver. Finding suitable housing for Mayla and I was the biggest problem we faced. Sicilian Mastiffs need lots of space and time,both of which I was unable to give her as I had to move from the 10 acres I had planned to live on through the first year of her life. I am especially aware of this because I raised a Rottweiler named Magnus for the last 14 years from a pup. He passed February 12th of last year. Thank you Dawn for all your kindness and you can be sure that I will come visit soon!…..JB

  3. Lydia

    I am soo soo glad things worked out for you and your new family member. They are both beautiful. I think they do remember litter mates too.I wish you all the luck. I too crried the whole time I was reading this. I have 2 Australian heelers, brother and sister, and they both are inseparable

  4. Amy

    I cried the whole time I read your post. I’m so happy for you and so heartbroken for Josh. It would kill me to have to give up one of my dogs. Isn’t it amazing how things work out exactly how they’re supposed to?

  5. Nancy N.

    Congratulations! I’m so happy that Mayla has joined your family! I have no doubt that Mayla and Scout remember one another and that Mayla is a comfort to Scout.

    Ten years ago, we adopted our sweet lab mix pup, Honey. She was part of a litter of eight puppies born to a recently adopted (and very pregnant) stray. Nine months after bringing Honey home as an eight week old, we had an opportunity to reunite her with one of her littermates (a big male named Smitty) for a play date. Smitty’s family told us that he didn’t like other dogs and therefore might not get along with Honey. The minute that Honey & Smitty saw one another, they both started wagging their tails, whining and barking to one another. They very obviously remembered and loved one another and spent the rest of the day playing together and napping in a puppy pile.

  6. -Trudy

    I’m so glad things worked out for all involved. Your dogs are gorgeous. Please forgive my “crticism” . I’m concerned about the choke chain collar, we have a friend who’s dog hung himself while wearing one. :( I would just hate for you to have more heartache so soon after loosing Atticus. :) Enjoy your blogs very much.

  7. Jeanne

    I admire Josh for choosing to do the right thing for his dog despite his own personal pain. I am glad that Mayla landed safely.

  8. Mary

    Oh my gosh, this story gave me goose bumps. It is really amazing how things work out the way they should as long as we don’t push and are patient. I am not religious but sometimes I do wonder how the universe really works. Congrats to you both. I hope Josh finds his way soon too. My Momma always says, things seem to work out for a reason, hmmm.

  9. Jody Brittain

    Things always do happen for a reason, and this reason was Mayla. What a gorgeous girl! My heart broke reading about Josh’s story! HOW SAD! As hard as it was, I hope he gets a bit of comfort knowing what a wonderful home Mayla will have. Look forward to more of Mayla and Scout!

  10. the 7msn ranch

    I once read, “there is no such thing as a coincidence, it’s just God’s way of letting you know he’s still around.” I’m not a religious person but I totally believe things happen for a reason. Does Josh know you have this blog? I’ll bet he will love seeing pictures of Mayla and watching her grow up in her new home.

  11. RiderWriter

    I am so happy for you and Scout! I wonder if she “knows” Mayla is her sister? May they live long and happy lives together! My heart is sore for poor Josh. I hope things come together for him soon.

    Yes, they really do find us. That’s how I got my girl – she was supposed to go to someone else, who’d been on the breeder’s waiting list for ages, and at the last minute the breeder found out they weren’t a suitable home (lied on application). So she called her show handler who has been in the breed for 30 years, crying, and saying, “I have a 10 week old puppy that needs a pet home RIGHT NOW. Do you know anyone looking for a girl, who’s willing to come get her in Cleveland?” (She won’t ship) Guess who the handler knew in St. Louis? Who had been looking for a pup for six months, with her help, to no avail? :) One of the best phone calls I ever got…

    (PS – Yes, PLEASE put Comments link back on the bottom…)

  12. Teresa Louis-Tomlinson

    That is a beautiful story! Josh gave Mayla the greatist gift of a better life. He is a good man!

    By the way, what breed are the dogs?

  13. ~ cheryl

    So glad Mayla found her way to your family where she obviously belongs. It is difficult for Josh, but you just gotta think there’s another dog in his future. Mayla is beautiful and happy.

  14. KarenTX

    How hard a decision that was for Josh. Bless his heart! So happy Scout has a new friend, though. Mayla looks like she’s fitting right in. Congrats!

  15. Mary

    Poor Josh…it’s obvious that he loves Mayla…such a hard decision made out of love..

    OK, question…WHAT color are the pups?!?!? Most of the time they look black but the picture of hubby and the girls, they look brindle.

  16. Peg

    I’m so sorry for Josh,but this was best for the dog. Glad he put her welfare first.
    Off subject – could the “comments”button be put back at the bottom of the post??

  17. Annette

    It is truely amazing when the universe aligns just for us. I’m waiting for that to happen for my first horse purchase. It is so easy to become impatient.
    Blessings to you and your new family member and to Josh as I can only imagine how long this wound will take to heal.

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