Stoney joined our family in October 2005, just a month after we bought our house in Romeo. We had a half acre of grass that was fully fenced and it was screaming for a dog to patrol it.
After looking around a little, we decided to check out K-9 Stray Rescue League in Oxford, Michigan. We liked the idea of adopting a dog who had gotten lost and finding him a new home. We especially liked that this shelter rescued dogs from other shelters who were going to put unwanted dogs to sleep.
I can’t lie. We went to look for a dog hoping for a beagle. I’ve always wanted one… heck, I still do! But after walking around the shelter we knew we had to adopt one of the larger breeds they had in abundance. We had actually picked out a female yellow lab first. But the attendant looked at our family and said, “There’s a really nice male you need to check out. But he’s down at PetCo in Auburn Hills right now.” As soon as we met him Kristen gave me “the look” and our hearts just melted for him.
All the way home we debated names. The kids wanted something like “yellow” or some other descriptive name you’d expect from a 4 and 2 year old. But I managed to convince them that we should name our dog after a favorite park, Stoney Creek. His name has since morphed to it’s permanent name… Stoney J. Baloney McLane.
Today, I took Stoney to the dog beach down in Ocean Beach. Stoney is still transitioning into a west coast style of January. A year ago I’d throw his ball in the backyard and watch him lop through foot deep snow to find the spot where the ball disappeared into the snow. As he chased the tennis ball, other dogs, and did all sorts of dog business it suddenly dawned on me. He is both a great dog and a very fortunate beast.
I kind of wonder what he thinks of sometimes. A crazy family who first gave him a great yard than one day told him “car ride” and drove him 2500 miles west and south? Does he wonder if he’ll get to go back there and dig up all his old bones? Or does he just try to forget about yesterday and focus on the present?
Does he think about the family who first bought him? Does he think about the day he ran away from them and got lost? Does he think about his time at the Humane Society in rural Michigan? Does he wonder about the other 100 dogs from the K-9 shelter?
Stoney is a great dog. He is disciplined and gentle. His worst habit is waking us up at dawn to let us know it’s time for his daily meal. He rarely barks, and when he does we trust it is for a good reason. He even likes the family cat, Lovely.
I don’t know if you’re in the market for a family beast. But if you are, let me remind you that there are shelters everywhere filled to the gills with pets of all shapes and sizes. Puppies and kittens are great. But slightly “used” animals are still fantastic.