Johnny! Be Good! A Dog Rescuer Story

Okay, so we did it again.

It is true. Alan and I have a large family pack. We don’t ever really intend to get more dogs. In fact, we say, no, we have enough dogs.  It’s not even the cost of the food or their care. It more being able to walk from point A to point B in our house without tripping over a dog. We don’t want more dogs.

But then, a dog rescuer moment happens, where one or both of us are called into action, we save a dog from the middle of the desert, or from mistreatment, or from being hit by a car, and suddenly we have one more dog in the family.

This time it was a little different.

After our terrier mix Sassy died, almost three years ago, we were both heartbroken. While we adore all of our dogs, Sassy was special. She was a hugger. She would actually wrap her arms around you when you held her. And she died way too young. We knew she was one of a kind, but we also knew that if we ever ran across a dog who resembled her, we really wouldn’t have any choice. We’d have to have that dog.

A Dog Rescuer Story

Last week I happened to go to the Pet Smart in Rancho Mirage for the first time ever. I’d usually stop at the one in La Quinta, but I was close by, and it was easier to go there. They had about 10 adoptable dogs in the front part of the store. I stopped (I always stop) to pet them. Then I noticed this little guy:

Johnny3I stopped short and took this picture. And emailed it to my husband.

Johnny8And my dear, sweet husband emailed back, “Why did you?”

Well, because we have a lot of dogs, because we were leaving for the weekend to run the Rock and Roll Marathon. Because I believe a couple should make these decisions together. But Alan saw the same thing that I did. Sassy.

Sassy10This dog was a lot smaller, and his coloring is slightly different. But those eyes. That expression. The look. Pure Sassy. Enough that both of us would tear up at first. Enough so that when we got home from San Diego, we found out the rescue organization and arranged to meet.

Johnny5I went after work on Wednesday. Alan couldn’t be there, so I sent him a couple pictures.

Johnny4I think he kind of liked me.

Still, it was a big decision that I didn’t want to make alone. Currently, our oldest dog, Sydney, is not doing very well, and we were worried about upsetting his world. I told JJ, who runs Bandits Resort, that I just couldn’t take the dog (who they were calling Branson) right then. I told him the situation, that I needed more time. Though as I left, with tears in my eyes, I told him, I might just be calling tomorrow.

I was almost home, stopping at the store, when Alan got the photos and messaged me back.


We called the next day. This time Alan and I both went to meet the dog. By then it was pretty much a done deal. We paid our adoption fee and he was ours. He was a little scared of Alan at first. Who knows what happened in the first seven months of his life? He was found on the streets in Redlands. He was in danger of running into traffic, so they used a dart on him. He was thrown in a cage, so scared that he wouldn’t eat (he’s still very skinny), and destined for death. Fortunately, Bandit’s Rescue stepped in, and now he’s ours. It took him about the length of the drive home to warm up to Alan.

JohnnyAfter a lot of thought, we decided to name him Johnny. That was my dad’s name, and though we didn’t name him after my father, I like the sound of it. Two minutes after we decided on the name, he was barking at our cats and I said, “Johnny! Be good!” I cracked myself up, and we decided that Johnny B. Goode was the perfect name for the dog of a couple rock and rollers.

Things have settled down in the last couple days. While the bed is a little more crowded, there is less growling and obvious jealousy. Johnny is very sweet and loving, not only with us, but with all of the other dogs too (though a couple of them don’t appreciate that yet). He is a puppy, so he can be very excitable, tends to jump up on the table, and walks over or under anything that gets in his way. Not a lot of training in his past life, but we’re working on it.

Johnny7He is chipped, but we bought him a tag on Sunday. He looks pretty settled in, doesn’t he?

Johnny10Alan thinks, and I believe him, that this was meant to be. This little boy who needed a home, my unusual stopping at that Pet Smart at that particular time. Johnny not only looks like Sassy, he moves like her, sleeps in the same position (on his back legs spread), and has her “sassy” attitude.

And don’t worry. I realize that Johnny is a different dog. I won’t just love him because he is “like Sassy.” He will have a personality and charm all his own. He already does.

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  1. says

    I’m more of a cat person, but I can totally relate to how you can have a real relationship bond with a pet. I hope you’ll be extra happy with your new pet! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving me such an insightful comment on my sibling rivalry post!
    adrian recently posted…Is It Sibling Rivalry or Bullying?My Profile

    • says

      Your post really touched home for me. It can be a difficult topic for parents especially (as I mentioned in my comment, who wants to think of their child as a bully?).

      We’re cat people too. As a matter of fact, my husband feeds the ferals in the neighborhood, so we are surrounded by a lot of cats.
      Debbie Woodruff recently posted…Johnny! Be Good! A Dog Rescuer StoryMy Profile

  2. says

    Awwww what a special story. You have saved Johnnys life I am sure, and you are right, it was meant to be. You and your husband are wonderful people. I am sure he will be very happy with you :)

    Side note…on your phone screen shot it says 106! Is that the temp already? WHeeeeeewwww! That is hot!
    Tina Muir recently posted…Secrets to Success; Suspension System ExercisesMy Profile

    • says

      Ha! I was wondering if anyone would notice that! Yes, the last few days have been around 110. The worst part I think is that it doesn’t cool down. Even now at about 5:30 am it’s probably 85 outside.
      Debbie Woodruff recently posted…Johnny! Be Good! A Dog Rescuer StoryMy Profile

  3. says

    Oh this brings tears to my eyes, such a sweet story. I hate to hear that Sydney isn’t doing so well, but so glad you found this little one. Such a sweet face. Both of our dogs are rescues and i wouldn’t do it any other way.

  4. BreannaS says

    He is adorable and now has a long and happy life before him! Congratulations

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