Friday, February 8, 2013

Please welcome...Kipling!




Ooh, I am so sneaky. I have a really, really big surprise for you all: we have adopted a dog! His name is Kipling.

Isn't he beautiful? 


As stories go, this one came entirely out of the blue and was a bit bendy just like life. 

When we went up to Grenoble recently, Ben stayed with his beloved pet-sitters Camille and Guillaume, a young couple who met as they are both volunteers at the S.P.A. des Baux de Provence (no not that kind of spa, people, it is the local version of our ASPCA). When we picked Ben up, Camille casually mentioned "Oh we have a dog that could be Ben's sister at the shelter right now." My jaw dropped open, I had to know more. Golden Retrievers are not nearly as popular in France as they are in the States and I can assure you, you never see one up for adoption. Ever. I have long hoped to get a second Golden as a companion for Ben but alas, the 1000€ fee to buy a puppy was prohibitive. This rare opportunity was one worth exploring and so a rendez-vous was set for us to meet her the following Saturday.

However, you can't force these things and there was absolutely no spark or connection with this pretty girl for either Remi or I. And worryingly, she has a wide sway to her gait plus a back leg that points out that made me fear that she has hip problems, something which would pose a challenge in our second floor walk-up plus we knew we couldn't afford to bring in a dog with special physical needs. We said our good-byes, knowing that she would be soon be found by the family that was right for her.

Guillaume took us around the facility to meet the other dogs in residence, an astonishing 140 in all (plus 80 cats, a goat and several sheep). The noise from their raucous barking was disturbing, their eyes, when pleading, heart-breaking. Then we turned a corner and in the holding pen for new arrivals was...a very beautiful dog...a Golden/Collie mix. He was frozen in fear and as we approached, he started to shake. Guillaume, who hadn't yet met him, went in to his pen first. The dog immediately took refuge at his side, as he did with Remi after. A paw was offered, eyes closed, looking for a bit of peace, to forget where he was for just a moment.


He offered me the same gesture, repeating it as we headed out with him for a walk. Here, was a dog of utter sweetness. Just like another we know...


When I sat down, he tried to crawl into my lap. 


Our hearts were thumping in our chests but we knew that before even thinking ahead, we needed to make the introduction with Ben. But we did put down the option to be the first to be able to adopt him if he wasn't claimed during the ten day holding period. 


We came back out with Ben on a Wednesday and followed the advice that my friend and wolf-photographer Jeff Snyder, who is experienced in these types of situations, gave on how the moment of meeting should take place. Sniffing occurred and we kept walking...


We all were amazed to see that their coloring is exactly the same. Can you tell who is who?




Yes, this wonderful dog, even in the very reassuring company that Ben provides, still...


...needs to seek safety and comfort...


...and yet...it seemed...


...that they were willing to imagine being friends...

video

Fast forward to our second visit with the dog, who we have already started calling Kipling. It happened naturally and immediately. I looked at him and "Cali" came out, which sounded too feminine. Remi responded with "Kipling" and that, really just rang true. For despite his timid debut, he is a dog that is very...brave. He is simply shell-shocked as he should be. Kipling was found outside of the biggest supermarket of Arles, waiting patiently for his owner to come back. According to what we have learned, he might have been there for nearly a week. Waiting. He was not claimed, nor does he sport a tattoo or microchip to take him to his former owners, let alone a collar with any indication. We even went to ask around in the area where he was found. Such an incredibly sweet dog, how could he have been abandoned?


We might have found the reason during our second visit with Ben. When Kipling finally had the confidence in us to roll over on his back, feet in the air, Remi found a very large lump on his lower belly. It scared us to pieces as perhaps it did his previous owner. We spoke with the Director of the shelter, who felt that as the lump was completely soft, it was not a malignant tumour. She promised us that, whether we adopted him or not, she would have it examined and taken care of as need be. Kipling, as he was now being called in the shelter, was already scheduled to have the operation to be neutered, the vet would do what needed to be done. We waited on pins and needles to hear what was the verdict of the lump.

It was an intestinal hernia. A very large one. I will let you look up the details of that on your own if you are curious but what a weight on this gentle soul. And what a serious surgery for him to undertake on top of his being neutered.

We picked him up on Wednesday. All has gone very well so far. Ben has been a champion, the most considerate host and yet he knows very well, somehow, that Kipling is here to stay. The main challenge so far has been in keeping Kipling from pulling off his heavy bandage and ripping open his stitches. In order for that to happen, we need to keep a strict eye on him during the day (for he is trying) and to put the dreaded plastic cone around his neck the night, which he detests as is understandable. He also will only do his business while backed into a bush, which is a bit problematic as we live in the center of town where there is nary a blade of grass to be seen. But we will work it out. Kipling has been through so much in so short of time. I really give him credit for coming to us with such an open heart.


He seems to love both the hunter green cushion and the blanket that we bought for him on the run when the shelter called to say, "You can pick him up today after 2:30pm, yes?" Yes, we'll be there. 


I bought his blanket quickly at Casa, an inexpensive home store that was next to the pet store where we bought his collar. I didn't realize until it was unfolded that upon it was written, "Home is where the heart is."

It has been a fascinating few days. All of the subtle negotiations between these two really beautiful dogs--both males of the same age--as they try to find their place together. Kipling, who, at times through the fog of his pain medication, wakes up with a start to know where he is and presses his forehead against my leg. We reassure him. Such tiny moments as Kipling touching paws with Ben are a big promise of what is to come...and last night there was even a few gentlemanly yet joyous attempts at play! 

 Remi, Ben and I are all doing our best to welcome him to our home and to our little family. 

I know that you will all fall in love with him too.


*Update: Swane, the Golden girl that we initially went to meet, has also been adopted*

I would like to extend a big thank you for the support and suggestions from my family and friends at The Gold Post (a must visit website for Golden lovers) plus of course, our deep gratitude to Camille, Guillaume and the volunteer-run and sponsored S.P.A. des Baux, which is a no-kill refuge.


All of these links are in French but for those of you in the region, I know that they could use old blankets to help keep the dogs warm in winter. The S.P.A. does a great job with their visitors. They are walked regularly and we saw such love and attention given to them on each visit. 

Bravo à la SPA et merci pour tout ce que vous faites!













121 comments:

  1. Hello Heather:
    This is simply wonderful. We are so very happy that you were there to give Kipling the kind of home he surely could only dream of and we are certain that very shortly he will be as much a part of your family as Ben is now.

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    1. Thank you my dear friends, I certainly hope so. And there is an innate elegance in Kipling that I know that you would both appreciate. Hopefully, you will meet him this Summer?
      Gros, gros bisous,
      H

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  2. Heather,
    You have melted my heart! These photos are beautiful, and as I read your post, I had tears! Just think..... you only need two more to have a brood like mine!!!!
    ~Cheryl

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    1. Cheryl, trust me, if we didn't live in an apartment in the middle of town...but already is not bad, no? :)

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  3. My dear friend..we are so much alike! i had to read your story out lout to my husband. i was so emotional. I grew up in the french country side and brought home every old sick mutt that would cross my path. At one point we had more than 10 dogs. I adopted my beautiful Cali who was scheduled to be euthanized . She was with us for 10 years, our cat still misses her. I swore that i could not go again through the pains of loosing a do, and in 30 years of living with up to 4 dogs at once, I have said goobye to many beloved pets. But part of me was so empty and my cat so lonely. I sent my sons to the worst pound in a terrible neighborhood to bring a rescue dog home...they arrived with 2 pit bulls! challenging at first but what can I say it was love at first sight , once again.
    Your story touched me deeply and your photographs are so sweet. I wish a very speedy recovery to kipling and a beautiful love affair with his new family

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    1. Merci tellement, Francine. Kipling already looks far less groggy than he did in the photos I took yesterday, which is great. And I agree with you that even though our lives are quite different, we have much that is important in common! Although I grew up with dogs, cats and horses (plus two not do great experiences with a bunny and birds), I couldn't have any pets for a long time--from when I was living in NYC through to being here because we were travelling so non-stop. When it became clear that we would be travelling less, my first request was "Now, can we FINALLY get a dog?" It is hard to imagine living without their amazing company. I feel so lucky and am very grateful.

      And I would love to see a photo of your two Pit-bulls!

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  4. This is so wonderful Heather but I have to admit I had to walk away from this post twice because I was crying, who would leave such a gorgeous boy? I am so thrilled for you Remi and Ben but most of all Kipling to find such a wonderful family and a place of his own. Ben and Kipling look like true brothers it’s amazing how much they look alike. I’m so happy for you all! What a lucky boy Kipling is to have found you.

    XXX
    Debra~

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    1. Oh dear, I am so sorry for the tears, Debra! I should have thought ahead that this might be tough for my fellow dog-lovers (and Golden lovers more specifically!). But so far, it seems we are going to have a happy ending...
      Bisous and a hug,
      H

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  5. What a wonderful story, and with a happy ending that is also a joyful new beginning! Kipling's eyes are so expressive - what a beautiful, sweet dog. Like Francine, I am a sucker for dogs in need of rescue and have two currently that had miserable beginnings in life and have travelled across continents with us. I wish Kipling a good recovery and all of you happiness!

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    1. Merci, Karen. And how wonderful that you have totally changed the destiny of your two. It is a beautiful thing, isn't it?

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  6. My heart is so full from this post. I forwarded it to Paul, who commented on what pretty dogs they both are. And I visited the shelter page -- so many interesting/beautiful faces there too.

    I love that I can see the collie in Kipling's face and that he and Ben are off to a good start. I told Paul that I would be watching their relationship with interest, because some day, you never know, maybe we'll get a second dog too.

    So, congratulations, mazel tov, gros bisous to you and scratchies to Ben and Kipling. And do keep us posted on progress. I am on the edge of my seat!

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    1. I promise, Judith. And that doesn't surprise me in the least that you went to see the other dogs. Yes, there are some truly stunning, gorgeous puppers there. It was an overwhelming experience to see them all and I give so much credit to the volunteers who work so hard to give them the love and support they so deserve. So many of the stories were far, far too sad to repeat here.

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  7. Ah....the dogs that bind our thoughts together....
    Here at the ranch, home to 5 dogs and two cats...
    ( 5 rescues, what can you do?!) Mine however all girls hehehe!
    The boys look fabulous together! Have fun...
    Hugs H

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    1. Of course, you of all people would approve of this post!!! :)

      And oooh, how I would love to have a girl, one day...
      Hugs right back to you too...

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  8. Heather I've just sent this post to seven other golden lovers/owners who will absolutely love this post! I keep looking at the pictures, so wonderful!

    XXX
    Debra~

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    1. Hooray! Thank you for spreading the word, Debra!!!

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  9. Oh, it was just meant to be. Imagine waiting day after day for your loved ones and yet still being able to open your heart and trust again. What a wonderful creature. He waited for you as you waited for him. Very best wishes for a happy future for the whole family. Irene xxx

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    1. Thank you, Irene. That brought tears to my eyes.

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  10. Hello Heather

    I am delighted to see Kipling and Ben hanging out. You have done a marvelous deed here in rescuing Kipling. He knows he won the lottery and will always be grateful to you and Remi. You have so much fun to look forward to and two more beautiful ornaments could not grace the floor of your apartment.
    We had a similar experience with a rescue, like Swane, and it felt so weird as we walked her as there was absolutely no bond. We tried everything but to no avail and oddly when we left with her we knew we did the right thing in not taking her. Some months later, Spice Girl was waiting for us at another shelter 2,000 miles away and the little flirt won us over.

    I look forward to further stories of Kipling and Ben

    Helen xx

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    1. Helen, that was exactly the same experience that we had with Swane. She didn't respond to voice or touch, she wouldn't come close to looking us in the eyes, even after we got her away from the noise of the shelter. But she is a beautiful, joyful girl and I am sure will be dearly loved by the family that adopted her. And as for Spice Girl, I do believe SHE won the lottery as well! My Mom saved Sweetie, her current dog--literally saved his life on the last day and wow does he know it and show it. They are all so special, aren't they?

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  11. Oh, H! This is simply wonderful! Congratulations on the newest member of your family and honestly, what a beautiful dog. I love the name Kipling. This post just pulses with your joy. Thank you so much for posting all of those photographs -- they speak volumes.

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    1. I love the name Kipling too! Bravo to Remi for that one! :)

      And I told you that it was a good surprise...

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  12. Oh, Heather.....every bit of that is just lovely.....thank you.

    Just now, my first response is to recall a quotation from J.D. Ackerly that I wrote at the bottom of a very large, multi-image portrait of two very funny, inseparable, and lovely dogs (a boston terrier and a jack russell) that was commissioned by two Canadian doctors whom I've never met (they commissioned the piece through my charleston, SC, gallery). I finished and shipped it last week....but not before writing the quotation at the bottom edge. It's particularly appropriate for a rescue dog....and your household.....

    "A dog has but one aim in life....to bestow his heart".

    give my regards to Remi.

    Admiringly,

    David Terry
    www.davidterryart.com

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    1. How thrilled the doctors will be. Remi and I know first-hand how special it is to be the proud owner of your work. I love that quote, it certainly rings true to me!

      I'll give your hello to Mr. Photographer once he comes back from his photo shoot.
      Hoping all is well in your neck of the woods...

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  13. OMG Heather. My emotions fluctuated between highest glee and despair as I read through your post. But what a lovely ending to a heartwarming story. I can't tell you how happy I am for you and Remi, Ben and most of all, Kipling. Rescues make such wonderful companions; they in some way seem SO APPRECIATIVE. He is a lovely dog beyond compare. You may have to give him a little time to adjust (I'm sure you absolutely know this). When we brought our Valerie home, she literally lay on the sofa three full days (except for eating and potty) and didn't respond to us. On the fourth day, she came and happily jumped onto the bed with us and she has never looked back. We just don't know what they have been through and how it may have affected them. But it can be overcome with love and affection toward them.

    Both our Goldens are rescues and both are WONDERFUL (But is there ever such a thing as a NOT WONDERFUL Golden?) You guys will be the best owners for him. THANK you for sharing this wonderful news with us. And tell Ben he will love him as a brother in a very short time!!

    Sanda

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    1. Both of your beautiful Goldens are rescues?!? Wow. Such loves. And yes, I hear you. My friends on the Gold Post have been reminding me that I won't start seeing his true personality for a while and certainly not while he is spending so much time healing. And no, we have no idea what they have been through. But I can tell you that there is a furry face pressed on my knee looking up at me as I type...

      We really are doing our best to reassure Ben (who is very used to being the center of our world) that he will loose nothing but only gain "un frere" (a brother)...

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  14. Heather,
    What a lovely story. I am so happy for all of you, especially Kipling, for finding such a loving home. He was waiting. And there you were! He really is remarkably like Ben, although I love his pointy, striped nose. Welcome, welcome Kipling. You are brave indeed.
    Thanks too Heather for the links and for being so open and sharing this story with us.
    I love the photo of him on your lap and the leaning hug Remi is getting in another one. Love to you all.
    Aidan xo

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    1. Love to you too, Aidan! I was just writing about what a truly wonderful person you are earlier today. :)

      So...we will see how things go once everybody is settled in but who knows? Maybe a play date with Clementine might need to happen???
      Bisous!!

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  15. Sorry for coming back with another comment, but ever since I read your post I can't get it off my mind! Thinking about all those lovely photos of Kipling and how absolutely beautiful and sweet-looking he is. It IS amazing how he and Ben are exactly the same color, and Kipling looks more Golden than Collie. I knew from the picture of which you asked if we knew which was which. Even though identical from the back, knew the lead would have belonged to the new dog; none needed for Ben! Again, thank you for introducing us to Kipling and I so look forward to accounts of your adventures with your two wonderful pets.

    Sanda

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    1. Oh Sanda, please don't apologize for that! You are welcome to come back often! And also, if you have any other advice or thoughts, feel free to chime in. Although I have grown up with animals, this is the first time that I have adopted a dog, so your perspective is much appreciated!

      And I agree that Kipling looks 75% Golden and 25% Collie but 100% handsome. :)

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  16. Well, of course, you know I am simply thrilled to hear your story. Kipling definitely has the Collie nose and eyes (I've had 3 Collies) causing him to look so gentle & sweet and, yes, his coloring and Ben's is exactly alike, so they are cosmic brothers to begin with. Kipling has found the most wonderful home on the planet as these photos attest and I know he will recover completely. Thankfully, he had a problem which was fixable.
    I don't know if I told you that my poodle, FiFi, is a rescue. I've had her for 12 years now and cannot imagine life without her. Dogs. Truly man's best friends, always. Big hug to Remi!!

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    1. I had no idea that FiFi was a rescue! Lucky girl! Oh my, she must live the high life!! Whew, I can only imagine what it must be to be a coddled Texan poodle. Maybe that is what I should aim for in my next life?

      And Marsha! Three Collies? Do tell please. What do I need to know? Honestly, as the taking home process came way ahead of what we thought, I haven't had two seconds to look up the breed. All I know is that they are great and smart dogs.

      Thank you for the wonderful compliment. I can already tell that for this dog an ideal home would be one in the country or at least with a garden as he really comes alive when outdoors, so perhaps he will lead us there...

      Thank you friend. Will happily deliver that hug to Remi. ;)

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  17. Heather, I am siting at the kitchen table, here in Toronto, in the middle of our biggest snow storm of the winter....How your story and pictures just warmed my heart. A few tears were shed for a beautiful dog being left alone, waiting, just waiting........You are good people! I just know your two dogs will be happy together

    Helen - Toronto.

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    1. Hello Helen and thank you, thank you so very much for your kindness. There is some part of me that is protecting myself, that won't quite let me imagine to the full extent of what this incredibly sweet dog experienced. I can't yet. He spends his days under my desk and gets up when I get up, are you surprised? I am not.

      And yes, I know that for my Mom and Sis in Ann Arbor, Michigan it has been a bruuutal winter. Wow. I watch your weather forecasts every day and shudder. Please stay warm and well.

      With all of my Best,
      Heather

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  18. Congratulations to you all!

    At the first photo, my there's Ben smile all ready when a huh? stopped me. The dog face didn't feel warm Benish, but looks like Ben. What a laugh to think that's a...wait until you scroll down to see you know who face.
    Kipling's features are thinner, more Cary Grant than Ben/Gary Cooper.

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    1. Oh my gosh! Maywyn! I love that so much. So very, very, very much. You do have a way with words and you never waste them either. Buuut...but. Well, we will have to wait and see who Kipling shows us to be but for the moment, it might be the opposite. Ben is the ultimate sweetie in his soul. He was neutered when he was so young, there is never the least bit of "Man's man" about him and Gary Cooper was most certainly that! I will keep you posted...For sure, looks-wise you hit the nail on the head...

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  19. I shall have to visit Heather... I can't wait to meet KIpling... :) ADORABLE... xv

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    1. Quand tu veux, chère Vicki, quand tu veux...mais attention...you are NOT taking him home to keep Apache company. However, I did meet a huuuuge gentle giant at the refuge who could do that job quite well...really. Beautiful as can be...
      xo,
      h

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  20. oh, Heather - what a beautiful tale of beauty and kindness and hope and waiting and companionship and rolling around and finding new friends.

    hopefully somewhere the tired and lost soul who had to walk away for whatever reason somehow knows that kipling is now at home and safe and getting well again and cared for and clearly Loved.

    sending the bestest of wishes from over here to you and yours.

    _tg xx

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    1. Leave it to you to give me the thought I hadn't thought. The perspective needed.
      Gros Bisous,
      H

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    2. the universe has a way of making new connections when someone needs to break their link in the chain.

      #magical

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  21. Oh Heather I am thrilled for you, Remi, Ben and Kipling and of course I am already smitten. I can already see that Ben and Kipling are going to have a very strong bond. I can't wait to hear the stories of their adventures. And I am so pleased that there was a happy outcome for Swane.
    XXX

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    1. Is Kipling also welcome for a visit chez vous? We haven't abandoned that idea in the least. Remi brought it up today...

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    2. You are ALL welcome any-time,just let me know.
      X

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    3. Good to know, friend. We want to make it happen when we can...

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  22. Heather, I'm so happy that Kipling has a good home and a wonderful family in you, Remi and Ben. Both dogs look alike and will make great companions for each other. I got very emotional reading your post, so happy for Kipling and sad for animals who are in shelters still awaiting adoptions. Glad to hear the other Golden Retriever was adopted. What a wonderful surprise and a great story. Congratulations on the new addition to your little family.

    XX from Stella & Dante (my dogs) to Ben & Kipling.

    Amelia

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    1. You have dogs named Stella and Dante? I love that! Oh, you are a special one, Amelia. Are there stories involved? Well, there always stories! And yes, the day we met Kip was a very hard one for me. I was so torn. Between hope for him and true despair for the others, so wonderful, so deserving. A deep, deep sadness lasted for days. I give the volunteers so much credit. They give their hearts freely.
      If you ever wish to email photos of your pups, their is my email address on my profile!
      Have a wonderful weekend,
      Heather

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    2. Heather, there's no great story to how I came to have both dogs. Stella and Dante are Weimaraners. Dante belonged to my son. He moved to practice law in another state, and gave Dante to me. Son was worried about the dog being alone all day without exercise or a companion. Stella was from a breeder. I'm treading the day that I will have to look for another dog. If and when...I'll adopt one from a shelter.

      Bon weekend!
      XO

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    3. Bon weekend à toi aussi Amelia (I permit myself to use the informal 'tu', I hope that is ok)!

      Weimaraners are such beautiful dogs!! I bet they are good company too...

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  23. What a glorious post, and a very precious addition to your family. May Kipling be much loved (no doubt of that), and sense the warm welcome and security that every pet deserves.

    (Our own dog of many years had been abandoned. She never quite got over the shellshock, but the result was the most extraordinarily loving spirit - a big dog - with incredible gentleness unless my little boys were threatened.

    We loved her deeply. She is still sorely missed, having passed away at home with us, after a long, good life.

    xoxo to both Ben and Kipling.

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    1. D, you are such a dog person. I know that you gave your girl a wonderful, wonderful life. We will try to do the same with Kipling.

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  24. Heather! This is wonderful and such a sweet video:):) Having two dogs myself.. I can tell you their love for each other will grow and how fortunate they BOTH have YOU. this story brought tears to my eyes as I think of what some of these animals have been through. Abuse of any sort.. his heart wrenching. The animals are like children and do not understand. I have often thought that when I retire I would volunteer at the hospital to hold and comfort {drug} addicted babies OR volunteer in an animal shelter. Loved this..

    Have a nice weekend.

    lesile

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    1. Thank you, Leslie. I must say that I so appreciate your generosity of spirit. I see it on your blog and in your comments, always.

      And when I am thinking that it could be a good idea to volunteer there if I finally learn to drive. We both have a lot of love to give, so why not?

      Wishing you an excellent weekend as well,
      H.

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  25. I will take a beautiful dog post anyday!! How sweet!! It was especially nice to watch the video of you all. Bonne chance!

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    1. Thank you so much, Leslie. Hopefully we won't need it but I'll take it just in case!!!

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  26. I have been wondering, with choking heart, what became of this plan. And how wonderful the outcome is. Isn't it so very sad that people abandon their pets because their is medical care required? I understand that people can be poor, but there are always others willing to help when animal suffering is the alternative. How absolutely beautiful that you and Remi were the ones to rescue him.

    And oh my goodness, these two are twins! Not their faces - so very, very different - but the rest of the build and colouring - quite amazing. They will make a fine old pair out for a walk, and I am guessing that you will be stopped even more often so that people can compliment you on your fine dogs. Bravo to you, Remi and of course to Ben too. xx

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    1. Especially to Ben, my dear friend. Especially. I cannot begin to explain how he has continually adapted throughout the time. It has been a tough week for him even if he really likes Kipling. Which he does. But bless his heart of gold for doing his best, just like we are to try and make it all work.

      And we don't know if that was the reason he was abandoned--we have no idea why--it is something that I am just going to have to make peace with, eventually...

      Did Hen see the photos? I bet she would approve too!
      Lots of Love to you,
      H

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  27. YAY!!!! As we say in St. Remy, Mazel Tov!!!! Can't wait to meet him.

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    1. You will love him, Jules. Miss you, friend.

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  28. Sue at Naperville NowFebruary 8, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    simply lovely.

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  29. Wonderful story: beautifully told in words, photos and heart.

    Joan and Snagglepuss, rescued in Madagascar where we lived for three years, Paris five years, now retired in Florida for past six years. Took him in, when brought to me as a beaten, terrified, handfull of fur, just to take to vet, save his life, and then, in a week or so, be sure he got to a good familiy. Clearly, as a single person, working long hours, traveling for much of the time, I couldn't possibly keep him. HA!

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    1. Eh, oui Joan...eh oui.

      But in reading this, I have to say my first response was "Joan Mckniff has a dog named Snagglepuss? And she lived in Mada...and Paris?!?" Did I know any of that already? Certainly with you I wouldn't be surprised...by any of it. Especially in falling for the little ball of fur.
      Bon Weekend,
      H

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  30. Heather - this is such a moving story - here's to good health for Kipling and for you all - I am sure Ben will have many frolics with him as you all will!!!

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    1. Thanks as always for this and your lovely previous comment. I really do appreciate all of your kindness and support.

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  31. Heather,
    Congratulations to you and Remi and Ben on your new family member. Rescue is such a great way to go, you will be rewarded a thousand times over. Kipling is so lucky to have found his way to you. I wish him a speedy recovery and all of you, many happy days together. Regards, Patty in California

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    1. We already have been awarded a thousand times over, Patty. Truly. Thank you for your wonderful wishes...

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  32. Oh, Heather, I am so happy for you!!! What a beauty, he fits right in. :) Give my love to Ben! Parker, Daisy and I miss you and hope you guys are doing well. Big hugs!!

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    1. Jenn!!! Miss you too and I would love to know more about home Parker and Daisy are as well!!!
      Hugs right back...

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  34. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story. It is similar to how we got Duffy, our Golden Setter mix...she was in the new arrivals holding pin at the SPA in Marseille and when I asked to see her, she came out and crawled into my lap. There was no going back after that.

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    1. Nope, there sure wasn't. It is exactly the same story!!!

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  35. Double the fun! They look as though they could have been separated at birth. I think people who adopt children and animals are heroes. Congratulations.

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    1. This is our first time adopting. I have always wanted to and am so grateful that it happened. But it is the children and the dogs that are the heroes.

      Are you home yet? Where are all the millions of food posts that I begged you for?
      *me, shaking my fist at instagram or pinterest or wherever you share the good stuff*

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  36. Heather, I don't know what to say!! I have tears in my eyes! I am so glad Kipling has found you and Ben! Congratulations!!!
    xx
    Greet

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    1. Merci beaucoup, Greet. I know what a fellow animal lover you are. Thank you!!

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  37. Heather, You have managed to warm even the Hawaiian tropical breezes with this post! What a wonderful tale (or should I say, 'tail'?) Congrats on the new arrival. You may have to start a whole new blog to keep us all updated on the two fur-babies of yours! Look forward to many more stories.. . . .xxx Jackie

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    1. Oh my, one blog is enough as you well know!!! And you silly, what a joke with "tail"! Oh, the breezes of Hawaii...it has been a wonderful week but a bit stressful one...I could use a pupu platter and a Mai Tai!!! Enjoy one for me!!! :)

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  38. What a heart-warming story and a beautiful new addition to your family! Wishing Kipling a speedy recovery. xx Sharon

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    1. Thanks Sharon! Sending my best to you en Afrique du Sud...I missed one of your posts this week with all that is going on...and you know that is saying something!
      xo,
      H

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  39. Wonderful, beautiful story Heather! The look in Kipling's eyes says it all. I am so happy for all of you, these are the moments in life that are truly meaningful.
    Blessings - Laura

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    1. Thank you so much Laura. I couldn't agree with you more. I know that I need to relax a little bit...I really want this transition to go as smoothly as possible...

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  40. This is such a wonderful story of love and caring. All the best to you, Ben and Kipling.

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    1. Thank you so much Pamela! And please stay warm!!! I have been talking to my Mom and Sis in Ann Arbor and what a brutal winter it has been!!! Brrrr....

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  41. Tout est bien qui finit bien, pour Kipling. Well done, Heather, Remi, and Ben of course, who in due time, is going to realize how much fun it is to have a brother :-) I don't know how you could even bear to visit la SPA and look at the animals. Even though all my dogs have been rescues, including the current one, I have never EVER been able to look at more than a couple of animals in those cages before I break down and head out sobbing. My husband is usually the one who pre-selects the potential candidates and brings them to me outside. You have done a wonderful thing, and whatever happened to Kipling, he will get over it and love his new life. Bravo, les amis. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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    1. Merci beaucoup, Vero!! And I won't hide it from you, that first long visit to the SPA messed me up royally. I felt like concrete had been poured on my chest. It took me days to shake that heavy sadness, despite our hopes over Kipling. And yet they so need the love and attention that the incredibly lovely volunteers give. I give them my deepest respect. I still can't shake the image of some of those dogs, all wonderful in their way...especially the older ones...whew.
      And thank you so much for the encouragement. As this is our first adoption, we really can use it.
      Gros Bisous,
      H

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  42. Aw....they are so cute together. And almost like twins. We always think about getting a mate for Pico, but I know 2 dogs are a lot to handle. You're very brave!

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    1. You know, Elizabeth, it honestly is not that much different! I have to walk Ben anyway and since Kipling is so good on the leash it isn't a problem at all. Ooh, I hope you will reconsider!! :)

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  43. I read this on Friday but didn't comment. I had to come back for a second view of darling Kipling. He is gorgeous. I am sure that he and Ben will become firm friends. Retrievers are like that, they seem to befriend everyone. I do not think they have a bad bone in their body.

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    1. I don't either Loree. And I was just talking about you today to Remi...we were dreaming about what Malta must be like!

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  44. Thinking of him waiting for his owner in a parking lot to return for a week just breaks my heart. How could anyone abandon an animal? It really upsets me. The poor thing must have been terrified, and also really cold. It warms my heart to know that he is in a happy home. What a lucky fella to be adopted by such a wonderful, god-loving couple! I'm glad Ben is welcoming him as well. : )

    I'm also pleased to know that Swane was adopted to. : ) Everyone loves a happy ending.

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  45. I am bursting at the seems with happiness that Kipling has found such a loving home! You are a wonderful Mama to those boys xo

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  46. Oh he is just a cuddle on legs, I am hugging him from here.
    Back in the day I wanted to be a an anthropologist/archeologist, I spent time with various tribes in Africa and lived with the Sioux for a while too. Of course, here I am with two part- time minimum wage jobs!

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    1. Oh I am understand that all too clearly, Tabitha. But we can be grateful for having had such adventures, right?

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  47. What a heartwarming story and what loving special dogs! Good luck to you all and God Bless!

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  48. I can see why you have 94 comments! What a lovely post. I had a golden that I loved with all my heart. he's been gone 12 years and I still miss him. My rescue kitty Meeps now holds my heart in her little black paws.

    And yes, the dog on my post yesterday looks so much like yours!

    Bienvenue Kipling and a big smoochie smooch!
    V

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  49. They look like twins, just perfect, I love this story!
    There are no coincidences and it's just funny how these beautiful animals "find" us. It was meant to be.
    I hope Kipling recovers fully soon.

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  50. I'm all teary eyed!
    What an emotional story, Heather.
    I believe there are no accidents. Kipling was meant to be part of your family.
    Bringing him home from the shelter and welcoming him to your home is a great mitzvah.
    Of course, I am not surprised!
    I look forward to getting to know Kipling better through your blog.

    xo
    Brooke

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  51. Oh, that brought a tear to my eye! How exciting that you have such a sweet new addition to your family. There are few things in life more wonderful than a dog!

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  52. They are like twins, aren't they? Lovely and congrats on the addition to your brood. While abandoning an animal is never a great choice, in some ways, it is like giving up a baby for adoption. Perhaps the prior owner was simply flat broke and knew Kipling would get better care. A long, long time ago someone dropped off a gi-normous Mastiff at our farmhouse. Citykids, we actually first thought he was maybe a teenage bear. Anyway, turns out her had a bad case of mange, which is over $1,000 to treat. The dog catcher told me that he's always found that owners will spend time looking for a place with other dogs ... and he was right, we had a sum total of three 'visiting' dogs dropped at our feet.

    Anyway, lovely lovely and great that the hernia was repaired. Huzzah for finding a long lost friend.

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    1. Thanks friend. We do wonder if that was why he was abandoned. The hernia certainly looked like it could have been a tumour when we met him. And he is still not completely healed. We are having some issues with needing to drain blood and liquid that is gathering near his stitches. Hopefully he will be well soon!

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  53. I'm back!Woooza.......love the story love the two of them on the sofa!Ben such a gentleman!What a beautiful story!Just think your Boys will NEVER leave the Nest!
    Xoxo

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    1. So glad you are back--I would be lost without you!!

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  54. What a sweet boy. We've had two foundling s...one a beautiful collie abandoned in the basement of a house and our wonderful BIG lab who appeared on our porch during a New Year's Eve snow storm.

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    1. Pat, I am so moved to hear these stories. And sad too about your collie. But grateful that they have both found a wonderful forever home. Life can be so surprising, can't it?
      PS. Does Kipling look like a collie to you?

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  55. Ben and Kipling look like long lost friends and how lucky they are to have you. So happy to connect this way through Viki and it's wonderful to know you are so close. It made me chuckle that you describe us as 'doggedly' following our dream, these gorgeous guys are really on your mind.

    I have also not caught up with everyone but will do that today, wonderfult o be in such great company xx
    ciao lisa

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    1. Oh my gosh, did I really?!? Heehee, guilty as charged!

      And we are lucky to have you with us. :)

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  56. What a gift, for all involved, and such a beauty he is! I adore the name as I am a big Rudyard Kipling fan but truly, it's an inspired name for a dog.
    Happy Days ahead!

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    1. Why does that not surprise me that you are a Kipling fan? :)

      And he is definitely a wonderful gift indeed, we just need to get him healed...

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  57. No Wonder you have so many followers!

    What a beautiful story!!

    and what a wonderful dog story; both for your dog; and the new dog!

    Dogs are "pack animals" and they are happiest when there is at least one other dog!

    BRAVO!!

    Lucky dogs; and lucky you and Remi in Provence!

    Bravo!!!

    Penelope

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    1. Merci beaucoup, Penny. I always grew up with two dogs and so have been looking to get a companion for Ben and for us as soon as we possibly could!

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  58. Heather,

    What a beautiful and heartwarming story. Kipling is so very lucky that you found him! It is always heartbreaking to see abandoned animals...I wonder if his previous family could not cope with the financial implications of what they thought perhaps was a tumor?

    Whatever the case Kipling, Ben, Remi and yourself are all the better for this beautiful addition to your family.

    I am looking forward to following along on all of your adventures.

    Have a great weekend, Elizabeth

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    1. Thank you so much, Elizabeth. A quiet weekend as we are still getting Kipling settled but thank you and yes, we wondered the same thing...
      All my best,
      Heather

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  59. Such a happy ending -- we, also, have a dog (a lab mix)that came from a shelter. She, of course, is the best dog
    in the world and we couldn't imagine live without her.

    Love your blog - we live in upstate NY - but I dream of France and Paris everyday.

    Enjoy the newest member of your family!

    Lauren

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    1. Ooh, thanks Lauren but I know from experience that upstate NY can be mighty beautiful too! Give your beautiful girl a bisous from me please...

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  60. As I read this post I was overcome with tears, anger, hope and finally love.
    What a beautiful story and yes, we never know what is around the corner.

    Can I say in my touristy mind... I see everyone in Provence walking one of your dogs, preferably in dark green pants, muddy boots and a tweed sweater ?

    Thanks for stopping by and for E Wix.... I am always amazed at her use of words everyday. I am reading one of her books now and it is lovely.

    The Square Ones send woofs to cousins in Provence
    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Sending their favorite scratchies to your two. But oh my, that description made me cough out a laugh. We are not all of us wealthy in Provence nor priviledged, alas...I do have the muddy boots and a tweed sweater that is, shall we say, "vintage"...my puppers don't care what I wear as long as they have all the love I can give, a fine lesson for a former miss fancy pants nyc me.

      Cheers right back at you...
      Heather

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  61. Ooooh! Kipling is so, so beautiful! I love how he offered up his paw to you upon first meet! Just adorable. How wonderful for Ben to have a play mate now. I look forward to future posts of the two of them ;-)

    Clare x

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