Liz Beavers: Thank you for being man's best friend

Liz Beavers

I’d like to take the opportunity today to tell you about the three furry babies who share my home.

Rose, Blanche and Sophia are our “Golden Girls” --  each named after one of the characters in the popular ‘80s sitcom.

Blanche and Sophia are purebred cairn terriers – the same breed as Toto in “The Wizard of Oz,” who was, incidentally, played by a female cairn named Terry.

My husband purchased Blanche from a breeder in Maryland. We had wanted  a little dog and, being a lifelong fan of “The Wizard of Oz,” I had always wanted a cairn. Little did we know what we would be in for by giving our hearts to the lovable but headstrong little dogs.

Like her namesake, the bodacious braggart Blanche Devereaux, our Blanche struts into the room like she owns the place, and everything, EVERYTHING is done on her terms.

When she’s out in the yard, she will pound on the storm door with both front paws, sometimes seeming to rattle the whole back side of the house to get our attention.

When I open the door to let her in, however, she plops her butt down and looks up at me as if to say, “Nah. Changed my mind. Come back later and I MIGHT let you let me in.”

As hard-headed and independent as she is, however, all my husband and I have to do is look into those sparkling, devilish little puppy eyes, and we know we’re hooked for life.

One thing that especially endeared us to the cairn family, however, was the discovery that the irrepressible little dogs, as loveable as they are, are often abandoned because they are as difficult to deal with as they are charming.

And so, when I walked into a local pet store about a year ago and looked into the eyes of what seemed to be a “Blanche Junior,” I was a goner. A cell phone call to my husband and he was in the store within five minutes, and in about 20 minutes, I was on the way home with Sophia.

Named after  Sophia Petrillo -- “Ma” on “The Golden Girls” -- the latest edition to our family may have looked like a little Blanche, but she has a very distinct personality which, amazingly, matches her namesake perfectly. Our little Sophia, the one I refer to as my “bff,” is wiry and feisty, and quite a handful most of the time.

So much so, in fact, that we can’t help but wonder  if someone else would have found her too difficult and given up on her, putting her in need of being rescued.

Our third little dog, Rose, was actually the first of the three to join our family. A shih tzu-terrier mix, she came into our lives when my husband carried her home one night in a towel-lined Coke crate. Terribly ill and left for dead, she was a pitiful site as she raised her little button nose up over the side of that crate to greet her new family.

We hand-fed her and gave her lots of love, and she soon began to gain strength. She was always a little ditzy when she was a puppy, however, and so it was a natural fit to name her after the lovable airhead Rose Nylund.

Were it not for my husband bringing her home, however, our Rose would probably not be alive today. And were it some other, not-so-patient family that adopted Blanche and Sophia, they might at the very least have been abandoned and in need of rescue.

There are countless other dogs and cats out there, however, who are not as lucky.

They need our help.

Remember that I told you Toto was played by a cairn terrier named Terry? Terry was originally abandoned, as the legend goes, due to “house training issues.” She was rescued from a terrible fate, however,  and went on to be one of the most famous dog actors of the period.

Every dog is a life worth saving, and they should all be “stars” in our hearts.

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