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Home / Articles / Columnists / Dog World with Tina /  A Brothers’ Tale
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Monday, October 4,2021

A Brothers’ Tale

By Tina Valant-Siebelts  

Once upon a time a cute pup found himself alone and dirty, in a backyard. An old smelly crate was available to take cover during the rain. Wondering how this happened, and what he could possibly have done wrong? Roger started out as a beloved family member, an inside-the-house dog in Miami-Dade County’s agricultural area. He became an outdoor refugee due to a nasty divorce. All he could do was bark and whine his displeasure, at all hours of the day and night. A nice neighbor (with recommendations from Animal Control) convinced the family to surrender him to rescue.

Roger had little human interaction, guidance or training during his months in solitary outdoor confinement. His unsavory manners included jumping up on everyone. Excited, he just wanted to see them, eye to eye. Rambunctious and vocal, Roger was nearly 70 pounds, with a wiry sparse beige coat, and back dewclaws (rare). His huge head housed soft brown eyes outlined in black. When he looked at you, he really looked into your soul. This was obvious from the first photo I saw of him; he was extra special. His unique canine recipe was attributed to Irish wolfhound, Wheaten terrier, and who knows what else. Rescuers in several groups (where he was being networked) agreed, Roger was “one of a kind.” One of the foster homes changed his name to Henry while in her care. It didn’t stick.

Dear friends told me to be on the lookout. They were ready to add a canine member after taking some time to heal from the loss of their senior dog. Incidentally, his name began with an R, and was also five letters. Now that’s a sign, I thought. Some family members had allergies. I knew from the wiry coat (low dander), he would probably not cause any reactions. Showed them his picture, and as Chuck Woolery would say, “There wasn’t a love connection.” However, my sixth sense affirmed: he was their dog.

He got bounced around (some might say, kicked out of) several boarding places and a few foster homes. An affable fella, he just needed structure, daily walks to expend his boundless energy, and a family to love. Through social media, I saw he was now just 10 minutes west, and quickly wearing out his welcome. The foster family said, PLEASE come meet him. I called my friend, and asked her to go for a ride. We left with Roger.

A couple weeks went by.

I kept Roger while his family went on a short trip. Good with my dogs and uninterested in my cats, he was a quiet, calm, happy boy. A rescue friend’s social media post caught my eye. Her dog, Henry (!) looked a lot like Roger, and came from a small rescue in Redland, FL, an agricultural area in Miami-Dade County. From the same area, Henry and Roger were the same age and size, with soulful eyes, gentle demeanors, and wiry coats. I asked if we could meet for a play date. There was no doubt in my mind, they were related. Their reaction to one another would be telling.

Roger and I arrived first and kept a watchful eye at the empty dog park. Roger’s ears perked up, and he looked toward the gate. Henry, his mom, human brother, and canine sister entered the park. He caught their scent and looked at me, making a funny noise. He lunged forward, as if to say, I think I KNOW **HIM**! They carefully approached each other, with the body language of “Could this REALLY BE YOU???” They crouched into the play-bow position. I noticed Henry also had back dewclaws! The boys took off in a run, barking their elation. There were many happy tears.

The handsome brothers’ joyful reunion, rare back dewclaws, wiry coats, combined with the same style of play, saunter, and vocal abilities verified their familial connection.

A tale of two brothers, reunited. They lived happily ever after.


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