In August of 1968 we found out that a baby was on
the way.  We decided it was time to buy our first
home.  The first thing I wanted to get for our new
home was a new puppy.  I wanted something small
that could actually grow up with our first child.  I
decided to get a toy poodle.

Here I learned to do my homework first and find
out how much work is involved with a particular
breed.  A poodle under normal circumstances would
have been fine, but a poodle and a brand-new baby
is another story.  Poodles need regular grooming if
they're going to resemble poodles.  My little poodle
resembled a tangled, furry mass of dribbled baby
formula and sticky cracker crumbs.  I wanted to
learn how to clip her and groom her myself because
groomers were so expensive.  As a young family with
a new baby just starting out, we just couldn't
afford it.  So I did the best I could.  Thank heaven
for sympathetic mothers.  When my husband was
working, I would spend time at Mom's.  There was a
groomer not far from her house, so occasionally we
would drop Princess off there on a Saturday to be
clipped.  She always looked so nice with a ribbon in
her hair when we picked her up.

Princess found she actually had 2 homes.  The one
with us and the one at Mom's.  She was happy in
both places.  I was very glad of that when I found
out during the Summer of 1969 that our new son,
Jeff, was sick quite often.  Jeff had a chronic
problem with tonsillitis.  He would be over one
session of tonsillitis and become sick again in less
than a week.  The doctors determined that even
though Jeff was less than a year old, the tonsils
would soon have to be removed.

All my time was spent caring for a sick infant.  The
surgery couldn't safely be performed until Jeff
was closer to 2 years old.  I felt Princess was being
neglected and it would be in her best interest if she
stayed with Mom for a while until after the surgery
and after my life settled down a bit.  A month after
Jeff's surgery, our second child was born.  Shelly
was small but a real trooper and very healthy
compared to Jeff.  I was thinking about bringing
Princess home again so she could be with both
children.  By this time, however, I could see that it
would have torn Mom apart to take her away.  
Ginger had since died of old age, and Princess was
the center of Mom's life by this time.  So I felt I
had to give her up.

Princess lived out her days with Mom.  She actually
lived to the age of 18.  She was there when Jeff
was born and still there when he graduated from
high school.  She had become deaf and blind, but
otherwise in good health.  She got along very well in
her surroundings as long as nothing got moved.  She
suffered a heart attack one night and was taken to
the vet.  The vet said he could give her medication
to bring her out of it, but she would probably be
paralyzed and have no quality of life.  He said we
should let her go because she had 18 happy years
and should be allowed to end her life with dignity.

Princess was my first encounter with a handicapped
dog that was both deaf and blind.  But it taught me
that even though a pet may be disabled, it can still
have a very good life.  As you visit many of my
other dogs, you will find out that quite a few of the
dogs I have shared my life with have been disabled
to some degree.  In a moment of despair, I once
asked my vet why I had to deal with all these
disabilities when I was getting one after another
and there was no end in sight.  He said it was
probably in God's plan to point these dogs in my
direction because he knew I would do my best to
care for them and give them good lives, no matter
This is Princess after she
moved in with Mom.  She was
probably about 10 years old
in this picture.  She lived
until the age of 18.  
This is Princess and Jeff.  
Jeff was 9 months old and
learning to pull himself to his
feet.  (Wonder what they
were doing on that table).
This is Princess with her
little fuzzy face.  Jeff was
about 3 months old.  (Jeff is
the one on the left)
This is pregnant me holding
Princess the day I got her.  
Ginger is looking on trying to
figure out what I was holding.