Shelly moved to Florida in the fall of 1995.  She
had been "petless" for such a long time and
decided she wanted to get a white Persian kitten to
share her new home.  She checked out a few pet
shops and couldn't find a white kitten.  Then one
day she walked into the mall pet shop, and there he
was.  It was an American Eskimo puppy who
managed to steal her heart.

Shelly did a lot of traveling when she first moved
to Florida.  Little Reno was practically raised at
our home.  Our house offered what he didn't have
at Shelly's -- a large fenced yard to run in and
other doggie companions to play with.  Serena (See
Serena's Story) joined us a few months after
Reno.  The two puppies really enjoyed being
together.  It was fun watching them play
tug-of-war with an old sock.  This was their
favorite game.

Reno traveled back and forth between Shelly's
house and our house for the first 6 years of his
life.  After all, what are "grandparents" for?  He
was very definitely our "granddoggie".  In
December of 2000 Shelly got married and moved
to a new home.  Reno apparently was allergic to
something in the home or in the backyard.  His
little footpads started to break out in a rash that
just wouldn't clear up.  When it got to the point
where his feet started bleeding on a regular basis,
Shelly asked if he could stay with us for a few
weeks to see whether his feet would heal.  Of
course we told her he could.  Sure enough, after a
few weeks his pads healed and he didn't have any
other problems.  However, as soon as he was taken
back home, the problem redeveloped.  Even the vet
was unable to determine the cause.  So, Reno
became a permanent resident with Shelly coming to
visit him at our home.  The source of his allergies
was never discovered.

Reno is now going on 11 years old.  He is very
healthy but still seems to have a seasonal allergy
to something in our backyard.  Like clockwork,
twice a year we go through a period of itching, leg
biting, and bald spots.  Fortunately it usually
responds to a cortisone injection given by the vet.  
Other than this, Reno is a very happy and
well-adjusted little guy.

Reno is very sweet and loving -- so much so that I
don't really mind the balls of white fur that
decorate my house during shedding season.  This
would be a good time for a short haircut.  After
all, Eskimos in Florida?
In Loving Memory of Reno
7/19/95 -- 6/2/11
My sweet boy, you didn't come to live with us until your later years, but you
brought so much joy into our home. You loved your tennis ball and even
insisted on taking it to bed with you at night.  You loved all your pack mates
even though many of them would never give you a moment's peace, always
pulling your beautiful long, white fur.  

As you grew older, it was evident that you had a lot of pain from arthritis,
but you never complained.  You took it all in stride and accepted it and lived
your life to the fullest.  Age caused you other problems too.  You got lost so
many times.  You remembered you had to go out to the yard, but then you
would wander around, forgetting how to find your way back to the house.  
Your best friend, Benji, would go to the yard and lead you back in.  Benji will
miss you.  For the last 6 months I had to feed you your meals with a spoon
and you loved it.  I never minded doing that for you.

We had to leave you with your wonderful vet when we traveled to Michigan to
attend three graduations.  Apparently you made the decision to leave for the
Bridge while we were gone.  I believe you wanted to spare us the hard
decision we would have had to make for you, so you took over and made the
decision by yourself.  I only regret that we weren't with you to say goodbye.

But you knew that we would never really say goodbye.  I know in my heart
you are with us always.  Your memory is safe within our hearts, my beautiful
White Dog.

Reno's original story continues below.