It’s Emmi!

Of all the kids that have darkened our doorway, none were as sick or broken as Emmi.  Not before, not after, and hopefully never again will I ever look into the eyes of a dog who had so completely given up.  She wasn’t scared.  She passed scared long before we ever met her.  Emmi was to the point she knew everyone was going to hurt her, she knew she couldn’t stop it, so she just lowered her eyes and waited for the inevitable.  It wasn’t as if she could run away, she could barely walk at the time.

The first day I met her, I believed Emmi would never make it to the Ranch.   There were two reasons for this: First, I wasn’t sure she would live.  But she did.  Second, she was so delicate, so wounded, so far away, I thought our home, even as a foster home, would be too rough on her.  My bad.

Within minutes of moving to the Ranch from her quarantine foster home Emmi’s eyes changed.  She began looking up.  The tail began to wag, though not as a normal dog wags, and she came to life.  And she played, boy did she play!  She had never played up to that point.

This is the part where you are thinking:  “OK, here it comes.  The Crazy Dog Lady is going to talk about how well she and The Crabby Man work with dogs.”  Sorry, that isn’t the case.   The humans of the house had absolutely nothing to do with Emmi’s changes – it was the other kids who did it.   Being reunited with her brother, Slugger the Stupid, and a larger pack of welcoming K9’s  buffered Emmi from direct human contact and allowed her set her own pace.  If we the humans did anything to help Emmi emotionally, it was to leave her alone and let her come to us.  I am not so sure the outcome would have been the same if we forced ourselves on her.

It was I think a couple of months before Emmi did her first people cuddle, and it was with The Crabby Man.  Yup, I took a picture. It was a monumental event.

Emmi’s first cuddle

Before this, though she accepted us, she still had her doubts, and for that reason, we didn’t push her.

Emmi latched onto The Crabby Man long before she decided I was kind of nice to have around.  Maude was the original Daddy’s Girl, but Emmi…  Emmi could write a book on the subject.  Despite not being as organized, punctual and neat like Maude and Franky, Emmi has a power over The Crabby Man the likes of which Maude never had.  Please note:  Emmi in no way nudges Maude off the Daddy’s Favorite Girl pedestal, but Emmi has innate powers over The Crabby Man.  Maude had to figure out how to train him as she went.

Emmi is wild, yet loveable.  She is adventurous and fun.  She will accept any dog into the fold on their terms, but if they aren’t cuddlers, they better learn to do so in a hurry because Emmi loves dogs, and she likes to show it.

Emmi is Slugger’s biological sister.  We say Emmi got all the smart genes, Slugger only got the pretty ones.   Where Slugger couldn’t get his own head out of a paper bag, Emmi wouldn’t have gotten her head stuck in the bag to begin with.  Standing side by side, it is hard to believe they came from the same litter, but if you look close, they both have the same butt hump and the same floppy pig ears.  Slugger is delightful in a stupid way, Emmi is just delightful.

We did try to rehome Emmi, but in December 2011, x-rays revealed that Emmi’s past and her Valley Fever had left her bones riddled with problems and she will require a lifetime of treatment.  If people were reluctant to adopt her over her Valley Fever medications. costing $40 a month, chances were no one would manage her health issues overall. Therefore, on Christmas Day, 2011, on a Family Desert Walk, Emmi got the promise that we were her forever family.   So far, Emmi hasn’t raised any objections.


In closing, I need to give a little dedication here.  Emmi’s name was originally Hope.  When she got the promise that she was staying with us, we realized “Hope” had to go.   You tell me what we sound like calling out “Sarah!  Gracie!  Hope!”.   Way too puritan for our tastes.

There came a time when I was introduced to The Puppy Rescue Mission, more particularly the story of an Afghanistan stray puppy named Emmi, loved by a US soldier.

It had been the soldier’s hope to bring Emmi to the United States where she would be loved.  The soldier’s plea for help and her story about Emmi really effected me.  Sadly, Emmi died before she could be saved.

War Zones and Third World Countries don’t corner the market on cruelty.  Our then Hope was proof of that.

Two defenseless little girls, worlds apart, with similar lives.  One died.  The other carries her name.  Neither will be forgotten.

To help soldiers bring home their battle buddies, please visit

To all soldiers, past present and future:  Thank you for your Service.

9 thoughts on “It’s Emmi!

    1. To all who are reading this: As I said, Emmi has powers over The Crabby Man. For him to get mushy and call her a “treasure” is completely out of character for him! He didn’t even say anything about his primary girl, Maude.

  1. Your post brought tears to my eyes! Emmi is a beautiful dog and I love the photos of her snuggling! She looks so happy in these photos and I think it is an honor to her that you gave her the name Emmi after the pup who didn’t make it. So sad that is! I am glad you were able to help this dog and allow her to be part of your family and pack! I just want tho thank you for being such a great dog owner, this world could sure use more people like you! I am a big dog lover and have two dogs of my own, Zeus and Lucky. They are so funny, loving, and snuggly! I love them with all of my heart and soul! My name is Melissa Crowley and I am on a mission to save my favorite dog! I have started a blog for my Rottweiler Zeus called Saving Zeus. He has a rare genetic disorder and we are trying to raise funds for the medical tests and treatment that he desperately needs. Also on my blog, I have funny stories and really cute photos of both of my boys. If you would like to make a donation or share our blog to help us save Zeus, or would just like a laugh after reading a funny story, visit my page. Since I am just getting started on my blog, there will be many more stories to come so check back every once in a while!

  2. I love reading about all the dogs whom you have touched and loved. Many
    dogs have also come through our home and my Cranky guy melts for the puppies. You have inspired me to write about each pup that we have loved, each their own story. All but one are gone. They have all been found forever homes or passed on after long happy years, so maybe it will help me to let go because I miss them every day. We had to let our sixteen-year-old poodle, Puppy, go about six months ago. We are down to one amazing little girl, Ms. Keeter, a younger Chihuahua we rescued to keep Puppy company. Now, she makes us be her doggie friends.
    Thank you for saving the babies, wish we could save them all. (The human babies too.) I have been trying to get my Cranky guy to foster and he says he can’t handle losing any more dogs. The carpets are not even brought into the discussion, they are damaged beyond repair, I just keep shampooing and try to keep them smelling nice. I think we have burned up about ten machines. Anyway, smiles and hugs to you and all the kids. Jeanne Marie

    1. Jeanne Marie,

      For the fosters that have moved on, you are OK to let go. Your job is done. You helped them to find better and that is a good thing.

      But for the ones that have passed on, please write the stories, but not as a way to help let go, but as a way to keep them close. You shouldn’t miss them every day – you should remember them and remember just how lucky you and they were that the stars aligned to bring you together.

      Yes, Cranky, Crabby and Grumpy men are enigmas. They whine and complain, but try and send a kid to an adoption event, or ask him to help screen a potential home and suddenly you realize it isn’t the Crazy Female that has separation issues, it’s the He Man. Crabby complains that it’s my ‘fault’ we have so many kids. In reality, he’s the one that finds reasons to keep them. Many having lifetime medical issues just makes it easier for him to ‘justify’. (well, that and few people will take medical dogs). Men are a strange species sometimes…

      Please write your stories so we can all meet your kids!

  3. Thank you. I will. My guy shows me the pups and then he tells me why we can’t take another one. He knows once I look in their eyes, it’s all over. Of course, then it’s in my rug court.
    We are dancing around the idea of getting another dog right now and I have no idea where this waltz will lead.
    I do know that each dog that has died on our watch has left Doggie Heaven (our house) to go to a place where there are no leashes or fences and the streets are lined with biscuits. A place where they will never be abandoned or hurt. And I count on seeing them all again.

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