RYE RESCUES: June 6, 2014

Jay Kunstreich and his wife were lucky enough to adopt two dogs, both females, in their life together. He shared their tale of love and furry memories.

Published June 6, 2014 5:00 AM
4 min read


rescue-thJay Kunstreich and his wife were lucky enough to adopt two dogs, both females, in their life together. He shared their tale of love and furry memories.


raisinJay Kunstreich and his wife were lucky enough to adopt two dogs, both females, in their life together. He shared their tale of love and furry memories.

When my father-in-law used to come over to visit, he always referred to our dogs as girl dogs. He’d always had male dogs you see.

Raisin was our first. She fell into our laps, so to speak, when neighbors came by and asked if my wife (my girlfriend at the time) and I were interested in a dog. Being young and in our 20s at the time, we said why not, it might be fun. Well, that spontaneous decision led to 17 years of fun, with some trying times thrown in for good measure.

Raisin was a mix of many things, but primarily German shepherd and Sheltie. She was small for those breeds, so we thought of her as the runt of her litter. Although not a looker, she did some very cute things. She was also a fine athlete.

One cute thing she did as a puppy was to take the first sheet of toilet paper from the holder in an upstairs bathroom and pull it down a flight of winding stairs to our living room, with the sheet left completely intact. Another one of her favorite activities involved “reading” our mail before we did. When our mailman slid mail through the slot on the front door, Raisin would go ballistic and viciously chew as many pieces as possible. We’d come home and discover hundreds of teeth impressions in our bills, letters, and catalogues. Although a bit disconcerting if a letter was important, overall it was a very humorous scene.

Regarding her athleticism, one of her skills was her jumping ability. We used to pen her up in our kitchen with a very high gate before going off to work in New York City. We were extremely confident that a puppy of her size, about 10 pounds and a foot high when we got her, would be safe until we got home. Well, not only did Raisin jump the gate, she did it early in the day, for we came home to find a mess of toys, chewed furniture, and items strewn about, a full day of mischief.

Raisin also displayed mastery at catching a tennis ball. You could throw it up in the air as high as you could and she would circle under it and make the catch. No toss was high enough for her. (I was amazed and thought to my chauvinistic self that no girl could have that type of talent.)

pumpPumpkin, a terrier mix, mostly white with tan markings, was our second girl dog. We adopted her from a local shelter. She was polished: house-trained, obedient, and good-looking. She was about 2 when we got her. After getting acclimated to our home, her personality began to show itself in spades. For instance, when we took her for a walk and she saw another dog in the street, she would become very territorial and do a 360-degree twirl one way and then a 360-degree twirl back, barking all the while. You might say she was multi-tasking.

When Pumpkin spotted a squirrel on a walk, she would start a slow stalking move towards her prey before charging. The charges, however, were always ill timed; she started them 50 yards too soon, which gave the squirrels ample time to retreat to the safety of a nearby tree. Although the results were always the same, she never deviated from this approach.

In our house, Pumpkin displayed her hopping and head-turning attributes. When she hopped, she was telling you that she wanted something, usually to eat or to go out and play. When we saw her head turn to the right (the kitchen side), we knew that she was hungry and wanted some chow. If you didn’t get her meaning right away, she frustratingly filed you away in her memory bank as being slow or just plain stupid. However, she always gave you a second or third chance to recapture your intellect by trying the head turn several more times. She was our fun and joy for 11 more years.

I hope by reading this story about our girl dogs, you got a few laughs and enjoyment. We were blessed with over 28 years of them. Girls, wherever you may be, we thank you for the beautiful memories and hope to be with you again one day.

For anyone on the fence about caring for an animal looking for a home, take a chance on adoption. Yes there is work involved — and sometimes worry and stress — but in the end it is a highly rewarding experience. If you care for adopted animals in a warm loving way, that love will be returned to you in ways that will shape your life forever.

If you have a pet rescue story you’d like to share, email Rye Rescues@gmail.com.

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