Thursday “Throwback” Thoughts – June 22, 2023 Edition: Dogs Part 9

Meet Pharaoh

Pharaoh was the biggest min pin I’d ever seen.

After seeing a post on Facebook about a minpin looking for a home, Pete and I decided to get him. He was about an hour to the north of us, in Wolverine, MI. When we got there, we learned his story: He’d been – along with several others – a family pet. Then the family left their rental home and moved to New York. When the owner went there several days later to clean, she found the home full of bags of garbage. Including the dogs. The other dogs were too large for her to take home, and went to a shelter. But Pharaoh she took home to try to find someone to take him.

Pharaoh came with more baggage than any other rescue we’ve taken in. He never did totally bond with me, though he easily became my dog, choosing me over all others. He was sweet, gentle, and scared. He didn’t like to be cuddled or held, but always wanted to be near me. He was a dog whose gentle heart had been shattered, and I knew he would never fully trust again. But as attached as he was capable of being, it was with me. And I accepted him for offering what he could, and loved him enough for the both of us. As time went on his attachment and loyalty grew a bit, but he always withheld a part of himself, and didn’t seek out physical affection.

We were together for 9 years. He would play, and have his happy moments, he fit in well with the pack for sure. And he could RUN! For a 22 lb dog he had speed like no other dog his size I’d seen, and he LOVED to “go bye-bye”! He had just about the sweetest face of any dog I’ve ever owned!

He was also a garbage hound. Unless it was locked up, he’d get into the kitchen trash any chance he got. We tried putting it in the broom closet. He figured out how to get it open. We finally had to put a latch, up high where he couldn’t reach it, on the door. If ever it wasn’t latched and we left the room for even a couple of minutes, he’d be eating whatever he could find out of the garbage, even though he had plenty to eat!

There was something about him, his look, that sweet precious face, that made my heart break at the same time it swelled whenever I met his eye. There were times it seemed like he WANTED to love me back, I was sure I saw it in his eyes…and those looks still haunt me.

But he was as sweet as sweet could be, always. And I ADORED him!

I have a TON of photos of him, great ones – lots of face shots – but I can’t find them at the moment…here is one that I found, he had been laying on this pillow and was in the process of standing up when I took the picture. I laughed when I saw it, I thought, “I wonder when he ate that smurf?”

In 2016, after our 9 years together he started to slow down. Then pant and cough. The vet put him on meds and a special diet, but within weeks the exertion of moving at all was too great, and he was throwing up everything he tried to eat. The last couple of days of his life he just laid next to me, on his side, staring at me. I made the call and took him to his last trip to the vet.

As we were waiting for the vet, he was laying on a blanket on the exam table and I was standing at the end of the table, petting him gently. After a few minutes Pharaoh laboriously stood up and took his last two steps, toward me, where he laid his head on my shoulder, pressing his chest against mine. And I knew I was right all those years, he DID love me…

I’m sobbing as I write this. That dog touched me somewhere in my heart that no other dog ever has, and remembering the one hug he gave me always makes me cry. I will never forget him, that’s for sure…


Speedy Gonzales ~ Obi Wan Kenobi ~ Lady ~ Spanky Marie ~ Mick ~ IcyQ ~ Chandler ~ Doodlebug ~

4 thoughts on “Thursday “Throwback” Thoughts – June 22, 2023 Edition: Dogs Part 9

  1. We do take on a lot of pets rescued from their previous horrid life. Pharaoh was one such pet and we gave him a better life for those years with us.
    I tear up, too, writing this.
    Maybe we both are rescues. We each have our own baggage. We are rescues of God who has given us a better life than we can imagine.
    Maybe this is why God brings these rescues into our lives. He knows we ‘have been there’.
    Our pets, past, present, and maybe future, God entrust us to care for them as we care for each other.

  2. Pets, dogs in particular, are often referred to by the word “family.” They are “family” to us.
    While that is true, they consider us as part of their family. They have a natural inclination to belong to a “pack.”
    It is special (and to a degree, amazing) to be part of their “pack.

    Each, we and they, take essential roles in that incredible relationship. Bonding, nurturing, protecting, and mourning are all parts of the journey.

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