Monday, September 22, 2014


   I had a very odd dream recently and decided it was a sign. Today, you're getting a story about a dog. It doesn't have much to do with Florida, but since it's my blog, I can wander off the path from time to time. I'm sure you've noticed me doing so, but have been too polite to point it out.

     The first dog in my life came to my family as the proclaimed ugliest puppy in the litter. I'd heard no one wanted her. Here's a picture of me at about 5 years of age with the supposedly "ugly" puppy. She was the smartest dog I've ever known and lived to the ripe old age of seventeen. I was an only child until I was almost 7 and Buffy was almost more like a sibling than a pet--a small, furry sibling. I would swear even today that she communicated better than a lot of humans I've known. When we traveled back to Florida from California by car the summer after we brought her into the family, my dad would point out interesting things for me to see along the way. I'd pop up from the back seat where I lounged on a pillow, take a look, and recline again, or should I say TRY to recline again. The dog threw herself over the pillow every time I looked out the window and wouldn't give up the pillow without a fight. It was a long trip.

     As the person nominally in charge of my household for the past couple of decades, I've made sure we've adopted several animals over the years--including a dwarf hamster my son named Thor the Assassin. I was told it was a chinchilla. Much to my embarrassment, I believed him only finding out Thor's hamster status after his death when my son owned up to the joke. 

    Right now, there are three rescue cats, one disabled, in the house. If you're thinking of getting a pet, check into local rescues and animal shelters. And don't be afraid to take a good look at the disabled pets. Betty, our disabled cat who has a condition called cerebellar hypoplasia, has proven to be an inspiration to our family as well as thousands of others through the book I wrote about her, "Betty Tales: The True Story of a Brave Bobblehead Cat." She's a funny, feisty, fierce cat with more determination that I would have ever thought possible from a little thing not much bigger than a loaf of bread.

     So I supposed you'd like to read about that dream...

     I found myself at a pet adoption event. One of those where local rescues bring loads of animals to a local pet store and hope that some of them find homes. In my dream, I saw an adorable tan short-haired chihuahua named Peanut. I decided that little male chihuahua was meant to become part of my family. I ran all over the store and made hundreds of calls until I got the manager of the rescue. She told me that Peanut wouldn't be ready to be adopted for another couple of months, but they had a female dog, about 35 pounds, who could go home with me today. I wailed, "But I want Peanut. I want to take him home and name him 'Macadamia'." 

     Don't ask me. I don't know. Dreams are weird.

    So now I'm thinking the cats might like the company. I'm keeping an eye out for a chihuahua temporarily named Peanut... I know he's out there somewhere.

(c) 2014 Ruth Hartman Berge


  1. Ruth, what a great story! I appreciate you "wandering off the path" ... every now and then. I am an avid animal advocate with my current focus on the FREE spay/neuter program in Lake Worth via Peggy Adams.

    We currently have grant money for the Lake Worth, Green Acres and Wellington area for the TNR program and I am trying my best to spread the word and to offer help to as many as we can reach before the grant money runs out end of the year.

    To help spread the word and offer help for this free program, I started a Facebook Group: "Community Cats of Lake Worth" -- we are having great success!

    We've even started a local cat meeting to help spread the word, we have had experts from Peggy Adams come and share info with us, to meet one another, and possibly to even incorporate as a nonprofit since we've had such great interest.

    Not long ago, one of the members found a "bobble head" kitten and shared her concern and asking for help/solutions in our Facebook Group. I'm going to share your book in our group!!! I know many will be able to related :-)

    Thank you for the story!
    Danika Dahl

    1. Thank you, Danika! There is also a couple of wonderful facebook pages about CH cats. Here's one of them:

      We had no idea about the condition when Betty wandered into our lives. Thank you for all the work you and your group do in Lake Worth. Peggy Adams is an incredible blessing to Palm Beach County!

  2. Loved this story. I wanted more. :-) We as humans never give enough credit to animals. They are companions and caregivers, as well as furry siblings. They will always be there for you and are never "fair weather friends."

    1. Thank you, Rocketwoofer1! I've been grateful to be blessed with lots of little furry ones, and a couple of feathered ones, too!