DOG PARENT FAMILIES
Beth and Steve Brown with their 16-dog “Fur Crew” Beth and Steve have sixteen fur kids. “Steve and I purchased a king size bed for the dogs…. You should have seen the salesman’s face when my crazy husband informed him it was for the 9 dogs that sleep with us!” Beth says. Their family began with Rudy, a now-8-year-old Mini Schnauzer. Then came Petie, a shy Pit Bull whom Beth’s sister rescued from a dumpster. “All the other members of my crew are Dachshunds.” They added Riley, Raegyn, and Ruste as puppies; Spike and Destini came from retiring breeders; Bekah, a returned pup, is now in her forever home; Lily was a grand-dog who needed more attention; then came the wirehaired wieners—Tuesdae, Reese, and Gabe (the latter was a gift from Beth’s breast cancer survivor “sister”); Heath is a puppy-mill survivor; Dodger’s previous family tried to euthanize him because of his fear of the husband (“Steve is working on his man fears,” says Beth); Jasmine is a backyard-breeder survivor; and the last member of the crew will be 9-week-old Baker. The Browns adore each and every one of their babies. In 2009, Beth was diagnosed with breast cancer and her dogs sensed her pain. “[They] would be really quiet and just crawl up in my lap or lay with me on the couch and give me kisses every once in a while.” They helped her recover and, Beth says, asked for nothing in return except love and care.
Rebecca Menapace with Hans, Heidi, and Greta Ever since Rebecca was a child, she gravitated towards all things canine. “Many people might think I am a little odd, because I would far more prefer the company of my dog, any dog, to that of most people. The love is so whole, unconditional, nonjudgmental, and unending.” Rebecca says she is one of those crazy people who takes her fur-babies— Hans (a German Shepherd), Heidi (a Rottweiler), and Greta (a Dachshund)—to every place possible where they are welcome. She loves coming home to their joyous welcomes and simply lying quietly next to them in bed at night. Rebecca says that as a part-time groomer, she not only loves her own dogs, but everyone else's dogs too. “I have puppy play dates in my yard several times a month. Because I know how important it is for dogs to just be dogs!” The only vacation Rebecca and her family have had in years has been to stay at her best friend’s cabin next to a beautiful creek, where all dogs are welcome. One of the first things she asks people is whether they like dogs. “If the answer is no, then that’s usually where the relationship ends. How could anyone not just love these awesome creatures! Dogs are just simply good for your soul!”
The American Dog Magazine | Fall 2011 101
MAGAZINE - FALL 2011