A Gift On The Last Leg

March 4, 2010

By Lysa Fitzhugh

The Gift of Tuesday ~ A Co-rescue Story

I keep waiting to be ‘on my feet’ – employed (full time, perm.), financially stable, social – before I add two new puppies to my life – puppies I plan to raise as therapy dogs to help heal others. I hadn’t considered that I, myself, still have more healing to do. From job searching, to choosing which bills to pay with available funds, to processing the unexpected tragedies that twice struck my inner circle, I was loaded with mental weight that I was carrying admirably with hope and peace as my strength. But I was given a gift to help me through these days anyhow.

One Tuesday morning I tapped into some motivation to get back on my running path. Beyond the health benefits, running is a type of meditation for me. The structure, rhythm and exertion lead me to feelings of stillness, balance and accomplishment. This is at least one thing I can control during times of crisis or stress. I had been holding fairly steady as far as emotions go. I believe God has given me the gift of peace through this waiting period. Unbeknown to me, another gift was coming.

The run started out as any other, and I encountered the expected exercise enthusiasts and their pets, but one dog was on her own and could not be corralled by strangers. I suspected one of the other people on the path would find her owners, and so I ran on. Only I had the subconscious knowledge this dog would still be there on my return to the path head. Sure enough, there she was. She picked up on the last leg of my run and followed me home.

After giving due diligence to the search for her owners (signage, microchip check, Web search), I resolved to the knowledge I already held – she was sent to me. After being without a canine companion for three years, there she was. No sooner did I bring myself to the place where I could welcome new dogs into my life, she was brought to me to help me through the last leg of struggles and pain of this period.

The past several months have been filled with runs, chatter, barking, routine, attachment, love, silly talk/songs and taking care of each other. Thank you to the unseen powers that brought us together and made us both better for wear.

NOTE: Her full Native-American name is ‘She-Who-Roams-Tagless-On-Tuesday’ – ‘Tuesday’ for short.


Healing Hounds Project Validation

April 17, 2009
Photo from Therapy Dogs International (http://www.tdi-dog.org/Default.aspx)

Photo from Therapy Dogs International (http://www.tdi-dog.org/Default.aspx)

One of the main reasons behind my efforts to give back caninewise is because of the healing effects of pets. Better TV captured it perfectly. Follow this link for useful information on the healing power of pets:


Additionally, keeping your dog in shape helps keep BOTH of you healthy and happy. Follow this link to learn alternative fitness therapy FOR your dogs:




April 7, 2009


Early Monday morning (4/6/09) while still asleep but aware of my surroundings, I heard puppies barking. They were not outside or on the radio. I have to wonder if they are on their way to me. I can’t say I’m completely ready, but I’m open to the possibilities. Recent experiences have led me to ‘change my mind,’ and it feels good. As a result, I believe new doors are opening and great new things are coming through — including puppies!


A Toast in Memory of Slick

November 13, 2008

Well, today marks two years since I lost my boy — Slick — a one-of-a-kind Dalmatian Slickwho was there for every event, meal, emotion and ASU football game. (I taught him to cheer TDs with me.) I learned more than I could have imagined from my 11.5 years with him and from the two years since his death. I learned how relationships are tested and that you must accept them as they come, go and change. I learned how I mourn and how others receive my mourning. I learned that responsibility for another’s health and happiness creates discipline in my own life. And I learned the truly healing power that can come from a deep connection with a pet — even after they have passed. For that and more, I raise a glass today in memory of one of my best friends.

It took this long to come to a place where I can start to accept new pets in my personal life and letting myself love them. It will still be a process once I do finally welcome them into my home, but I know it will be positive for me and for those to whom I open my doors — hounds and humans alike. So from here I start the process, and with hope, it will always be an extension of the healing process. By that I mean I hope the two new dogs that I will eventually connect with will not only help and heal my heart, but the ailments of others. I believe these two pups will come to me by Divine Intervention (and by Slick), and we will reach out to others to help and heal. Therapy dogs. What better way to give back (caninewise) what I have been blessed to receive. They’re not here yet, and I don’t know when or where they’re coming from, but the process has begun.

I plan to note the events on this Weblog, so the experience can reach beyond wet noses and wagging tails.

Stay tuned!