By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Lady and the Fam
Mommy Musings 2-28-24

There’s just something about a dog.

As I type this, our newest family member lays at my side, no doubt wondering when we’re getting out of bed.

Deadline days often times start for me, watching the sun come up from the comfort of my bed, laptop ready and coffee flushing out the early morning fog of my brain.

This week, as I woke with my mind swimming with activity also known as “life stuff,” early morning reading of my devotional brought my mind back to where it best serves the world - the now, the present, the day we can have the biggest impact.

As I shifted my focus to the day at hand and the week before me, I couldn’t help but be entertained and smile as sweet Lady Mae circled my room doing dog things.

A stretch here, a sniff there, jumping on the bed, off the bed, a look to mom. The house still quiet, my light the only one illuminating in our home. Finally, she rested at my side and as she did, my thought simple, I’m so grateful for her.

I’ve always been a dog person. So much so, this is far from my first column about a dog. Just like my children, dogs have always held a special place in my heart.

I recently saw a quote stating dogs are God’s way of placing angels on earth and with that I cannot disagree.

Lady Mae, a Golden Doodle pup, is the newest addition to our pack. She’ll be two this summer and is every bit a pup, as well as a reminder to my two teens that they are far from ready for parenthood. She has a fondness for remote controls, wrestling our five-year-old black lab and smiling as she prances through our home. She is energetic, curious and sweet.

She came to us by way of a friend who was in need of rehoming her as her schedule had drastically changed and her home was no longer fit for an energetic doodle. With two teens still at home and a remote work schedule we agreed to meet with our dog for a play date.

Not new at this, my expectations were low on Charlotte our lab, welcoming this bouncy, wiry, energetic pup and I was right. She tolerated her at best, looking to me with the “what are we doing here” gaze; I knew this would take time.

As I type this the two of them are in mid wake-up wrestle complete with kisses and snarls, they are now best of friends.

Growing up we didn’t have pets. Oh sure a hamster here, parakeet there, gold fish or hermit crab, but never a dog and cats; well, I tried that in college and quickly learned my allergies and my personality better suit canines.

Bringing home my first dog from a rescue in college, our home has not been void of a four-legged friend since. As an only child, I’ve somehow adopted the mindset that dogs do best with a buddy, so we always manage to have two.

Lady Mae marks my eighth canine companion in my adult life. Watching her navigate our home, the smiles she brings to my teens’ faces and the unconditional love she brings to us all, serves as my constant reminder of “why did you feel you needed another dog?”

I laugh as I type that. Recognizing the responsibility and commitment is not for everyone and that’s okay. My hope of course being that this is realized before taking on the commitment.

That being said, there’s no judgement here. Just as in the case of my friend whose life shifted from being home often to away 10 hours a day for work, her goal was to find a home which better suited the animal she loved. Her act was selfless, as she hated leaving her pup alone for that long.

Years ago, as a family we were faced with the same tough decision. Returning to town after living a handful of years in the country we recognized our free roaming border collie would go nuts in our limited/swimming pool filled new back yard.

A decision which weighed on us for quite some time as we packed boxes and lamented over what would be best for Murphy the border collie. Fortunately, he had adopted our neighbor’s land, as well as their grandson. As hard as it was, we knew Murphy belonged on the land and that little boy would be a great new best friend.

Unconditional love does not always look the same. Be it in family, friendship or pet ownership, what I recognize is sometimes we truly must do what’s best for the animal even if it breaks our heart.

As a family, we’re so grateful that our path crossed with Lady Mae. She is undoubtedly the joy and the light we were ready for in 2024. There’s just something about a dog.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 209-847-3021.