Do you have a beloved family pet or have you had one in the past? If so, share an endearing anecdote.

April 11 is National Pet Day, founded in 2006 to celebrate the joy pets can bring to us and to bring attention to pets of all kinds waiting in shelters to be adopted. With that in mind, Good News Wants to Know…. Do you have a beloved family pet or have you had one in the past? If so, share an endearing anecdote.

Brian Mudd

My wife Ashley and I weren’t able to have kids, so God provided us with furry kids that are the love of our lives. We have three wonderful recuses: a Tabby named Tigger and two Maine Coon, Button and Piper. 

Brian Mudd, Program Director, Host of The Morning Rush & The Brian Mudd Show, iHeartMedia 

William “Bill” C. Davell

Fifteen years ago we attended a school fundraising auction and surprisingly came home with a black fur ball who we named Trax. She quickly became a member of our family, and we looked forward to the challenge each Christmas morning of how quickly she could tear apart a new squeaky toy to get to the noise. When Trax woke up each day, she was excited and wagging her tail, which served as a reminder to us that yesterday has passed and God’s mercies are new every day. 

William “Bill” C. Davell, Director. Tripp Scott Attorneys at Law

Char Talmadge

About 15 years ago my husband came home with a cute baby beagle. People said, “You better watch her as she is a hound.” I found out what that meant at her first Thanksgiving when she sneaked up on the dining room table and had her face in the pecan pie!

Char Talmadge, Director, Rescue Upstream

Christine C. Walker

I love my 11-year-old German Aussie Boomer. I remember moving from a one-story single-family home to a townhouse. As I watched my then 6-year-old Boomer maneuver stairs for the first time, I wondered if I had made a mistake in my relocation decision. Flash forward a few weeks, and he was barreling down the stairs, coming breathtakingly close to the wall, but never crashing. Today, at age 11, he remains puppy-like in many ways — always ready to play or go for a walk. His antics continue to bring a smile to my face, whether he’s thrashing a toy or peering intently at the floor just hoping a morsel of food will drop within his reach. 

Christine C. Walker, Director, Marketing and Public Relations, Holy Cross Health

Major Connie Long

We’ve had plenty of pets over the years, and right now my favorite is my daughter’s maltipoo Luna, mainly because I get to enjoy the benefits without the responsibilities. She is a very protective dog, so the moment anyone comes near me, she races to my side and begins to growl, and the closer they get, the louder she growls. It is fun when my husband tries to give me a kiss. Luna will have none of it!

Major Connie Long, Area Commander, The Salvation Army

Dr. Debra A. Schwinn

My first and fondest pet was a blue parakeet named Pretzel. I spent hours with the bird as a child repeating words, and eventually Pretzel said many things. He had a habit of repeating part of the words, however. Here is an example: Pretty bird, T bird, T bird; Pretty bird, T bird, T bird

  Dr. Debra A. Schwinn, President, Professor of Health Sciences, Palm Beach Atlantic University

Don Campion

We had an Akita for 11 years named Kira – awesome watch dog and loved to run alongside our four wheelers in the woods then would rest for two days due to exhaustion. Currently we travel to much to get another pet.

Don Campion, President, Banyan Air Service, Inc.

Fidel Gomez

We used to have a black lab many years ago. Her name was Minnie. We got her from the county dog shelter. Minnie ruined us because after losing her, we had other dogs but every other dog we had we would compare them all to Minnie. Minnie was more than a dog to us. She was gentle and loving but would bare her teeth if she sensed any of us in danger. Minnie, we miss you.

Fidel Gomez, Pastor, Calvary Chapel Hollywood

Dr. Fred Scarbrough

We have a new puppy now, but our last beloved pet that we had for years was named “honey girl.” My wife saw her being walked by a neighbor several years back, and we learned that the neighbor was fostering the mother and 11 puppies for the Humane Society. Once they found out that my wife was interested in adopting the mother, we ended up with her within two weeks, and she spent 10 years with us. She had heart worms, needed to be spayed, got breast cancer, and got loose the first couple of weeks we had her, and almost lost a leg! It came in very handy that I was a veterinarian! Having said all that, she was the sweetest dog we’ve ever owned, and we really miss her!

Dr. Fred Scarbrough, Founder, Scarbrough Animal Hospital and HOPE South Florida

Dr. Gene L. Green

Flash, aka Flasho, son of Dash. He had a lightning rod of white fur on his forehead. Flash was pure-bred and beloved, a border collie who was an expert at catching frisbees. The way he flew through the air as he grabbed the disk while in flight was sheer magic. At times he’d come up beside us as we talked and wanted to join in, trying as he could to speak “human” – not a bark or growl, but a real attempt to converse. He was family.

Dr. Gene L. Green, Dean, Trinity International University – Florida

Germaine Smith Baugh, Ed.D

I never had a pet as a child or adult. My parents really did not focus on being an animal lover from that perspective. As a result I have not done either with my children, but I have to tell you my daughter loves dogs, so I know I will be living with dogs when I am old and gray.

Germaine Smith Baugh, Ed.D, President and CEO, Urban League of Broward County 

Gregg Wallick

That’s an easy question for me! Our beloved dog, Jake, is our “furever” Company mascot. We are so fond of boxers because they are such an amazing gentle and friendly breed. In fact, we love them so much we are enjoying our third one!

Gregg Wallick, President, Best Roofing, Inc.

Helen Wayner P.A.

There is so much love in a home where furry kids reside! We’ve always had one or two pups and recently a kitten as a part of our family. They bring so much joy and calm as well as laughter into our lives! They meet us at the door when we get home, eat and sleep with us. I can’t imagine ever being without one. God’s little creatures are a blessing.

Helen Wayner P.A., Century 21 Hansen Realty 

Justus Martin

The first night that my family got our new Labrador puppy, my brother and I made a pillow/sheet fort in the living room and slept with the puppy in there overnight. My brother woke up to the puppy chewing on his hair! What an “alarm clock”!

Justus Martin, Justus Martin Photo, Staff Photographer, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale

James Welch

Years ago our family adopted Max. He was a handful in the early days. He could jump really high. We often found him leaping the fence and making his way to the front yard. He was a wonderful dog that truly became part of the family. 

James Welch, Pastor, First Baptist Fort Lauderdale

Karen Granger

We adopted a 12-year old Shiba Inu as part of his “active retirement” plan. Buster is so cute; looks like a fox. My son, also 12 at the time, was thrilled. He had wished for a dog his whole life.

Karen Granger, Community Relations Director, Palm Beach County, 4KIDS Palm Beach

Laura C. Bishop

I received a text two years ago from a friend asking if I knew of anyone who could take a one-year-old Golden Retriever named Molly, whose family couldn’t care for her anymore. An hour later my husband came home and asked, “Who’s Golden is that?” I responded, “Yours!” After the shock wore off (it took a few weeks), he found himself with a new best friend.

Laura C. Bishop, Executive Vice President of Advancement, Palm Beach Atlantic University 

Dr. Mary Drabik

Growing up, we always had a dog. I remember when I was young, the first one that I was allowed to pick out (in a family with 5 children) was Queenie. Queenie was a black lab and was the sweetest dog we ever had! I remember as a young girl, everyone in the neighborhood knew who she was. In those days our elementary school was close to our home, and we would always go home for lunch. One day Queenie followed us back to school and into the classroom and sat down right next to my desk! Of course, the teacher wanted to know who the dog belonged to, and I pretended that I did not know her, even after she sat at my feet. Of course, I then had to walk Queenie back home.

Dr. Mary Drabik, President, South Florida Bible College & Theological Seminary

Michael F McDermott, PA

We got our Dalmatian when he was two months old and a small dog. He subsequently grew to the size of a small horse. When he needed a walk, we didn’t know whether to put a leash on him or a saddle! We named him Cooper, and he was very popular with the little kids in the neighborhood. I used to tell them he was such an important dog that a city was named after him. Of course, at that time we were living in Cooper City!

Michael F McDermott, PA, Seniors Real Estate Specialist, The Keyes Company

Dr. Mike Rozenblum

My wife Karen is 100% dog person. Early on, while we were still dating, she rescued several dogs. One of the many reasons I chose to marry her was because there was one particular dog, a liver spotted Dalmatian, who was being abused by his owners. One day this tiny young lady opened the gate to the backyard and literally took the dog. The owners saw it and didn’t care. He became her partner in crime. Never did think of himself as a dog, he thought he was actually her boyfriend.

Dr. Mike Rozenblum, Genesis Physical Medicine and Chiropractic

Milan Stefanovic

Our last dog, Maui, who recently passed away after 12 great years of love, was rescued at eight weeks old. She was a beautiful golden fluffy little puppy with gorgeous blue eyes. We thought she could be a golden retriever or Labrador, and knew with the blue eyes probably had Australian Shepherd in her. Seemed like a great combination and the Humane Society said that’s probably her mix. Well eight months later when my dog is still only 23 pounds soaking wet, we knew there was no Lab or Retriever in her. But too late then because she was our dog, and we loved her dearly. We never regretted a single day not having our big dog because Maui was the dog we were supposed to have. Dogs are great!!!

Milan Stefanovic, Chief Operations Officer, Bass Underwriters

Nancy Robin

We are now empty nesters, and missing the kids and the pets. That said, the kids all have pets and I get daily pictures of their anecdotes and adventures, all my four legged grandkids! What a blessing the unconditional love of these beautiful creatures are especially in these times where life can be so isolating.  

Nancy Robin, CEO and Executive Director, Habitat For Humanity of Broward

Oksana Horton

The pet I loved the most growing up was our first dog, a German Shepherd named Queenie. She came to us from an owner who had her for several years and was moving out of the country. Even though she was older when we got her, it wasn’t long before she had attached herself to everyone in the family. She became very protective of all of us. I remember when my parents would be off working, Queenie would watch me and my younger brother. If anyone came near us, she would growl and scare them off. Her fierce loyalty to us was unmatched. When she passed, we felt as if a family member had died. She was much loved and greatly missed.

Oksana Horton, Creative Director, Torch and Trumpet Theatre Company

Patricia Colangelo, EdS

A little over a year ago we lost our sweet and gentle-spirited Cavachon Maggie to old age. After 12 years of having such a calm, peaceful animal, we decided to get a rescue dog we named Bebe. Anyone who knows about dogs knows that rescue dogs have their own baggage along with this one being a beagle. It was quite an adjustment to this high-spirited, stubborn, yet funny dog. She has many quirks such as requiring at least 12 hours of sleep from which she does not want to be disturbed. She groans if anyone touches her while she is asleep as if to say “don’t bother me.” When she is awake, she is in full on crazy mode! She howls (which is hysterical) at iguana’s and loves to chase them. Yesterday, while chasing one over the 6-foot-high fence, she almost got its tail. After succeeding in chasing it away, she proudly pranced in looking for a treat.

Patricia Colangelo, EdS, Lecturer, Professor, Trinity International University – Florida

Ray Monteleone

Pets provide unconditional love and they do not cost as much as people. I have a mixed breed dog.

Ray Monteleone, President, Paladin Global Partners

Coach Rick Andreassen

My ‘pet story’ is pretty basic…I have a half dozen Goldfish in a large freshwater tank, strategically designed with seashells and ambience lighting for “tranquility” and not a lot of maintenance. The largest goldfish’s name is SMILEY!! 

Coach Rick Andreassen, Founder/President, SAINTS International Sports Ministry and SAINTS of Florida Homeschool P.E.

Robin Martin

Our family has been blessed by our furry members. Frankie is getting very old and his health has been diminishing over the years. Luckily, we recently adopted a stray that has breathed new life in him. Rosie is just a puppy and they play for hours. Their fun has given us all so much joy.

Robin Martin, Executive Director, Rebuilding Together Broward

Romney C. Rogers

My pet days were limited to my growing up years since our kids had allergies that precluded pets other than fish and a turtle. However, my favorite pet growing up was a mixed breed German Shepard that my mom named Schultz after Sargent Schultz from the TV show in the 60’s called Stalag 13. Schultzie was the typical “man’s best friend.” He would lick your face in the morning to wake you up and meet you at the door with his tail wagging when you came home. Schultz never had a bad day, and all our family members got the same treatment from Schultz, even my dad who wasn’t a big fan originally. So this dog, who we bought for $5.00, was always there for me and the rest of our family and was sorely missed when he died.

Romney C. Rogers, Managing Partner, Rogers, Morris & Ziegler LLP

Samuel Lamerson, PhD

We have had dogs ever since before I can remember. I asked my dad once why he loved dogs so much. He informed me I owed my existence to a dog. When he was a young man, he lived in Indiantown, FL (he had moved there in 1915 in a covered wagon). He was out in the high sawgrass that surrounded the small outpost at that time and a very large diamondback rattlesnake struck at him. The dog jumped in front and the snake bit the loyal animal who died soon after. If not for that dog, I wouldn’t have had a father. Thus, I find it very easy to love dogs of every persuasion, especially rescues.

Samuel Lamerson, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies, Knox Theological Seminary

Willy Guardiola

I went from having four dogs (Speed Bump, Spunky, Sprout and Mooshu), who are all in “Doggy Heaven” as of the past four years, and went to four cats (Benghazi, Fatima, Harmony and Syracuse), with Bengazi up in “Kitty Heaven” and the other three cats still alive and well. What an incredible swing going from four amazing dogs to four feisty cats. I’m glad God gave me a good sense of humor… And, on the 7th Day, God decided to go back to work and created cats and dogs.

Willy Guardiola, Christian on a Mission, PBC Right to Life League

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