We adopted Axle soon after the flood.  He was 8 weeks old and a welcome new member of the family.  Several weeks before my old friend and garage dog Zora died.  She lived a full life but still broke my heart to bury her behind the garage.  The flood came about a week after that, and we lost Ginger who drowned in the flood.  Bella, our black lab was such a trooper with all the life changes, losing her backyard buddies, then moving from house to house until I was able to move back into our house during its construction.


The day I moved back into our house, 18 November 2017 we drove a couple of hours near Brenham, Texas to pick up Axle, and 8-week-old mix.  Axle was the new garage dog.  He has Black Lab, Rottweiler, and Australian Shepherd.  He was a welcome addition to the backyard and brought new life for Bella.  She sort of became grandma to Axle.  Bella put up with a lot with Axle wanting to play all the time.  A few months later we had to put Bella down. We found out she had an aggressive cancer.  That was Jennifer,y when she went to sleep for the last time as Allison, Jennifer and I gathered around her. 

Axle was all alone in the backyard but was always happy.  We noticed that he was sort of sad at times and thought he needed a playmate to share the yard with him.  Jennifer, Allison, and I went to a shelter for animals to find Paisley.  We walked through the hallway with cages on both sides and every dog was begging us to take them home.  I would have loved to bring them all home but knew that would be impossible.  We had to choose only one.  After looking them all over Jennifer said, “I like Paisley” The worker brought Paisley out where we could spend a few minutes with her. I asked, “What is her breed?”  German Shepherd was the answer.  We decided that Paisley was the one but wanted Axle to meet her first to make sure they were compatible. 

We drove home to bring him back to the shelter with us.  He was nervous and did not know what was going on.  We brought him to a pen next to the exercise yard and Paisley was brought out to meet him.  They met through the gate and seemed to get along, so we opened the gate for them to meet face to face.  They ran a little together, but Axle was so nervous, I think he thought he was about to be left there.  I assured him he was going back home with us. We decided Paisley was ours to take home. 

When we got back home, Axle and Paisley ran around the yard together. Boy could that new dog run!! Axle was about 15 pounds overweight at the time but after a few weeks of running with Paisley, he was back down to his ideal weight. He became a younger version of himself.  When Axle was a puppy, he would bounce a lot.  What I mean by that is his rear feet would stay on the ground, but his front feet would go as high as he could make them.  Now that he has lost weight and is happy to have Paisley living with him he bounces once again.  When we bring out his food, he bounces.  When we get home from somewhere and walk out of the garage, he bounces.  Paisley just run and runs. 

When it is time to eat and Paisley or Axle comes to the door but the other one is somewhere else, the one at the door will run out to find the other to let them know that it is time to eat.  The routine we have when we feed them is Paisley goes to the pen where we close the gate and Axle’s bowl is put on the step at our backdoor.   We do this because Paisley eats super-fast, and Axle takes his time.  If she was out of the pen she would go after his food.  In the meantime, Axle is bouncing excited to see his food bowl.  When they are finished, I open the gate of the pen and throw a treat out into the backyard.  Paisley takes off running like she is a greyhound at the start of a race.  I then hand Axle’s treat to him while she is out looking for hers.  The reason I do this is because Paisley will eat her treat fast then try to take the one from Axle.  This way she must find hers and eat it.  This gives Axle time to eat his before she is back trying to take his.   The other day I pretended to throw her treat into the yard but threw it the other way.  She ran off to look for it in the yard.  Axle saw what I did and had the chance to go get her treat before she made it back but instead he started bouncing.  Paisley was looking everywhere for her treat with no luck.  Axle was watching her and kept bouncing the entire time.  I think that was his way of laughing at her.  She finally found her treat and enjoyed it.

Axle and Paisley has a way of playing by grabbing each other by their ears.  When I first saw them do this, I thought they were angry at each other, but they were just playing.  They will get on top of the doghouse and play king of the hill by biting each other on their ears until one of them falls off the doghouse or jumps off.  I have seen each one of them win and the winner basks in their win by standing in the middle of the roof while barking at the loser.  It is hilarious to watch.   Recently I was going from the garage to the house and as each dog came up to me I petted them.  Both of their ears were wet, they had been playing.



When we lost “our girls” one by one around the flood, the yard seemed so empty.  Axle took ownership of the yard, but it was not the same without the camaraderie of several dogs.  Now that Paisley is home with us, the backyard has come back to life.  We so enjoy our dogs.  They keep our yard safe and us laughing.  They are great pets!