Our son Garrett was the first to notice a strange dog laying in the snow in our front yard when he left for work at 6 AM. It was December 1, 1997, and the temperature was about -30C. Later, Sylvia and I noticed him following children, arriving at our day home, to our back door and then returning to the front yard. After the last child arrived we went to the front yard to investigate and found a nearly frozen dog, with feet that were large masses of ice, laying in the snow. Although he was very suspicious of us and had ice packed between his toes that made it painful for him to walk we managed to coax him to the back door and into the house. We gave him water and some warm food to help warm him. It took until late that evening before he finally started to get some life back into him and he began to make himself at home. We had contacted the local animal shelter for help to locate his owner, but not wanting to cause more stress by sending him there we decided to keep and nurse him, for a few days at least. An ear tattoo lead us to his early vet records which provided his birth date and age, however no owner was ever located. Several years have past since then and he is still here so I guess it is safe to say that he now has a new home with us. We named him Tuffy as he had to be tough to have survived on his own for at least several months and the winters cold until he found us on probably the last day that he would have survived. From his reactions to different situations we feel that he likely ran away, or was driven, from a home where he experienced violence and abuse. It is hard to understand how anyone could mistreat such a nice animal. Tuffy was house broken and knew all the standard commands such as sit, stay, come, roll over, beg, etc. He is obedient, extremely good natured and loves all the children that visit our day home that love him in return.

Tuffy At The Back Door
where he patiently waits for 'the kids' to
arrive each morning and return from school
each afternoon.

(And in need of a hair cut!)

Tuffy with "Harry", one of his favorite stuffed toys.

We know not why, but Tuffy has an obsession for orange basket balls. Other favorite toys are Mouse,
Carrot, Harry and Tennis balls. His favorite foods are vegetables (must think he is one of the guinea pigs)
and he will dance, do tricks, anything for vegetables - especially cucumber.

Tuffy's Birthday
October 10, 2001,

My daughter, Leanne, treats the animals as if they are human and celebrates their special occasions.

This is a special dog birthday cake she baked for Tuffy.

Tuffy shared his cake
with his friend, Buddy.

April 16, 2002

March 16, 2002

Despite his past bad experience with snow & cold, Tuffy loves to romp and roll in the snow.


Sylvia & Tuffy

A Cute Story Sylvia Found On The Internet

One afternoon I was in the backyard hanging the laundry when an old, tired-looking dog wandered into the yard. I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home. But when I walked into the house he followed me, sauntered down the hall and fell asleep in a corner. An hour later he went to the door and I let him out.

The next day he was back. He resumed his position in the hallway and slept for an hour. This continued for several weeks. Curious, I pinned a note to his collar:

"Every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap."

The next day he arrived with a different note pinned to his collar:

"He lives in a home with ten children
     and is trying to catch up on his sleep."

Tuffy passed away on October 14, 2002, at the age of 12 years from auto immune anemia problems which developed during his last couple of years. For 5 years we had the pleasure of his company and enjoyed his funny antics. When Buddy arrived, Tuffy demonstrated his kind spirit when he helped Buddy settle in and it was clear that he remembered what it was like to be abandoned and alone.

Next - Shadow