Back when we were young and rested and wrinkle-free and living in Baton Rouge, we bought our first little house on a tree-lined street in the middle of town. The kitchen floor sloped, the hallway was about four inches wide and the living room walls were a deep, Pepto Bismol-ish mauve. But we loved it. That little house was mighty good to us.

We’d been living in our house for about nine months when David went home for lunch one day and found a very skinny, very pregnant dog lying in our neighbors’ flower bed. They said they didn’t know where she came from, but they did know that they had no interest in keeping her. D felt sorry for the puppy dog and fixed her some water and some food, and when I got home a few hours later, she had moved to the flower bed in front of our house. She was covered in fleas, so I took her inside and gave her a bath. She never made a sound.

We decided that night that we’d take care of her until her puppies arrived, and then we’d find her a good home. When the puppies arrived, we found people for all of them, but the dog – who we’d since christened Ally McBeal because, well, she looked like she could use a good steak dinner – showed no signs of wanting to leave. We talked about it and made a decision to keep her, but she was going to have to be an outside dog. Plain and simple. The end.

But then one night D was out of town, and it was raining, and I felt a little sorry for Ally the Skinny Dog who was in our backyard. So I put a towel on the floor of our bedroom, called her inside, and she curled up on that towel like it was the world’s finest dog bed. She never made a sound – but her sweet little eyes told me that she was grateful.

I think it took her about six months to bark in our presence, by the way.

So now it’s almost ten years later, and while we have no idea how old Ally was when she came to us, we tell ourselves that she was one. Because if she was, say, five or six, then that would make her a Really Old Dog at this point. And we don’t want for her to be a Really Old Dog. We want for her to stay with us forever. It’s where she belongs.

When our human child was born, Ally didn’t really know what to make of him. But now that he’s old enough to play with her and walk her and feed her and tell her 48 times a day that she’s “such a sweet girl,” she’s a devoted fan of the six year-old. And her favorite thing in the whole wide world – MORE THAN BACON, EVEN – is to go along for the ride when D takes Alex to school in the mornings. Even though Ally is 11 or 14 or 17 these days and spends a great deal of her time relaxing and also sleeping, nothing makes her shake a tailfeather like an invitation to ride in the truck.

She sits right next to A in the backseat and never makes a sound. She just wags her tail.

We’re so glad she found us.

And we love her a whole bunch.

But you’ve probably figured that out by now.

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  1. Ally is adorable! We are owned by two retired racing greyhounds, one of which is the reason we now have to spell the words car, ride and go. She is not above carjacking if she gets tired while we are out walking. No, really, she will try to climb into other people’s cars if they leave their door open too long.

  2. She’s a sweetie. When we were ready to get a dog, we went to the shelter where I wanted a small/medium female. We ended up with a large black male who was next to be euthanized. Ten years later, I have no regrets. Ruger is asleep in ‘his’ recliner even as I type…….

  3. That is one sweet “happy dog” for sure, but the happy boy and his giggle, now that is precious:-) Enjoy her, I completely understand your desire to have found her when she was one, and hope you have many more happy years with her.

  4. Whole lot of happy going on in that video. Made my day!

  5. a happy dog and a happy boy…what could be happier?

    We had a dog like that…she was dumped in our neighborhood and we took her in for the night which turned into a week which turned into 15 years. She was a sweet dog too..can a dog be grateful because that’s what it felt like?

    We have a new sweet pup now…dogs make life a little bit sweeter.

  6. Rescued dogs are the best dogs. My dog Lucky is my baby, although he is likely 12 yrs old by now. The Lord knew I would need him — it’s true. Thanks for this great post.

  7. Awwwww, so sweet!!!! Pets truly do become like family!!! :)

  8. How sweet. Alex was a tad bit excited too, I think! I bet they make a great team. =)

  9. Amy in TN says:

    How cute! Thanks for sharing the video.

  10. My daughter and I just finished watching the old episodes of Alley McBeal on netflix… Perfect name for a hungry dog! I LOVED hearing the happy giggles from your son as he ran after AB. So precious!

  11. Did Alex say at the end, “That’s a video!”? I couldn’t hear him over my three precious oldest ones SCREECHING “WHO IS THAT MOMMA?WHY DO THEY HAVE A DOG? WHAT TRUCK MOMMA? WHAT TRUCK? WHO IS THAT MOMMA?”

  12. just precious…our puppies ride to school with us every morning too! There is no better friend that a dog! :-) Loved your story!

  13. Precious.

  14. Awwwweeeeee!!
    She sounds like SUCH a sweetie! I love the video. :)

  15. Spiritmom says:

    So sweet!! We get a similar reaction from our Weim when I ask “are you ready to go to school?”

  16. We ‘found’ a cat, decided she was 1, had her for 9 years when we found out she’d probably been 6-7 when we found her. She looked more like a badger than a cat but how I loved her. When she died I took down all the living room drapes and threw them in the trash and hubby knew not to say a word. I was in deep mourning. We’re going to be needing another dog sometime soon and maybe I just need to start praying for God to send us one!

  17. Well, how sweet! She looks young-ish to me! And happy! My pup came from the humane society and I am pretty sure he’ll be 10 this year. And that makes me sad too. Can’t figure out where that many years went.

  18. I love what you named her and why…. you crack me up girl.

  19. There’s no love like that of a pet!
    Our family has been sitting with a sick dog/family member all week!
    She has made a big turnaround…but isn’t out of the woods yet.
    I understand your affection for her.
    They just steal your heart with all their loyalty!

    God is good to share his sweet creations with us!

  20. One of my most favorite Sophie posts ever!

  21. Did anyone else cry seeing the video after reading Sophie’s post. I’m a mess!

    Our dogs are rescues, too, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  22. That is a sweet dog! I also hope she is eleven!

  23. There’s nothing like the love between a dog and her boy!

  24. Sweet sweet post….even makes this cat person kinda wish for a little sweet dog for my boy.

  25. Well that just warmed my heart on this rainy Monday morning. I think dogs can be grateful…I see it in my sweet beagle’s eyes all the time. I hope she is as good with our future children as Ally is with Alex…there is nothing sweeter than a boy with his dog.

  26. That made me tear up. It could be because I’ve taken in 3 stray dogs and I understand their love and devotion. Sweet girl!

  27. It’s awfully early in the day to be getting a lump in the throat and eyes that are stinging.


  28. Ally loves her people and you are her people. I hope she lives forever too.

  29. For some reason, I can’t get the video to work for me (and I’m sure it’s me).. just wanted to say that we have a Katrina rescue, our poor puppy rode up on a truck from Gulfport MS with 30 other dogs. He is the light of our lives, even with his dislocating knees (yes, really) epilepsy and heartworms… In spite of all the hardships he went through, he is the sweetest dog I’ve ever met. Loved your post..

  30. Alex is absolutely right – that’s a video – of a life well lived – good dog, good family = priceless!

  31. She is sweet, sweet, sweet!

  32. Ok that just made me cry
    She is adorable and how sweet the bond between Alex and McBeal – precious!!!
    I love pets! :)
    Much love

  33. We had to put our 13-year old dog, Dante, to sleep last week and boy has it been tough. I adopted him when he was five and wish I would have found him when he was much younger, so I completely understand.. My boys are only two so they weren’t able to fully enjoy him. He will be greatly missed!

  34. I have a little ache in my heart from you not being with us this weekend. I’m going to pray we get to hang out soon! Love you!

    Hope D’s birthday was SO AWESOME!!!!

  35. Sweet – precious – happy – heartwarming!!

    Much loved dog + Howard’s giggles and excited voice = house full of love!

    Thanks for sharing : )

  36. As if I didn’t love you and your blog enough before, you now have a permanent place in my heart. My dog has saved my life and my sanity… I pretend he’s never getting older too :)

  37. You love the SEC AND you lived in Baton Rouge?! I didn’t think it was possible to like you any more, but now I do.

    …well, there is that whole Bulldog fan thing, but I’m guessing that’s non-negotiable.

    Geaux Tigers :)

  38. Well this post is just a fine way for the Lord to kick me in the seat of my pants as I fuss and worry over the mess that is my house–largely due our canine friend who is presently outside waiting for me finish sweeping and dusting and mopping and vacuuming and washing his dog bed so that he can come in and rest.

    Did you make it through that run-on sentence?

    I suppose I really needed this lovely post.

    Because I am more than frustrated right now and I imagine Dexter–that would be the Golden Retriever–is likely my scape-goat (poor dog–being the scape-goat of a dog and all) for not just the frustration of this house being far from clean, but the rest of my frustrations as well.


    Heavy sigh.

    Now I will continue to sweep and mop and dust and collect more dog hair than should be legal from my home and I will pray through my current problems and find a thankful heart for a dog who loves us and is really a good dog.

    In spite of the shed hair.

    Or the dirt.


    Thank you, Lord, for Dexter.


  39. I love it!!!! Out Rustee knows the word “walk” and if we say it before we are dressed, shoed, and ready to go he will drive us crazy running around with his leash in his mouth. We started spelling W-A-L-K and he even figured that out! So, now we have moved onto spelling J-O-G…we’ll see how long that one lasts. We call his leash his “best friend” b/c when we take it off of him, he takes it and runs under our bed to add it to his secret stash. Then occassionally, he will run up to us with it and we can’t say no!

  40. You are doubly blessed – blessed and blessed to know it….

  41. Lauren from Indiana says:

    Aww. Your post and Rena’s post above both made me a little teary. And there’s NO CRYING ALLOWED IN LAW SCHOOL! God bless all the animals today. Even the furry and the slobbery ones.

  42. You have truly blessed my heart today with this post! I seond Lauren from Indiana!

  43. Thanks for making me smile.

  44. Such a sweet girl! Isn’t it special, the bond between the dog and their boy? Because we all know that it’s the dog that has the boy, not the other way around.

  45. so sweet

  46. Awww, I love a good dog story. She is a cutie & she sure doesn’t look that old. Sounds like the story of how my dog found me. She was about 1 when she came to my house & lived to be almost 15, to the best of my calculations. I made up her birthday. :)

    Your vet should be able to narrow that down pretty close. There’s nothing better than a dog friend!

  47. Dogs are the bestest friends. We had a lab mix that my husband brought home, who was pregnant. She was such a member of the family, but loved to chase 4 wheelers and unfortunately one day caught one. My then 13 and 9 year olds mourned for weeks. We swore we’d never get another one, couldn’t bear the trauma of losing it. That promise lasted til 2005, when my daughter brought home a lab/mutt puppy. I’m sad to say the highlight of my day is letting him out of his (12×90) pen to play and seeing that look of adoration he lays on me every. single. time he sees me. We have him in a pen cause we live on a busy busy road and don’t want to lose him to a 4 wheeler or worse. He also loves to go for a “ride in the truck”, a sentence that sends him shooting around the house to stand expectantly infront of the garage door, the middle one, where the truck lives. Not the first one, for the car. He knows. Thanks for sharing.

  48. I love A’s little giggle! A boy and his dog…too cute.

    And I LOVE your first line!

  49. Awwwwwww…

  50. How sweet! And how fun to hear Alex’s voice. It’s just wrong that dogs don’t live as long as we do.

  51. KS*Rebecca says:

    What a great story!!! Made me misty-eyed. What a great fur baby.

  52. Alex’s giggle…I could listen all day. The boy and his dog, both happy as clams.

  53. Oh Boo’s Mama!!! With a name like that I should have known you were from Baton Rouge or Morgan City or … I’m from New Orleans, as in GEAUX SAINTS…and the paper bag is OFF my head. I SO MISSED YOU at the SMT. I thought of you bunches too! Especially when I saw Melanie. Just love you to pieces and love the gift you have that fans the flame of all our faith! Yes you do Boo’s Mama!
    (I’m an English teacher!) Do come the next time!

  54. Oh dadblameitall. The entire family has been working on me to suspend my NO MORE PETS clause in favor of a family dog.

    And shootitalltoheck I’m starting to think about.

    THINK ABOUT IT, mindyou.

  55. Adorable pupster, thanks for the video!

  56. how precious! we have two sweet labs who get so excited, well, about everything! it’s wonderful, isn’t it, the honest love we receive from our furry babies.

  57. Awsome story and thank you for saving her!

  58. Absolutely love this… one of my favorite posts of all time.

  59. Loved this post!

  60. What a great video and story. Our girl golden loves to go for rides too – she gets completely flipped out even if we spell R-I-D-E or just say go for an R?? Looks just like Ally does. So fun. This dog of ours is the best girl ever – well, at least as good as Ally seems to be. Thanks for the smile today. I miss my pup at home!

  61. Ally’s a lucky dog! Alex is such a cutie! It looks like everyone’s day got off to a great start!

  62. Mary Kat's Mom says:

    I don’t know what brought more tears to my eyes! ! Seeing Ally’s happiness to ride in the truck or hearing Howard’s happiness that she was getting to ride in the truck! ! How precious and thanks for making me cry at work!

  63. oh, now that was so precious. what an absolutely adorable dog. and alex is too darling as well. :)

  64. so sweet! your Alex is just too cute! so is Ally :)