Dear Pete – Not just a Hog Dog. He’s a people dog!,

‘Oh, Pete’ he’s so neat! He’s a little guy – he’s my Pete pie!!. How many times did I sing that to you? Probably not enough to match how often you’ve been there for me since we met that fateful day at the drop zone.

It was just by chance that I was in Illinois. And probably even more so in the fact that I was ready for a dog again. I had gotten my skydiving done for the day with a few jumps that I had done. Had the woman behind the counter not mentioned a really cute dog around the corner that was looking for a home, I probably never would have met you. I seen the photo your owners put up, and your information. I looked it over, and then considered it. Next thing I knew, I was walking out the door, past the landing area for incoming skydivers, and found you at the far end, sitting with your owner, waiting. I sat and started talking to her, getting information. And of course, you whined and inched over and put your head in my lap while watching the skydivers coming in. Eventually you came with me the next weekend on a trial basis, you knew you had til the coming weekend to make me keep you. Wasn’t to hard as you had me by mid-week and knew it!

The number of fans you have accumulated is astounding to me. People coming by just to say hello or to even just catch a glimpse of you was a jaw dropping experience. But one of the things that gets me the most with you is how patient you are with me and my short comings…And my dangerous job that takes me away when I don’t want to be away from you. If they allowed dogs out there to fight fires in the forest I know they would hire you. You’re great at digging! Remember that day in the courtyard of our apartment when you kicked up quite a bit of change? I thought we were going to have enough to make rent that time! And that’s another thing I want to address in this letter to you.

Pete…Oh Pete. I am so sorry for when we got evicted. I know you didn’t care because you were with me through the entire ordeal. What could be better than hanging out with your partner with no breaks in-between? You didn’t lose sight of me in that situation. When friends suggested I give you up I refused. I figured it wasn’t fair – not when you had been there for me through all the struggles of trying to make it on our own. You were the last good thing I had left in my life. I had sworn to you ’till death do us part’ – I was going to uphold that vow! You aren’t an accessory to me – you’re my partner! Besides….not everyone understands a Catahoula. And I don’t think anyone could ever understand what it was like that night we were huddled together against a running clothes dryer just to keep warm in late December. And then…that next day came and a miracle happened to us. How far we have come, you and I. And I have kept my word about keeping a roof over both our heads since then and I will continue to try to do just that in spite of these hard times. I just want you to know that I couldn’t have a better partner to stick with me through it all. Thank you for that. Our friends were right – you really do love me unconditionally. And rest assured, it’s the same from me to you. I am so glad you chose me! Thanks for sticking with me through the hardest times of both our lives! I couldn’t have a better dog for it!

Love, always and forever,

Your mom (Val)


  1. It takes a dog to bring out the best in us and to show us unconditional love.
    My 52 year old daughter has seizures and her dog Tigger senses when she is going to have one. He lays by her or across her middle if she is having one to keep her safe.
    Now that she lives with me, he alerts me when she is having difficulty.
    He is an Australian Shepherd mix and great to look at too.
    I do not know how she would have survived her first few years of having the seizure without him.
    By the way, she was a firefighter too when this tragedy struck her. Lost her home, husband and dignity all in one whack. Thank God for Tigger who helps her feel like life is still worth living.
    Lorena Johnson

  2. Tara says:

    I was reading the part where you and Pete were huddled next to a dryer just to keep warm, ah that got me teary eyed. Just like you I can not imagine leaving my dog Blondie or my cat Zeppelin, those two will be with us if we have a place to live or not. I’m so happy that Pete was there to keep you warm. :)

  3. Valorie says:

    Thank you both. I appreciate that. I have since seen that he loves me more than I realized. More than I believed. I think that was the worst night of our lives. But he didn’t care. He was just happy we were hanging out. I tried to accomodate him by letting him curl up in my lap to keep him comfy and to keep him warm. He was fine with that. Any opportunity to get in my lap was the perfect opportunity to be close to me is his thinking. lol.

    Lorena – I am so sorry for your daughter and what she has been through. I know what it’s like to lose one’s dignity, a lover, and a home (obviously) so I appreciate your comment all the more. Thank you.

    Tara – Thank you for being empathetic. It means a lot to me that I am getting the message across to people that we need to be helping those in our own country instead of worrying about what’s going on elsewhere. Thank you.

    It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one to keep their pet(s) in spite of what others say/suggest. Not everyone will do that. Most people just get rid of their pet like it’s a piece of furniture simply because it’s not ‘cute’ or doesn’t fit their lifestyle anymore instead of hindering their own ways or finding a way to make it work. One should always exhaust all options instead of just giving up. Kinda like other areas in life.

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