A loveable, smiling and prancing handful of soft, golden fur.
On Wednesday afternoon, the 13-month-old purebred golden retriever — still very much a puppy at heart — tore around a Dickinson apartment. She played with her toys, teased a cat and nuzzled up to whoever would pet her.
Bailey was happy. She was home.
It was a welcome and relieving sight for her owners, Luke Rodenbough, of Blaisdell, and his girlfriend, Staci Moore, of Dickinson.
A little more than two months ago, Rodenbough thought he had lost Bailey forever.
The dog he had raised, trained and loved since he got her last May as an 8-week-old pup disappeared Jan. 27 after he had taken her to a job site near Parshall.
Last week, I worked the afternoon and evening shift while my news editor, page designer and all-around nighttime showrunner April Baumgarten took a well-deserved vacation.
That meant I had to get into the habit of sleeping in, working until around 11 p.m. or later and staying awake into the early-morning hours — something that until early 2013 was entirely normal for me after spending the previous decade working in newspaper sports departments.
It sounds kinda fun, right? Sleep in and stay up late! Well, it wasn’t so bad when I was a single guy. Now, with a wife and dog at home waiting for me, it’s not so fun.
Sometimes, I wonder if my dog doesn’t have an inner monologue that only other animals can hear. Like a cartoon character.
If you read my column, you probably know I love our dog, Noodle, a 2½-year-old Schnoodle who has become more like a kid than a pet. But maybe what I love about him the most is that he just keeps getting weirder and weirder.
Case in point is this summer’s saga of Noodle vs. The Bunny.
Almost a year ago, we decided to get another dog. Not in the traditional sense either. Only nine months after we had adopted Noodle, our schnoodle puppy that some of you may have read about in previous columns, we “adopted” Donovan, my sister-in-law’s 13-year-old chiweenie. Sarah likes to call our home his retirement home.
Don is a military dog. Sarah’s sister was reassigned to Washington, D.C., for training, and the place where she and her daughter would be living wasn’t set up for pets.
On top of that, she is scheduled to be transferred overseas this year, which made it nearly impossible for her to keep Don without jumping through some huge hoops. So she turned to us, knowing all the moving combined with Don’s age wouldn’t work for him.
Not a day goes by where my fiancee, Sarah, doesn’t call our dog, Noodle, her “son.” I usually just shake my head and call him “buddy” like a normal person.
Like millions of others, Sarah shuns the idea of “owning” a pet. Instead, since we don’t have any children, she subscribes to the “pet parent” mindset and has embraced it, caring for Noodle like he was our actual son. He goes places with us many dogs wouldn’t and gets treated better than most people I know.
People who love and treat their dogs like kids may seem a little crazy at first glance — especially to a farm kid like me. But a recent scientific study has determined they may not be so crazy after all.