Phil and his beloved dog
Many downtown Rentonites will be familiar with Phil Johnson in his motorized wheelchair and his darling, smilin' dog My Oh My - a red haired pomeranian that was never far from his lap or watchful gaze. Just two days ago, Phil's best companion died and left him alone and heartbroken. The very next morning, the crowd of dog lovers that gathers in front of Liberty Cafe on South Third Street proposed a plan - get a rescue dog for Phil as soon as possible. As in, that very day. With tears in his eyes and a borrowed dog to pet and love on his lap, Phil agreed to become a pet owner once again.
Phil and Lucky 13 Johnson
By noon, Sue Rider and Linda Middlebrooks (with Lady P tagging along for the ride) were bound for Enumclaw to see a lady about a dog. Becky Shrewsberry had helped rescue some dogs from a puppy mill some weeks prior and had advertised for loving owners on the internet. Sue, Linda and Bill Collins pooled money together to purchase the dog for Phil. This is what I love about Renton. Dog lovers one and all, they were well acquainted with what the loss of a companion animal can be like to a person who lives on their own and lavishes great care upon their pet. Getting a new dog for Phil was just what should be done, full stop. No thinking necessary.
The photo above was taken at a few minutes past 10 am this morning, surrounded by a crowd of happy Renton citizens seeing a new relationship between man and his dog transpire. Meet "Lucky 13 Johnson" - Phil's new shotgun riding dog. Let's just say that there weren't too many dry eyes for a few moments this a.m. The dog is a "Cotton" - a rather seldom seen breed of dog and adores being held. It was a match made in heaven. Phil will lavish this dog with as much love and care as is possible. Good story - happy ending.
Linda Middlebrooks and the new clan additionBut that really isn't the full story - just Phil's portion of it, that is. The first dog that was purchased from Becky from her batch of well loved and revived rescue dogs was an adorable poodle - and it had been advertised for sometime with many admirers. Sue Rider first thought that the dog was a perfect match for John and Linda Middlebrooks, owner of an older adult poodle, who last year took in both a rescue poodle and adopted a poodle from a dear friend who passed away. The dog looked like a perfect match to the growing Middlebrooks Poodle Crew, but Linda was certain that she shouldn't take on another dog. However, the new dog bore an uncanny resemblance to the younger poodle, Bruno and Linda's poodle heartstrings were being pulled - hard.
Linda took the dog home ( purportedly to take care of him till the next morning when the plan was to give Phil his new dog) and said that he walked into the house "and it was as if he sighed a sigh of relief and immediately made himself at home and began playing with the other dogs." She decided to not say anything to her husband, John, when he came home and see what he would do. John was tired from the P Patch and the heat, but soon came to see that there was an extra puffy little tail in the house. The rest is Poodle history - the photo below is of the new clan and they are all doing fabulously well. Can you spot the new addition? No? Well, no surprise there - they are quite the matched set.
So where did Phil's dog come from then, you might ask? Since the first dog was initially picked up for him? Sue Rider knew in her heart, since first seeing the ad for the poodle, that it was meant to be a "Middlebrooks" through and through. Rising at 7 am, Sue took the hour drive out to Becky's again and picked up Lucky 13, arriving back at the bench in front of Liberty Cafe at exactly 10 am, the time set to hand off the new dog to Phil.
Two great dog stories in one glorious day - thanks, Renton you rise to the occasion more times than I can say