Dogsgiving: A Tail of Thanks

It’s been a tough year.

Serious, heavy things are happening and it feels like there’s no end in sight. But even with the struggles of 2020, there are pockets of joy and among those for me are my two black labs.

A cute dog doesn’t solve the world’s problems, but for a moment, it makes me smile.

So for this Thanksgiving season, The Electric is taking a breath and celebrating the dogs of Great Falls who are bright spots in our days.

Plus, science says dogs are good for us.

A national survey of pet owners and non-pet owners by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute found that 85 percent of respondents believe that interaction with pets reduces loneliness and most agree that human-pet interactions can help address social isolation, according to the American Kennel Club.

They’re good for our hearts too. A review of studies published between 1950 and 2019 found that dog owners had a lower risk of death. Studies suggest that dog owners have lower blood pressure levels and improved responses to stress, according to the AKC.

It’s not often I share personal notes on this page, but every now and then, I’ll make an exception. And what better reason than dogs?

I’ll never forget the day that my roommate, and fellow reporter at a paper in Alabama, came home and handed me an ad for a black lab in need of a home. She said, “I shouldn’t do this, but…” She knew my love of black labs and that I’d been wanting to find a dog of my own. This particular pup had been found wandering the streets of Old Alabama Town, a historic section of Montgomery, and the woman who found him had named him Grover, after a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist from the paper I worked for at the time.

Could there be a more perfect match?

When I met Grover almost 11 years ago, he was nippy and wild and I wasn’t sure it would work out, but I loved him. We had our struggles. He ate many, many pairs of shorts, flip flops and generally ruined all things, but he was also my best friend. He knew when I needed him, he saw me through breakups, cross country moves, job changes, personal losses and more. Grover was also my protector. No one got near me without Grover’s approval, including the landlord, and even once my dad. To be fair, that was Grover’s first time meeting my dad, but he’s just that protective.

For a long time, I thought Grover was my one true love and that I could never love another.

But then Millie came along and my heart grew a size or two.

She was a pup at the kennel where I worked for awhile when I was starting The Electric. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m a sucker for black labs and especially puppies. Millie and her sisters were there and I was smitten with all of them. I was lucky enough to have the chance to take one of them home and it was a tough choice, but I chose Millie. They were all sweet and insanely adorable, but even in those very early days, I could tell she was just as attached to me as I was to her.

Millie is a wild child with a mind of her own. She’s absolutely atrocious on a leash, but the best snuggler you’ll ever meet. She’s bad in so, so many ways, but there isn’t much better than coming home to a pup who is overjoyed to see you and who loves nothing more than falling asleep as close to you as possible.

So starting Nov. 12, we’ll be featuring local dogs with Q&As written in the voice of the dog. You can participate too, by filling out this form. Dogs will be featured through the month, possibly longer depending on how many responses we get.

Some local businesses are donating prizes, including Fetch Pet Boutique and Dragonfly Dry Goods, that will be given to participants randomly throughout the month, winners will be notified by email. (If you’re a pet related business interested in donating a prize, email jenn@theelectricgf.com)

The profiles will all be compiled here throughout the month.

Dogsgiving: Grover

Dogsgiving: Millie

Dogsgiving: Luna Belle

Dogsgiving: Carmen

Dogsgiving: Bells

Dogsgiving: Geddy Lee

Dogsgiving: Bonzo

Dogsgiving: Burt Macklin

Dogsgiving: Beatrix Kiddo

Dogsgiving: Phoebe Ann Watson

Dogsgiving: Maisy

Dogsgiving: Diego

Dogsgiving: Nala

Dogsgiving: Apollo

Dogsgiving: Emmy Rose

Dogsgiving: Alex

Dogsgiving: Molly