“Let’s get her a dog!” I will never forget hearing those dreaded words come out of my husband’s mouth. The betrayal I felt! I figured my obsessively immaculate home, my compulsive Type-A personality and my love for all things delicate, luxurious, and expensive was a dead give-away, I was not a “DOG” person. -Quite the opposite. I felt no connection to animals and wanted their shedding, drooling, stinky paws as far away from me as possible. That was the unspoken agreement in our marriage and now he was teaming with my soon-to-be 7 year-old daughter about getting a furry menace.
I cried myself to sleep envisioning my home, clothes and life in ruins once my daughter had grown bored of the dog and his daily care landed on MY “to-do” list! No more extra money for fabulous vacations, fine jewelry and designer clothes. Life as I knew it was over!
A week later we attended a pet fair and fell in love with the same darling little Pug that everyone else attending the event wanted. My daughter Karley said he barked and then tried to pee on her so we knew that was the dog. For not wanting a dog, I sure went to bat to get that little guy. Applications were completed, multiple interviews were conducted and finally a lengthy home check was done to ensure we were suitable new owners for a needy, stray dog. Two weeks later we received the exciting news! WE GOT THE DOG! I couldn’t have been happier if I hit the Lotto jackpot! –And little did I know at the time, I did!
Karley named her new friend Raisin, which he resembled with his cute, wrinkly face. I spared no expense purchasing every nifty dog supply I could get my hands on. I spent hours reading everything I could on the breed and realized I have never been happier. I LOVED nothing more than having this darling stinky, shedding, snorting, little bundle of Pug in our home.
Everything in my once tidy home was now dusted in Pug fur. Dog beds, toys, leashes and treats were part of the décor and every piece of my clothing was adorned in PUGORA (Pug fur) The best part was, I didn’t care! Raisin changed me. He demanded I slow down and take time to enjoy the things that are truly important. Things like food and walks. Raisin showed me unconditional love. He taught me to stay in the moment and see the goodness in people. A person can cut me off in traffic, steal my parking space, and take the last pair of size 6 designer heels on sale, but if they have a dog on a leash, or in a carrier, or pictured on their cellphone, they are a decent person and we share a special bond.
My daughter sure got more than a pet with Raisin. He was the catalyst in her emerging career which began shortly after we brought him home. While walking to school one day she was approached about training him to be a therapy dog. At just seven years old, Karley trained Raisin and they became the youngest dog/handler therapy dog teams.
She began taking Raisin to local elementary schools and working with “at-risk” students who were struggling. These children were more than most trained, mature teachers could handle let alone a child of roughly the same age. Seeing the students were not interested in reading but just wanted to play with Raisin, Karley decided to write a book about his “Wags-to-Riches” life. The heartwarming and funny story taught students about being responsible pet owners and how to overcome obstacles. It was such a hit with the kids, she self-published the book on Amazon and used Social Media to market it. A few weeks later the book caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey and Karley received an invitation to the white house where the President received an autographed copy. Karley continued to build Raisin’s brand on Social Media and his book continues to raise proceeds for many rescues and literacy programs.
Over the years Raisin made hundreds of therapy visits not only to schools but hospitals, Alzheimer’s homes, and prisons. He participated in parades, community events and appeared in several TV shows. He brought joy to everyone he ever met and even turned around a few “CARD-CARRYING DOG HATERS.” I witnessed many lives changed because of Raisin. Difficult, problem children began behaving and excelling in school. Sick children riddled with cancer healed. Alzheimer’s patients recalled
Raisin turned 13 years old last May. The vertebrae issue discovered at his first visit to the Vet was taking its toll and he could no longer use his hind legs. His chronic eye disease finally cost him most of his sight and his hearing wasn’t sharp. He relied more and more on me to help him with his basic needs. I kept him with me day and night so he felt safe. With the help of his wonderful Vet and great meds, he still enjoyed going out for daily walks in his Radio Flyer wagon, and he loved nothing more than flopping on the bed watching bad reality TV with me and sneaking a few pieces of microwave popcorn. I knew the days with him were numbered but as long as he was comfortable and content, I vowed to be there for him.
On August 15th something was not right. Raisin was howling with pain and lethargic. His normal pain meds did nothing to bring relief. He wasn’t interested in eating, drinking and hadn’t relieved himself all day. I saw no reason for an apparent HUNGER STRIKE! I looked in his eyes and knew he was done fighting. I promised myself that if at all possible, Raisin’s last memory on earth would not be the cold, sterile table of the Vet’s office, so I found a home-euthanasia Vet that came to our home and very calmly and delicately sent Raisin to Rainbow Bridge. The hardest thing we’ve ever had to do as a family is say goodbye to our beloved Raisin who drifted off peacefully while being stroked in my arms.
The void he left is palpable! I memorialized him with photos, mugs, portraits, planting trees and I have his book which I treasure. The few remaining pieces of his fur I find in my car and on my clothing and furniture are now welcome. I know I can never replace Raisin and if it were possible for me to bring him back happy and healthy I would. Since that is not possible I am doing the next best thing, helping others with their pets when they need a hand and looking for another animal that melts my heart and needs a loving home. For a gal who eleven years ago wanted nothing to do with a dog, I now cannot possibly live without one. R.I.P my dear Raisin! Thank you for rescuing me and giving me the best 11 years of my life!
RAISIN CABLE- Rescued from Pugs-n-Pals of Newport Beach in September 2003
Raisin was known as the “escape-artist” since he kept running away from home. Twice he was picked up on the streets and impounded. He also escaped from several foster homes. After arriving at our home in Belmont Shore he found what he was searching for and never tried to escape again.
Raisin’s gained nationwide fame when his book, written by then 12 year old Karley Cable, got the attention of Oprah Winfrey and President Barack Obama. “Raisin, -A Doggie’s Tale”(AMAZON BOOKS) continues to raise proceeds for various rescue groups and literacy programs.
During his 13 year life he made over 150 therapy visits with Therapy Dogs International. He holds several awards for his work as a therapy dog and “Tail-Waggin’ Tutor.” His efforts were also recognized by President Obama with two Presidential Volunteer Awards. Raisin is featured on several TV shows, commercials and news stories. He also remains active on Social Media.
On Saturday, August 15th , 2015, at age 13, Raisin went peacefully to Rainbow Bridge. He was surrounded by his loving family.
We wish to thank his long-time Vet, Dr. Gail Renehen, as well as the entire staff at Airport Irvine Animal Hospital. We also want to thank Dr. Eich and Dr. Mar at Irvine Specialty Animal Hospital and Annie Forslund at Pet Euthanasia of Southern California for their wonderful care. Most of all, heartfelt thanks to Tina Seri, President of Pugs-n-Pals, who entrusted the Cable family, with NO PRIOR PUG EXPERIENCE to adopt “The POPULAR DOG”. RIP DEAR RAISIN!