"Contrary to Ordinary"
The Black Pearls of the Dog World
~Making a difference: one black dog at a time through education, awareness and action~
There are many black dogs who are or have been contrary to ordinary.  Links below will let you meet and read about them.
**"...Popsicle helped the feds seize 3,075 pounds of cocaine from a pineapple-laden truck at the Mexican border-the biggest drug bust ever at the Hidalgo, Texas, port of entry..."     

This truly extraordinary dog and his handler are also featured in a 180 page book entitled  "Second Chances: More Tales of Found Dogs"  by Elise Lufkin.  The photographs by Dianna Walker are reason enough to seek out the book but truly the combination of stories coupled with black and white photographs will make it a treasure that  will be read over and over.   

To view an excellent flash video that is a "must see" about pit bulls please go to "The Pit Bull Problem".  It takes a bit of time to load but it is noted as "worth it". Louisa Mendoza's video will send an arrow straight to the heart of all who love dogs and maybe even to some who don't.

** From 1914-1918 it was The Great War.  This war used many dogs of all sizes, colors and breeds.  Upon scrolling to the bottom of this webs page you will be treated to a remarkable story of a contrary to ordinary dog named Satan: the wars most famous messenger dog of the lost ballation.  "He was black as night" and in the center of one mans heart. Read Satans' story
**Deciding to become the first woman to the North Pole alone wasn't a new idea to Helen Thayer.  She is  very accomplished at fulfilling her lifelong dreams and goals.  Yet, this adventure to the North Pole didn't happen without the companionship of her black husky and Newfoundland mix, Charlie, whom she adopted just three days before her departure. Read about Charlie and Helen.   A delighful 260 page book entitled "Unforgettable Mutts: Pure of Heart Not of Breed" shares in more detail the story of Charlie and Helen and also numerous other canine triumph stories.  It was hailed as the best dog book of the year.

**(CBS) "Jake is a black Lab who was rescued from an animal shelter by his handler, Mary Flood. When she got him, Jake had a problem with one of his hips. But today, he is one of six American finalists in an international competition called "Paws To Recognize"
** Extremely popular in Minnesota is Raven, the black lab.  She is the star of  a news extra on KARE 11 called "Minnesota Bound".  She is retired now after catching the hearts of a nation for ten and a half years.  Passing the baton to her daughter, Raven II Ravens Farewell
**Sarah Jean, a rescued black lab mix, became a Biscuit Queen.  She was the first of three to help inspire Three Dog Bakery .
The little black puff ball was instantly fallen in love with by a couple who begged not to have the 6 week old puppy euthanized.  "Runway" and his litter, along with his mother, were scheduled for the lethal injection that very day.  Tom and Becky Gorman pleaded for his life.  The shelter was reluctant as the little pup would have no way to nurse with his mother gone.  The Gormans prevailed and their beloved black part Chesapeake Bay Retriever, part Shepherd, part Chow and part Pit Bull was theirs to bring home.  The Gormans made the committment to love and protect their Runway forever.  They had a much involved fight.  Runway grew up to exceed the associations "pet weight limit" so the Gormons sold their Ocean front condo.   He even had a specialty surgery after a knee accident.  Yet these battles paled compared to what was about to happen.  On Memorial day Runway had the unfortunate circumstance of being hit by a car that never even stopped.  The worst had happened.  His spinal cord had been severed by 95 percent.  By the Grace of God the 5 percent left allowed  use of his two front legs.  The K-9 cart was ordered and Runway and the Gormans went on to something very special. 

The Gormans state in the book Unforgettable Mutts: Pure of Heart not of Breed "seeing Runway's amazing ability to endure great difficulties and still have a positive outlook on life has been an inspiration".  It is the Gorman's hope to have Runway teach younger children about the importance of looking both ways before crossing the street and to teach older children and even adults to feel more comfortable relating to people who are physically challenged.  "We hope to teach people that what Runway wants is the same as any human being in a similiar situation~to be treated as a person and not a disease.  They need to be touched and spoken to the same way Runway does.  That is the reason Runway knows he is okay~because we treat him like the same dog he was before.  He is still our wonderful mutt whom we love more than anything."  You can read all about  Runways extraordinary life in the book "Unforgettable Mutts: Pure of Heart Not of Breed" By Karen Derrico.  His picure is featured on page 70 along with his lifes story. 

Full of character and personality is Cheka, a big, black, curly coated shot in the arm. His name in Swahili means "laughter". He has been quoted as working a crowd better than any Washington politician.  He is also the final gift between two friends. When his person Liz was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor he spent most of his time at her bedside (probably with the stuffed teddybear that he took with him wherever he went). I am guessing he provided her with the laughter and comfort she was used to sharing with her sweet boy during less hard times.   Donna went to see her friend Liz for a final visit. She found Liz worried.  She was worried for her beloved Cheka's well-being after she passed on.  Her children were in no place to take on the responsiblity of an older dog.  Liz thought "what better gift could I give my friend?"

Shortly thereafter Cheka arrived at Liz's home emerging from his crate with his favored teddy bear in mouth very depressed, sad and scared.  They healed together.  How truly beautiful that Liz, Cheka and Donna all shared  the common threads of love and committment in life and in passing.  Humans and dog living and giving contrary to the ordinary in a conditional society.  If you would like to read Cheka's complete story purchase the book or visit your local library for "Second Chances: More Tales of Found Dogs" by Elise Lufkin.  Elise Lufkin notes:  All royalties from the sale of the book will be donoted to animal-related organizations, various shelters, The Great American Mutt Show and the Delta Society.

**Caroline D.Levin R.N. in her book "Blind Dog Stories: Tales of Triumph, Humor, and Heroism" has collected inspirational true stories of blind dogs and their people.  This 100 page book is quoted as being one that you don't want to place down until the last page is read.  We second that.  To purchase her book press here and meet the following contrary to ordinary black dogs featured.
 
First off, there is Lumpur the blind Black Lab X Golden Retriever who saved his ten year old boys life from a deadly rattlesnake.  Radar the blind black lab pup dumped to be euthanized only to be adopted and grew up to out-perform sited hunting dogs in retrieves. Next, found lying stretched out on pavement with his head buried in his paws is Keller, the once unwanted blind male black lab. His job is not only to alarm when strangers are at the door and cuddle with his person but to provide laughter for all as a result of his antics (and he has many).  Last, but certainly not least, is Targa the "rescued from a shelter black-lab-sheltie-mix" that was blind, had diabetes, Cushings Disease and spondylosis.  She lived 14 years completely adored and very loved by her people in day-to-day adventures.
(Click on Jake!! He will take you home)