Pashenka Antipov the Italian Greyhound

Almost five years ago, my sister Alison called me regarding a stray dog she found living under a porch. I was living on a big farm with lots of space and she felt that he needed some country lovin' and that he was more likely to find a good home up here and would I please take him. I reluctantly obliged and a week later Alison and my Dad came up and delivered a too skinny dog. Not only was his spine poking out, but his ears had chunks "clipped" out, his paw pads were so cut up and bloody that he tiptoed when he walked and he had chunks of fur missing. He was not the most cuddly looking thing I had ever seen, but he was hurting and I could see it in his eyes, he wouldn't break eye contact. When Alison handed him to me I got the shivers, he was so scrawny and fragile in my arms. We both teared up a bit. How could a person let this happen to such a precious, pure little life? I have no shame whatsoever when I say that humans who abuse animals should be mortally wounded. I propose stringing them overboard out at sea and emptying buckets upon buckets of chum on top of them, let the sea creatures show them how it feels! 

Does that sound harsh? I don't care! 

The Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer says it best:

"Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character; 
And it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man"

Well, anyway...As you must know by now I ended up adopting Pasha myself. He did the cutest things, like sneak under the covers at night and wiggle when he was excited. The thing that really sold me though, was when I took him clam digging for the first time. I had my backpack and clam rake and basket, I was moving too slow for the little Greyhound, so he took off ahead. Every time though, he would come racing back to me or he would be waiting ahead for me to catch up. From those beginning days on we never were apart. This past winter, the sail to the Bahamas, was the longest I have ever been away from him. I'll never leave him behind ever again though, as I enjoy his company far more than I enjoy any humans company. 

If you pick up this weeks PORTLAND PHOENIX newspaper
(and how awesome it is the gay pride edition!)

And turn to page 45...

Though it is an understatement (as he is the best pet ever),
and the editors told a lie (Pasha has not sailed the seven seas) 
This is pretty darn cool -my rags to riches doggie.

Now I just feel like sharing photographs of Pasha and some of his friends. 

Adorable boys, Finn and Pasha on a cuddly morning at Morse Mountain.
Photo Credit: Jen, Finn's Mum & author of the awesome blog regarding 
thrifty, creative, simple living. 
Check it out at:

Pasha will stop at nothing to get a bite of his L'uncles chili. Moments after this photo was taken Pasha attracted the attention of two Appalachian Trail hikers, Goose Chase and Apple Pie. What a fun day that was in Andover, Maine. 

This dog was BORN TO RUN.
 It is almost impossible to capture a picture of him with his feet on the ground. 
Here he is with his Auntie Erin on our favorite beach in Maine. 
Parsons Beach in Kennebunk

Pasha as Colby's First Mate.
I believe I was drying out his pee covered life jacket, which explains why he isn't wearing it.
We were right off of the Bass Harbor Head light in Acadia.

My kid sister and Pashas initial rescuer, Alison. 
I had a bad dream one night while in the Bahamas and woke up worried sick about Pasha.
Though I could hardly find any internet connection, I managed to get a quick e-mail out,
to check on him. Alison immediately sent back this picture. 
Safe and sound and sleepy, too.

I just heard about this picture today! Pasha and our favorite roommate of all time,
Kyle. Photo credit goes to some lady at Maine Today who thought the boys were too cute to ignore. We were drinking wine and feeling fine on the Eastern Promenade watching JAWS on the projection screen. Pasha loved living on the Eastern Prom, it was there he became the Prince of Portland.

Pasha and his Auntie Em. 
Back when my sister Emily was a tomboy and would lay in bed eating bowls of melted cheese, she really had a chance to bond with Pasha, as he also likes to lay around eating cheese. Emily lovingly refers to Pasha as 'Peso'.

Pasha and his Auntie Sarah, who titled this selfie:
"Italian Greyhound on Italian Leather"
He fell asleep on her lap in the car, on top of her fancy Italian purse. 
Sarah is an animal whisperer by the way. 

My favorite child in the whole world, Miss Azalea! 
Though she is perplexed by Pashas stinky breath and the fact that he pees on himself, 
she always gives him treats and buckles him in when we all go for rides in the car. She wants her own puppy one day, but for now she is the proud owner of a hamster named Doctor Nibbleston. 

I loved reading Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, and binge watching the David Lean film version with Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. I just fell in love with the name and sound of Pasha. So that is how Pasha got his name. I give Pasha credit with mending my, at the time, broken heart. 

And sometimes I wonder, who rescued who?