Dogs, Goodness and People.

This makes my heart sing!

We woke yesterday on the first day of the New Year to a classic Winter’s scene: Snow!

Ben and Ranger enjoying a winter's breakfast.
Ben and Ranger enjoying a winter’s breakfast.

Not long after we were washed and dressed I let the dogs out. Typically, while all of them were quick to return to the warmth of the house, Brandy went off on one of his ‘walkabouts’. It was probably the first time he had seen snow.

Twenty minutes later, I started walking down our driveway (just visible in the photograph above running alongside the far tree line) because I knew that Brandy had walked down to the (closed) front gate to check everything out.

I saw Brandy coming back up the driveway and called to him. He looked up, wagged his tail, and I then crouched down holding my arms apart. Brandy started a wonderful, bouncy run that continued until he came right up to me and he then buried his wonderful, furry head between my thighs.

We walked together back to the house and went inside. As we walked together I was aware of a feeling of joyous happiness, a magic that was flowing from the way that Brandy chose to relate to me.

It really did make my heart sing and as I write these words some three hours later I hope you can pick up the gift of goodness that dogs, and so many other animals, offer us humans.

Plus, it couldn’t make a better introduction to a story that was published on the Care2 site on December 31st.


Meet the Arizona Deputy Who Saved a Dog’s Life – Twice!

3197435-largeBy: Laura Goldman  December 31, 2016

 About Laura

On his way to a call Dec. 17, Deputy Brian Bowling came across a dog stumbling down the middle of an Arizona road.

The pit bull mix named Ginger had been shot in the head by a neighbor who said he felt threatened after the dog dug a hole under her backyard’s fence and wandered into his yard.

Ginger was alive, but not for long.

“She was bleeding profusely from her head and neck,” Bowling told ABC15. In addition to being a deputy with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Bowling also happens to be a trained paramedic and a veteran who served in Afghanistan. He knew he had to act quickly.

“I had a little flashback, because we had seen military working dogs over there who were blown up by IEDs and shot, and that’s what went through my head,” he told ABC15. “I thought I had to do anything to save its life.”

When he approached Ginger to move her out of traffic, Bowling wasn’t sure how the injured dog would react. “But instead of running away from me or trying to bite me, she ran right up to me and started wagging her tail,” he told FOX 10. She then tried to climb up into the driver’s seat of his patrol car.

Bowling applied combat gauze to her wound, helping to stop the bleeding, and rushed her to a local emergency animal hospital.

His quick actions saved Ginger’s life. She was also fortunate that the bullet bounced off her skull instead of penetrating it.

Ginger and her hero, Deputy Brian Bowling. Photo credit: YouTube

Foster Mom Couldn’t Afford the Surgery

But Ginger’s luck seemed to be running out. When her foster mom, Hailey Miller, was told Ginger still needed surgery that would cost thousands of dollars, she made the difficult decision to have the dog euthanized. “If I had [the money], I wouldn’t even hesitate,” she told ABC 15.

Just as Bowling had saved Ginger from dying in the middle of the road, he decided he would save her from being put down.

“It just didn’t seem right for a dog that survived so much to die because the owner didn’t have the money to pay for it,” he told ABC15. He paid for her surgery himself, putting it on his credit card.

Miller, who runs the Miller Mutt Motel & Sanctuary pet rescue, was overwhelmed by the deputy’s generosity.

“If this man has this kind of empathy and love for a dog, imagine what he has for people and the rest of the world,” she told ABC 15. “There is such a lesson that can be learned from him.”

Ginger is recovering, Miller wrote on Facebook. She’s now able to walk and eat, and is “so sweet as usual.”

To reimburse Bowling, Miller has launched a GoFundMe campaign that has raised over $6,000.

“It is my Christmas wish that with the help of all animal lovers around the world, I can pay this deputy back,” Miller wrote. “Any remaining funds will go toward law enforcement charities, animal rescues and future rescue dogs that are always coming through my rotating door. Of course the officer will be involved in choosing these charities!”

With so many heartbreaking reports about police officers shooting pet dogs, it’s heartening to know there are compassionate law enforcement officers like Bowling out there who truly do care about animals.

Photo credit: YouTube


Deputy Brian Bowling, I, and many, many others, salute you for the goodness you have in your heart.

Let 2017 be the year that promotes the goodness in people.

18 thoughts on “Dogs, Goodness and People.

  1. Very nice start to the year, Paul. BTW, regarding Brandy burying his head between your thighs, I think that is a dog’s version of a hug. We chatted a while back about hugging and dogs. I had read that while humans are natural huggers, dogs don’t necessarily like the action because they stand on all four feet. I was petting a golden in the park once and he came over and stuck his head between my knees. A child who was watching immediately said the dog was hugging me. Anyway, nice post and Happy New Year to you and yours!


    1. Tony, a very Happy New Year to you and the family. Yes, I’m sure you are correct for that form of contact by a dog seems very common here at home. Love that recollection of that child instantly knowing what the dog was ‘saying’. Best wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thankyou for a lovely post today Paul. A ‘postcard’ photo of the snow, trees and horses – very welcome here in hot Australia.
    Re Ginger’s story – It never ceases to amaze me how humans can be so different from each other. The horrible man who shot Ginger and then the kindness and huge generosity of Deputy Bowling. Is it because the parts of their brains that are responsible for empathy , compassion and sensitivity to suffering differ in size/activity? I guess so. What part do genetics and upbringing (nature/nurture) play in this? Hearing about people like Deputy Bowling helps lift me out of the disillusionment and despair I often feel about mankind.


    1. Marg, no question in my mind that genetics and upbringing are crucial components with a guess (amateur guess) that upbringing represents the lion’s share of why we think the way we do.

      If that is the case then the good news is that the potential for ‘turning over a new leaf’ is significant. Just a matter of learning about oneself. Just a shame when there’s no interest in being a softer, more loving person.

      For, boy oh boy, do we need more love and compassion in the world just now!


  3. There’s nothing quite like the first snow of the season and the Sheriff’s ‘double rescue’ of Ginger made me grin ear to ear. With all the toxicity of the past year, a happy ending story (and this is one if ever there was one!), it gave me a sense that maybe not everything is doomed. Kudos for sharing these feel-good stories!


  4. Heartwarming post, Paul! Love that it comes at the beginning of 2017, when people can turn over a new leaf and act more kindly toward one another and animals. I have a Lasa Apso that “hugs” me. He puts his head between my knees and looks up at me with his big brown eyes. Melts my heart! Happy 2017. 💛 Christine


  5. I was astonished to read the comments on the Go Fund Me page. Many folks were critical about the errors in typing, spelling and, even sentence structure as they commented about the dog, the foster person, the deputy and, the horrid neighbor that shot Ginger.

    I so wish that folks could get a life and just be kind. One huge problem with the foster lady is that (yes I am being critical) is that if the dog dug out once, it will dig out again. She really must use common sense if she is going to foster dogs. With the extra money she should dog proof her fence and than means putting in a trench, pour concrete into the trench and set the chain link fence into the wet concrete. The fence needs to be at least 6 feet high with an electric fence at the top, Furthermore you do not leave a dog in the yard unattended. And, you never leave home without putting the dog/s back into a crate inside your house or some other secure room in your hom

    And, I’m wishing good luck to the deputy and the foster lady and last but not least to Ginger. I hope this article/You Tube video brings lots of folks that want to give Ginger a decent, safe and, loving home.


    1. Yvonne, all I keep going back to when searching my mind for a response to your comment is an elderly man who used to come into the village pub when I lived in Harberton, South Devon. The pub was the Church House Inn. Anyway, this local, born and bred Devonian, well into his 80s, used to come in on his own each evening, around 7pm, have a single pint of Mild Ale and go on home. (Never got to know his name!)

      Anyway, one evening I was ordering my pint and he came up and stood beside me. We certainly recognised each other.

      I then heard him utter, quietly under his breath, seemingly to no one in particular, the following reflection on life: “N’owt so queer as folk!”

      There was a brief pause and he continued: “Then all the world’s a little queer, except thee and me, and I have me doubts about thee!”

      I have never found a better way than that of explaining away the strange way we are!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What a story. Loved the comparison. Reminds me of a saying that I’ve heard here in Texas. I can’t recall exactly how it goes but in essence it is similar to your story. The wording is just different. I must say that the old man had a sense of humor. Thanks for the laugh.


  6. Isn’t it wonderful how good dogs can make you feel? Every morning, Maggie gives me a hug and it makes my day. I love being outside with her and playing ball. Just the sheer joy she has in retrieving makes me very happy. The Care 2 article was beautiful. We need more people like Officer Bowling in the world and less of the sort that shoots dogs in the head.


  7. What a beautiful, incredible story. It’s taken me a while to catch up on blogs I follow, but this was just the post I needed to read today. Serendipitous. The love from your dog, the love from Deputy Bowling, the love still alive in the sweet girl who had been shot in the head.


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