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One dog. Two mothers. My heartwarming dog story of the day.


I am just going to paste several messages here so you can read about what happened when I used Facebook to connect with a woman in Wisconsin who I determined had to be my special dog’s first mother.  

I am pretty sure you are the right Heather Purdy and, if your husband is named Kevin, this story should make you smile. I adopted a dog you once loved — Reggie — in 2002 from the Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida. The story I got was that you’d given Reggie to a relative who did not properly feed or care for him. Reggie is now pushing 14 and is still one of the greatest loves of my life. You have no idea how much happiness, love and security he has brought to my world. He still swims in the pool. I love him so much. I hope you are the right Heather because I want you to know that his story had the happiest ending — the best kind. I was going through some of his medical records today and saw the name and address of Heather and Kevin Purdy in them.

If you are the right person, let me thank you from the bottom of my heart for the gift of this wonderful, loving dog. He’s given me so much more than I have given him. He lives in Clearwater, Fl with his brother (a really gentle and precious pit bull mix!) and three cats. One of the cats joined our family when she was a kitten five years ago. Somehow, she thought Reggie was her mother. All these years later, she is still nursing on him every single night — and he lets her. He is so unbelievably gentle.


Ah Fawn, You have brought tears of joy to my eyes. Yes, I am the right person. When I said we had 4 GR’s, it was Casey, Max, Reggie and Buck. Max and Reggie were litter mates (brothers). When Max and Reggie were about 3 months old, we took them to a hunting trainer (birds) for evaluation.
 Reggie had all the natural instinct; Max had heart. The trainer agreed to take them both BECAUSE of Reggie and because he knew us. They had to be 6 months old and have their hips xrayed before training would begin. ‘When we took our boys in for their xrays, Reggie had really bad dysplasia. So Max went to training and Reggie became our family pet (Hunting is too hard physically for a dog with bad hips). That first winter, Reggie suffered so bad when the weather got cold.
We asked a family member who lived if FL if they would provide him a home. So once it was warm enough to fly, she came and got him. This way we were still able to see him. We had told her what our vet said which was to keep his weight down because if he got heavy it would be harder on his hips. We think she overreacted to this. Anyway, when we came and visited them, we saw and tried to fix the situation. When she didn’t get him healthy, we told her he had to go into rescue and find a home where he would be properly cared for.
If we could have taken him back with us we would have in a minute but it would have been awful for Reggie. Max went on to become a great hunting partner for my husband and our family’s joy for years. He is in heaven now since last March so he will be there waiting for Reggie when his time comes to show him the ropes. We did get one picture shortly after you adopted him so we knew he was in a great home. I would love to see more pictures and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving Reggie a happy, safe home.
Now I know the story. Reggie hasn’t had much trouble with his hips because he swims so much and that keeps him limber. He used to (literally) swim laps for FOUR HOURS a day. Couldn’t get him out of the pool. Last year, it dropped to an hour. Now it’s 20-30 minutes, but still — if he’s almost 98 in human years, there aren’t many 98 year olds who can do that! And still go for walks!

I have a few steps in my house and he’s having a little trouble with them now — a reminder that I won’t have him forever. I can’t even imagine life without him. He hasn’t let me go to the bathroom by myself in the seven years he’s been with me. When I get out of the shower, there he is.

One of my favorite memories happened a few years ago when I took Vinny and Reggie to the Mardi Paws Parade. They drew names for the prince and princess of the parade and Reggie was called up. This was great because Vinny had a way of attracting all the attention. Anyhow, Reggie got to lead the parade and hundreds of people were calling out, “Prince Reggie! Prince Reggie!” He was so proud.

I am going to send some photos to the address on your profile page. If you don’t get them, let me know.


I spent the morning going through my “disorganized” pictures and found some pictures from when Reggie and Max were puppies. Unfortunately these are from the days before digital cameras. I was able to scan them and am emailing copies to you.

“Reg” was what I always called Reggie. I was touched by your reference to him as Reg. He probably recognized that name immediately as his loving nickname! I don’t know how you feel about God but I will tell you that I see his hand in this. Reg being in a home with a loving “Mom” and a swimming pool is the best place he could be. If we had put him into the GR rescue at a different time, he probably would not have found you.

Max was also the ultimate friend. Our home has always been the type of place where our friends come and bring their dogs along. Max always greeted everyone with 2 or 4 legs like they were long lost cousins. His heart was so big. One of our favorite stories about Max is when he and Kevin went hunting and Kevin shot a turkey. Max retrieved that turkey. He looked pretty funny with his neck arched to get that turkey up off the ground so he could carry him but he sure was proud!



 Reggie’s puppy photo. This is too cool for words!

  1. Fern,
    We are good friends of Heather & Kevin Purdy. We moved to Clermont, FL in 1999 and we miss the Purdys very much. We spent hours and hours of happiness with the Purdys and Max and Reggie. I have this same picture of Reggie along with Max’s picture. My husband and I read your story and I have never cried so hard. It fills my heart with such happiness to know that you and Reggie were blessed with each other. They were both amazing puppies with awesome personalities and temperments. Reggie was so lucky to find you. God knew what he was doing. I love the picture of him lounging in the pool. Godg Bless You.
    Vicki & Keith Summers

  2. This story just brought tears to my eyes also.

  3. These were posted on Facebook:

    Debbie Duarte Pollard, Hugh M Pepper and Laura McMillan Gray like this.

    Kristin Silloway
    Thats just amazing!!!!

    Charlene Jennings
    What a great story!!!!!

    Lyndy Lyle Moore
    That is just too too cool 😉

    Denise Doyle Watson
    That is a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing, Fawn.

    Rachel Carroll Johnson
    That is such a heartwarming story.. thanks for sharing.

    Kim Wagner
    wonderful – how good to connect with reggie’s first mom!!!

    Liz Corey
    Hi Fawn – What a touching story. My dog Ally is curled by between my legs. I will have sweet dreams. Thanks.

    Hugh M Pepper
    Nice story Fawn, – Amazing how these 4 legged friends become such important parts of our lives, and give us back more than we realize….

    Bobbie OHare
    What a great story! So nice when there is a happy ending! We miss our Tootsie! They are truly a joy!

  4. Such a sweet story…widely forwarded. 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

  5. To the Purdy’s – Fawn is a dearly beloved friend and fellow dog lover who brought Reggie and Vinnie to my Florida home one day to “hang” with my Shar Pei, Ava. Reggie wasn’t terribly interested in Ava, but went straight for my pool! He truly is where he was supposed to be with Fawn…love that you have been able to get in touch.

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