fostered through

I figure with a soft-ish name like Snowball, I should add

something profound. And he is just that….GREAT!

How do I explain to you that I met a dog who

swept me off my feet, elevated my mood dramatically,

as well as taught me something I will always remember–

and in maybe 30 seconds? Would you believe me?

Of course you would! Here he is! Look at those eyes…

I met Tony Nichols (Stray Paws Director) at the gate

leading to his way cool backyard (and that’s

not easy to find in Maplewood–a cool DOG backyard I mean)—but then

Tony takes excellent care of his fosters—like they were HIS OWN DOGS!

And, of course, he could not wait to introduce one of them, Snowball!

It took about 30 seconds for me to see that I not only met

a wonderful companion dog, but one who trusted his instincts

and gave me a MASSIVE welcome. It was as if he had known

this adventure was about to happen. What he couldn’t have known

was how I would fall for him, head over heels, would crave to once again

look into those gold-colored eyes once we parted, and how I would

turn into jelly thinking how someone

would have the richest life when they chose him for their own.

It took no time to get him to hop up into my truck.

And yes—he stood on the seat, but only before we took off.

Perhaps it was his way of telling Nikole (my hiking friend

and “photo gal for the day”) and me that he was


He even made sure we were strapped in our belts

and were not throwing his handsome pics on Facebook.

The time traveling to the trail was amazingly quiet.

I wonder if Snowball was simply fascinated…

tapping into new visuals, or just plain well-behaved.

My own dogs NEVER sit so quietly and intently.

And we hiked.

And hiked.

And hiked some more.

We also hung out, but it was not

a warm day. So we made

our rest time brief.

This guy wanted to hike all afternoon. He has stamina.

He’s not a “puller” but a good steady walker.

Snowball was quite intrigued by trail runners.

Perhaps he would make a fine running partner!


Whenever he looked at me, he seemed to say


It should be very clear from the pics that we had

a really great time with this big ol’ lover!

Thanks back to YOU, Snowball –

for teaching me to remember

to love someone before you meet them,

trust in your gut judgement,

and give others good memories.















 Thank you Nikole Ventimiglia for doing only 

what you do best—hike, take photos

and never complain. Love you!

Donna McCall

Four Directions Hiking

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