by Lee Tolliver
Most dogs simply wag their tails. Some even get a little hip into the action when they're especially happy.
Dunkin wags his whole body.
And why not? In his third year, he finally has reason to be joyous.
Dunkin's first couple of years weren't much to wag about.
He spent much of his life in a small metal cage, brought out from time to time when nature called or when it was time to mate. Life in a puppy mill isn't much of a dog's life.
When his owners realized that his reproductive skills weren't churning out the kind of Cairn's that brought in the big bucks, he was deemed unworthy of stud status and was sent packing.
His classified ad in the local newspaper caught my wife Ellen's eye. She had also been in contact with the Colonel Potter Rescue Network and started to watch Dunkin's trail with open heart.
Something about him, although unseen had caught her attention.
Maybe it was just the void left when her beloved Pee Wee answered his maker's calling after nearly 13 years of inseparable companionship. Maybe it was fate.
Whatever it was, it would turn out to be a good thing for the tail waggingest critter you've ever seen.
Dunkin was eventually taken by a lady and her daughter, only to be dumped back into the classifieds when the women's husband objected.
Lonely, confused, and by this time in bad health from neglect, he finally arrived in the loving hands of Darlene Simpson, a volunteer with Colonel Potter.
That's when Ellen finally came in contact with the dog she had followed through print and computer.
The first eye to eye wasn't impressive. Dunkin was skinny and walked awkwardly. His coat hadn't been taken care of and he suffered from hook worms.
He was extremely skiddish.
That's when you noticed the deep, dark eyes that cried to be loved. There was hope for this mutt. There was something about him.
And Ellen saw it.
I want him, Ellen told Darlene, starting the process followed by Colonel Potter in all of its rescue placements.
There were references to be contacted and Colonel Potter quickly found that ours was a home where dogs were spoiled beyond belief. They are our children, as we have none of the two legged variety.
The medical records for Pee Wee and his remaining girlfriend Katy proved that we had stake in the profit margin at Timberlake Animal Hospital.
And the visit paid to our house by rescue workers Ann & Wayne Stainback hinted at Ellen's obsession for order and cleanliness. Pee Wee's shrine in the hallway by the front door was proof that Ellen loves her Cairns.
We were given the "Good Dogkeeping Seal" of approval, and Dunkin had finally found a home where his loving nature would finally be appreciated.
Thinking he was used to sleeping in a cage, we borrowed one for his first night in his new home. He glanced at it, looked at our bed and immediately leaped onto the mattress.
He sleeps there, cuddled close to Ellen, every night.
He stretches long each morning and reaches for attention. He loves to be loved, and he appears extremely happy with his new parents, and his still playful 12 year-old new girlfriend Katy.
And everytime you see him, he gives you that amazing full-body wag.