Meet Oakley Dokley

Meet Oakley.

Or Oakley Dokley as I like to call him.

Oakley is our beloved dog and considered a member of our family. We saved Oakley from the pound two days before Christmas two years ago. We had wanted a dog for some time but wanted to find the perfect fit for our family. After looking into different breeders, dog saving organizations, adopt-a-dog websites, and the Humane Society, My Yanni and I ended up going to the city dog pound on a cold gray December day. I was in no way prepared for what I saw that afternoon. As we walked through the dank cinder block rooms filled with wildly barking dogs in metal cages, I began to break down and cry. Blinded by tears and deafened by the desperate barking of the dogs, I became paralyzed and just stood there sobbing and staring. My Yanni took my hand and began to lead me out of the mayhem. There were so many rooms we got turned around and ended up walking into a smaller room of barking dogs by mistake. As we turned to leave we noticed one sweet little dog who was sitting quietly amidst the chaos and was staring deep into our eyes.

I just couldn’t leave the pound with this subdued sweet soul left in that cage. We found a volunteer to show us the dog. He walked us outside to a grassy area designated for visiting with the dogs. I took the leash to see what the dog they had named “Miller” would do. After milling around for a few minutes I stopped to ask a few questions. “Miller” instantly stopped walking, sat down on my foot and leaned into my legs. He was a *leaner-inner* as I like to call it. The kind gentleman who was helping us laughed and said, “I always say that they pick their owner.”

And that he did.

While signing the paperwork I noticed that “Miller” had been found on Oakley Avenue. In an instant we knew that Oakley would be the perfect name for our most perfect newfound friend.

Oakley has become such a treasured pet and special member of our family clan. I truly don’t know what we would do without him.

He is my daytime companion…

and litter box-cleaner-outer.

He is my gardening partner…

And hosta ponder-er.

He is my vegetable garden protector…

And stop-to-smell-the-flowers-and-herbs sniffer.

He can wear a leaf hanging from his chin with dignity.

and love his little stuffed animal “monkey-monk” like it was his very own.

Oakley is our daily reminder to take the time to appreciate the little things…

and give the underdog a chance to show you just how much a lost little leaner-inner can melt your heart into a puddle of mush in an instant.

We feel so very blessed that Oakley found us that day.

Go find yourself and lost little leaner-inner (littler box cleaner). You’ll be so glad you did.



Married my soulmate. Mama of 2. Love to inspire. Can't help but to relish in all things beautiful inside & out. Join me in Savoring the Art of Living.


  1. Between my own dog and my ‘granddogs’ I have three totally different stories of how they came to be in our lives but I am certainly a huge advocate of them choosing you. I’ve seen it and there is no sense in denying it because with all three, wonderful companions came from that choice.

    Most telling of those is Charlotte; the dog destined to be put down because she had been brought into the pound as a biter. A beautiful springer spaniel with the most soulful sweet eyes, my daughter and I found ourselves in a battle of wills to save Charlotte and the local shelter finally gave in and Charlotte was ours. Well, Lauren’s. And she did snap at people but it was soon apparent what triggered that. Men and confined spaces and abject fear of the two combined. So…we had to better control her surroundings and keep her safe by not letting her into situations where she would feel threatened.

    Has that helped? The difference is so touching and such evidence of what love can do. We love that dog, she has learned to trust that people are not going to hurt her and she has become the friendliest pup around. Are we still careful. Always. But she has not snapped at anyone in 2+ years. I honestly don’t think there is an animal that can love you more than one that has been rescued; we are most often not just rescuing them from the shelter but from an environment before that experience that wasn’t meant to be or they wouldn’t be in a shelter.

    What an adorable, sweet dog your Oakley is. I could just hug him!

  2. Oh Wenderly… I’ve told you I love your blog… I really do. Today’s reading for me is a little bittersweet.

    On 8/8, a date I’m sure I won’t soon forget, we lost our precious Rhodesian Ridgeback Bonnie. It’s been so hard to lose our beloved girl… and I’m not sure if it’s been harder on our boys (10 and 7.5) or harder on us.

    I came to your blog from a different place than usual this week so I thought when reading about Oakley that it was going to come to a tragic end. I’m so glad you are lucky enough to still have him around.

    Most certainly, we need to appreciate every day we have with our beloved pets. Without a doubt, they are gone long before we are ready to let them go.

    I have so many photos like you of our pooch. One look at my facebook account and you’ll see hundreds of photos of Bonnie…and a few of the kids LOL!

    We are actually dog sitting our friends RR this week. Not sure if that’s helping or hurting us…but so far so good.

    I almost started a blog this week thinking a post about Bonnie and how much we loved her would be a great story. But I don’t want to start a blog on such a sad story! Maybe in the future!

    Hold Oakley tight!

  3. Love your story of how Oakley became a member of your family. Also love, love, love your garden. Your hostas are beautiful.

  4. I wuv him.

    He reminds so much of our Sam, that found us too the very same way years ago.

    Scratch his belly for me, will ya?

  5. There is nothing like having a dog in your life. Oakley looks adorable and I am a total sucker for dogs with beards…what a cutie!

  6. Getting *turned around* at the shelter was no accident. You and Oakely were destined to meet. *When the family is ready, the pet appears* I hope you and your family are blessed with many years of unconditional love and companionship from this beautiful dog. We humans have much to learn from them don’t we?

  7. By the end of the 1st paragraph I was breaking down. I was so touched by this story. I completely understand when you said he was looking deep into your eyes. In June we lost our beloved Leo, a 14 1/2 year old Jack Russell/Rat Terrier mix and I can really see some of Leo in Oakely. So happy for you and thank you for a beautiful story. I know you are enjoying every minute of his company.

  8. Such a beautiful dog and he is so lucky to have you. And you to have him. 🙂

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