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There's No Place Like Home

“We’re not getting a dog today,” I said as we entered the pet store. My daughter, Carolyn, and I were en route to pick out a Christmas tree when I suggested we stop in Petco since it was on the way. “It’s fun to see the dogs,” I said. While the idea of a four-legged companion would occasionally cross my mind, my travel interests and empty-nester freedoms cancelled out any fleeting thoughts of adding a new family member. Until I held tiny Ebenezer in my arms, that is.

A 2 1/2 year-old Yorkie/Chihuahua mix with a calm demeanor, he weighed all of 5 1/2 pounds, fitting perfectly in the crease of my arm as if I were cradling a baby. His big brown eyes stared up at me and then began to close as I rubbed his tummy, dozing off completely oblivious to the chaotic surroundings jammed with holiday shoppers. Once I had him in my lap, I couldn’t put him down. There was something special about Ebenezer.

I asked Julie, the 4 Precious Paws Rescue representative, for more information. She shared Ebenezer’s story, explaining that he had been in a “hoarding situation” with 15 other dogs in a single household. They had all been rescued and were in need of new homes. She said Ebenezer was a sweet dog who loved to be cuddled, had an adorable personality, and was already house-broken. The more I heard about and held him, the more difficult it was to let him go.

After my questions were answered, something still lingered on my mind. I said with curiosity, “Ebenezer seems like an odd name for this dog, especially since he’s so sweet. He’s definitely no Scrooge.” Julie responded, “Oh, that was just the name we gave him when we rescued him a couple of weeks ago,” she said. “We gave all the dogs Christmas names. Jingle is right over there.”

My investigative journalist mind got the best of me, prompting me to ask, “So what was Ebenezer’s original name?”

“His name,” she said, “was Toto.”

With that, Carolyn smiled and said, “Looks like you found your dog, Mom.” I later gave Julie my “Tales of Oz” website business card, sharing that I was a writer. She responded as we departed, “It’s a match made in heaven.”

Yes, it was. Yes, it is! After being with me for just over a year -- and on my lap now, as I write -- I think Toto would agree that “There’s no place like home.”

To learn more about Oz and Toto’s adventures, visit


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