Second Empire Furniture

The Dog Page

Custom Cabinetmaking Portfolio 1
Custom Cabinetmaking Portfolio 2
Antique Restoration
Patriotic Carvings
2 & 4 Legged Staff
Shipping and Policies
Refer a Friend
Contact Us

"My dog is usually pleased with what I do, because she is not infected with the concept of what I "should" be doing" ~ Lonzo Idolswine


Katy's story ~ One early spring day in 2005 a very dirty and bedraggled black & tan dog who had by all appearances spent many months wandering the streets and alleys of Baltimore, decided to wander down the ally next to our shop, and come into the open back door of our shop, immediately making herself at home. Thin and silent, she showed no intention to leave, so we let her stay, we made a bed for her out of furniture blankets on the first floor amidst the saw dust and wood scraps. A few days later I decided to bring her to a groomers to get her cleaned up, so that I could take her home to meet my wife. The groomers worked for hours washing and combing out the mud, feces and tar out of her knotted and matted fur, trying not to have to resort to cutting all her fur off. When I went to pick her up the entire staff stood proudly around her; she was a sight to behold, a transformation from a ragged street dog to a beauty.

My wife named her Katy, and she quickly found a place in our home and hearts. From the start we saw that she is happiest when she has a job to do. It started one morning when she noticed that day after day getting our old Basset Hound Holly out from under her blanket and into the car to go to work with me  was a real challenge. Her help was to circle around old Holly barking and nipping at her blanket, getting Holly to get mad enough at her to follow her to the back door and out. Other daily tasks she has taken on of her own accord are, getting the mail, newspaper, and package deliveries, and bringing them either inside (newspaper), or into the office at work. Delivery drivers now just know to give her packages after I sign for them, no matter how big, she is unrelenting in her drive to bring something in, even if it means her going up the shop stairs backwards while dragging a heavy box. She is a lesson in persistence, even if she drops it and it slides back down the stairs numerous times. At drive up banking windows she has to lean out and get the transaction out of the mechanical sleeve, amusing the tellers. When we had a rat problem last year in the yard outside the shop, she took it upon herself to be on constant vigil, spending hours of the work day watching where she knew they emerged from, and taking care of quite a few. At the end of each day she follows ahead of me in my routine of shutting down and locking up the shop, making sure I don't forget anything.

After having a Basset Hound for nearly 15 years who habitually lashed out at children, it was a welcome change to have a dog who is so gentle with them. The most amazing example of this occurred one day about a year after her arrival. I was seated on a park bench with Katy beside me, when a large, noisy group of about 7-8 children ages 6-13 came over and started vigorously petting her, one asked if it would be alright to pick her up, I looked over at Katy, who seemed to be taking the attention well, and gave my permission. Up she went awkwardly into the arms of the first child, then, as the others wanted their turn, proceeded to be passed around like a sack of jello. All the while remaining as calm as could be. They eventually deposited her back on the bench beside me, and went off to "play" with another dog they saw. I just looked at her and wondered, where did you come from?

When Katy arrived, my helper Robert suspected she might be pregnant, since she was not alone. A mixed breed male dog, who kept his distance from  us, and the shop door Katy had gone into, haunted the outskirts of the shop for days.  I dismissed the idea that we had adopted a pregnant dog, until, during a visit with my folks she did something that both amazed anyone who witnessed it, and gave me a hint that Katy needed to go to a vet to be checked sooner rather then later. While I was seated on a sofa, Katy went over to a basket wherein my folks keep toys and baby books for the grandkids, gently picking up a baby book with her mouth, she jumped up on the sofa and put it on my lap, then carefully opened the book with her mouth, then sat herself beside me, ready to start listening to the kiddie story. A short while later 9 beautiful pups were born on our office sofa.

I have a customer who firmly believes that we don't meet anyone in this life by accident, when it comes to the likes of Katy and Sabrina, I would have to expand it to dogs (and cats) as well. 


Sabrina by the Potomac

Sabrina's story ~ Sometimes dogs, like people, take the initiative to make a drastic change in their lives. With dogs, there's less or no planning, something better arises, and they go with it.  People, I've found, get bogged down in the details.

Sabrina's (and possibly Katy's) is a story of making a break for a better existence. Confined to a small chain link pen in a backyard in rural Ohio, an opportunity, or burst of energy came one day to remove herself from this bleak existence with owners who cared little for her.  So, after getting out of the pen,  she started walking along a main road that snakes through that part of the state.  She didn't get too far when a coworker of Stephen's wife's was driving by on her way to a visit home in Wisconsin.  They stopped the car and walked over to the stray dog, who greeted them,  Sabrina then started to lead them back to the home she had strayed from as if to introduce them to her owners.  It was explained that the dog had been their son's since it was a puppy, but that a while back he had left home, and left the dog.  They knew it had a terrible existence but could barely do for themselves, let alone a rather big dog. They implored the couple to take the dog, and the couple promised to pick up the dog on their return trip.

Knowing we had not long before taken in a stray, they asked us to adopt Sabrina shortly after they returned home to Washington DC with her. Sabrina, like Katy, was in terrible shape at first, a groomer had to remove most of her hair to get rid of the matted tangled knots, she was also way over weight from living off of table scraps. After a couple of months of thinking about it, we decided to take her in, a decision we have never regretted. Sabrina has been a joy. though not as complex as Katy, she too is as gentle as a lamb with children, protective of all she considers friends, and as obedient as any dog one would want. She is always the first through the door when you whistle. At the shop, she is almost always within sight of me. She's the big sister/mother to all in her circle. To think of her neglected and confined to a pen yet bearing no scars from such a life is a lesson.

Sadly Sabrina past away very suddenly after a short illness in May of this year. A day does not pass in which we think of her. She was a wonderful companion to us all.

Ginger as a Pup

Katy & Bixter

Bixter became part of our family June 19th. He was one of 13 pups born on March 21st at Whippoorwill Farm in Tennessee, breeders of registered English Shepherds.

2927 Guilford Ave., Baltimore, Maryland

This site  The Web

Web site hosting by