Louie's Story (and How Battered Hope Got Started)

louie's story

It was our first evening dog-sitting while Rochelle, our teenage daughter, was on vacation in Costa Rica for two weeks. Louie, aka Louis Vuitton, searched the entire house for his “mommy.” Then, that disappointed but determined Miniature Dachshund formulated a plan. 

While my husband Paul and I were watching TV, we heard a commotion on the stairs leading to Rochelle’s bedroom on the third floor. Something heavy was being dragged down the stairs, causing a loud thumping sound. I peeked around the corner and saw this six-month-old puppy laboriously dragging his large, hard-sided Louis Vuitton carrier down the staircase. 

He glanced at us, wagged his tail, and scurried back up the stairs. “What do you think he is doing?” my husband asked. 

We watched in amazement as Louie dragged his worldly possessions, one by one, down those stairs: first, his blankie, and then his bowl, bone, ball, and sweater. He even made one last trip to get his leash. 

Packing Up To See Mommy

packing up

We watched in amazement as Louie dragged his worldly possessions, one by one, down those stairs: first, his blankie, and then his bowl, bone, ball, and sweater. He even made one last trip to get his leash. 

This project took most of the evening, and Louie never tired. He was on a mission, but we were not certain what it was... yet. 

What happened next made us realize that not only did this dog have a mission but he put thought and reasoning into each move. He took each of the personal items he had lugged down the stairs and put them in the carrier. This was extremely difficult as the carrier had a lip that was considerably taller than he was. 

After Louie finished packing his “suitcase,” he attempted to jump inside. It took several tries, but he made it. But he wasn’t done yet. Once inside, he got the zipper between his teeth and, with all the strength he could muster, he pulled the zipper closed. I envied his patience and tenacity. Then he lay down and went to sleep. 

The message was abundantly clear. He wanted to go see his mommy. He had seen her pack her suitcase and go away. He must do the same so he could find her. He stayed in the carrier all night, and when I unzipped it in the morning, he was elated. Believing he had arrived, he jumped up—but his mommy was not there. 

Writing Louie's Story

writing louie's story

I started making notes about Louie’s escapades to share with Rochelle. He surprised us with new undertakings every day. 

When the telephone would ring, he would run to it, knock it off the hook and bark until we picked up the receiver and said, “Hello.” 

His absolute favorite activity was going for a car ride. The possibility of stopping at McDonald’s for chicken nuggets was his inducement. But one day, my husband didn’t stop at McDonald’s and then left Louie in the car with the window cracked while he went off to do an errand. That dog, with legs about two inches long, managed to jump out the window of Paul’s truck and land without injury. He then walked two blocks in a busy urban area and found Paul in a hardware store. As Paul was paying for his purchase, he heard a man say, “Well, little fellow, where did you come from?” 

louie's story

Paul was shocked to look down and find Louie, who looked up at him as if to say, “Here I am. I found you all by myself. I waited at the streetlights with all the other people. Aren’t you proud of me? Can we have chicken nuggets now?” 

Indeed, they stopped for some nuggets on the way home. One evening, when I put Louie outside to pee, I noticed a huge black bear in the driveway. I screamed at Louie to come back inside the house. Instead, he fearlessly charged the bear’s back legs and nipped at them. The bear ran as fast as he could to get away from the little annoying dog. I was terrified yet laughing hysterically at Louie’s bravado. 

Inspired By Louie's Story

louie's story

For Christmas that year, I turned Louie’s daily journal into a hardbound book written from a dog’s perspective. When Rochelle opened her gift, she laughed and cried at the same time. I will never forget her words: “Mom, now will you write your memoir?” She began a campaign, and no matter what excuse I gave her, she persisted until I finally said, “Yes!” 

Writing Louie’s story changed my life, and set me on the path to a new career as an author, YouTuber, and radio talk show host. Louie is an old, gray-haired dog now—just as cute, certainly as smart, and still up to his old, and new, tricks. 

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