About six months after Dollie Feld of Cardiff adopted a brother and sister pair of Chihuahua-Cockapoos, she was perplexed when they unexpectedly howled and jumped on her.
After a few more incidents, she began to detect a pattern. About a half-hour after the howling, she would have one of her recurring seizures.
Her doctor explained that the dogs, Bodie and his sister, could sense a developing chemical imbalance in her and the howling was an alert signal.
These days, she heeds the warnings and takes medicine, which heads off the seizures before they occur.
“I have a much better life now,” Feld said Saturday at the 11th annual Cardiff Dog Days of Summer street fair. “I thought that I saved them, but they saved me.”
Feld did indeed help rescue the pair orphaned at birth. Police responded to a domestic violence problem in which both the wife and dog were beaten, she said.
Police tried to help the pregnant female dog, but it died during delivery of her pups, she added. The dogs were almost put down.
But the pooch pair were featured on TV as needing a home, and Feld was one of 250 viewers who responded.
“I prayed for a comfort dog,” she said. When she spotted the pair, she felt it was an answer to her prayers.”
On Saturday her dog Bodie was wearing a sombrero — entered into the best dressed contest at Dog Days, which calls itself San Diego County’s largest dog-centric event.
Thousands of canines and their owners were expected to attend the event hosted by Cardiff 101 Main Street. It also featured sales of dog-related items among other types of booths.
Dog pools (plastic children’s pools) cooled off some canines on a hot day, while others tried agility training with their owner’s encouragement.
Bodie didn’t win the contest, but is very much of a winner to Feld.
“We go everywhere together,” she said, “They are my life.”
Other competitions were held for best looking large and small dogs and for look-alike dogs and owners.
A pooch named Harper Lee, a year-old terrier mix that its owner says likes books, won for best looking small dog.
As the dogs were introduced to the crowd, owners boasted of their dogs’ likes and abilities.
“”He likes to eat carpet,” said one.
“Mattie speaks Spanish,” was another (although no Spanish utterances were heard).
“We’re both brown … and we have long faces,” said Rob Stack of Carmel Valley, explaining why he resembles his cattle dog Leroy. They placed second in the dog-owner look-alike contest.
Ron Bloom of Encinitas and his 15-year-old Chihuahua-Yorkie mix Thumper trotted off with first place.
Peanut, a 10-year-old Chihuahua mix, won the best-dressed competition — willing to sport a sombrero and miniature Mexican blanket.