How Spirit was rescued. CO

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

“Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash” is now available autographed through us for $24.99 [$19.99 + $5 S&H, Continental 48 States] by clicking the above photo links. [PayPal accepting all cards]. It is also available through Amazon in soft cover or as an electronic download.
Please e-mail us for extra shipping and handling charges outside the 48 States or International.

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.” ~ Milan Kundera ~


We are hovering in and around Gunnison, Colorado, as our book is now at the printer while us needing an Internet connection and a mailing address! I received the first couple copies and have given the final go ahead. I will post more details soon on how to order from this page autographed by the both of us if so desired. Also soon more information if wanting to order directly from Amazon as a soft cover. The electronic formats are going to take a little longer. In the meantime we have been riding Cottonwood Pass at 12,126 feet, visited Taylor Park Reservoir and of course again, Crested Butte!

Taylor Park Reservoir-6 xxx

Rightly so I have had a few Friends asking me if "Spirit’s rescue" is in our book. Sadly I had to say no. My editor has already, unconsciously I think as we often had the great pleasure knowing we were 1,500 miles away from each other, expressed another book will need to be written called "Everything I forgot to write in the first book"! Or was it my idea? I forget. Maybe just "Short Stories off the Leash".

Spirit-5 xxx 

Spirit-7 xxx

Spirit is my third dog within these 65 years, almost 66 now. I write "my", yet I do not believe in owning a dog. Same as we do not own people. Dogs to me are my humans. Some might remember this quote "The more I love dogs, the less I like humans". Some! I feel the same with land. As insignificant as we are in this vast Universe, how can we ever proclaim we own such. It is more so a privilege acquired or sometimes given, loaned for the time being. For the sake of written convenience I will however continue calling him "my dog".

Cottonwood Pass-3 xxx

Cottonwood Pass xxx

Cottonwood Pass-4 xxx

I think I was in my early, very early teens when we got a dog. I remember him or her being a Dachshund. I don’t recall its gender, this is all part of maturing and losing some cells from the memory folder. What I remember, is one day him/her biting me. Biting my right thumb. 50 or so more years later, as in right now, I am still looking at the scar. I think I tried to take away a toy he or she was playing with. Danny, which was his or her name and I have no clue why anyone would call their dog Danny, well, he or she did not last long in our household. My Father being a surgeon took care of my thumb, my Mother took care of the door closing in on Danny. Poor dog.

Sharper images when viewed in HD

Years passed without a dog. Culinary School in Switzerland followed by $50 and a one way ticket from France to Philadelphia while hearing the sigh of my by then happy Father sending his son and only child thousands of miles away. Work and more work, there was no fairness in having a dog. Marriage, Son, Divorce, more work and still no dog. I ended up living on a sailboat which was also a passion of mine, the sailing that is, and a black Lab, Lady Tascha, showed up in my life. She of course was rescued from a shelter, had been there for a while, she had given birth to a litter of ten and no one wanted her. I did.

Taylor Park Reservoir-3 xxx

Taylor Park Reservoir xxx

We passed some wonderful years together. That is when I could keep her out of the water. I originally just called her Tascha. I added "Lady" when I realized how much of a Lady she was and deserved the full title. I never had a leash for her. She was my shadow and the leash laws were also different at the time. She loved sailing. She loved sailing as much as Spirit loves riding. Since I worked, she stayed behind guarding the sailboat while in the different marinas we lived in. She jumped off throughout the day for her walks, she also was the dock-masters friend, it was the perfect life for the both of us. I remember while in one of the marinas we lived in, a Lady at the end of the dock having to leave early for work, often in the dark. It was the strangest thing as if Lady Tascha had a watch. She would get off the sailboat at the right time throughout the week, would go pick her up, walk her to her car and come back. The most amazing part, as yes, I wrote "throughout the week", she would know that she did not work on the weekend! We of course never figured that one out. Dogs are amazing.

Sharper images when viewed in HD

Eventually age took her away. I miss her. I know all of us dog lovers miss our past buddies. More years went by. Lance passed away as I tried afterwards for a couple years to hang on to my business in Naples, Florida, without by then much success. I ended up in Georgia, north of Atlanta to be more exact, doing some consulting work, also without much success. I had rented a house on 16 acres and it came time once again to fill my life with a faithful companion. Lumpkin County had a shelter not too far from the house, about 20 minutes. I visited them a couple times, I was not looking for a particular breed, only awaiting the flicker that happens from those caged dogs. And one day, at the end of one of the buildings, on the right, amidst the constant barking of many awaiting their destiny, was this dog in a corner, all bundled up and quiet with his head between his legs. He looked up for a few seconds and then on put his head back down. Just for a brief, very brief moment. The spark between us had happened.

Crested Butte

Crested Butte-2 xxx

Crested Butte-3

Crested Butte-4 xxx

Poor Spirit… He was laying down.

I remember that second as if it was now. That look, that connection, that pleading as "please take me". That moment broke my heart and it was an instant decision. Things did not however go so well. The manager of the shelter did not want me to have him because he is a Pit Bull. I pleaded to no avail as she tried so hard to show me other dogs she thought I would be happier with. Little did she know. This was a Tuesday. I offered to come by once a day as a volunteer and walk him. Many others did as such. Poor Spirit was about ten pounds lighter than today, could barely walk. I felt as his soul had been trampled on. Small steps at the time he went without me forcing him. There was hardly any eye contact, just a dog scarcely on his feet. The week went by, the manager’s opinion did not change. Nothing I could say would change her mind.

Milky way

Crested Butte-6

Crested Butte-5

He was to be euthanized that coming Monday. On Friday mid morning I received a phone call from the shelter. It was the volunteer assistant manager. She asked me if I still wanted "this dog" I have been walking every day. I said "yes". She replied "If you want him, you need to come right now and get him, the manager is off today". I did not ask any further questions, I was there… Once arriving I did ask her why she was doing this and wasn’t she afraid to lose her job when the manager would find out? She had herself three rescued Pit Bulls and because her husband owned about 15 different restaurants, she was independently wealthy and no, she was not afraid to lose her job. When she asked me while filling up the paperwork what his name would be, the word "Spirit" came up without even me thinking.

Crested Butte-7

Crested Butte-9

Crested Butte-8

A shelter normally will not divulge details of a dog’s past life. She however did with Spirit because it was important for me to know he had been abused with water. More exactly by shooting him with a hose attached to a fire hydrant and then on bringing him back by grabbing him from his neck. Over and over. He did not drink water in front of me for a long time. It took over a month for him to just come and lay down next to me and that is when he started to put his head under my arm for comfort always with a big sigh as he still does today. he wears goggles and a helmet, has ridden more miles than most, but, he is a softie with a heart of gold. You will know it if you ever meet him.



So that is how Spirit was rescued. Many have also asked me how long did it take me to train him to wear his goggles, helmet, jump in the sidecar and ride. I did not train him. He is a natural and I know he is always grateful for having been saved as I am grateful to him for having saved me

Crested Butte-11 

Stay well,
               Ara and Spirit

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25 Responses to “How Spirit was rescued. CO”

  1. Steve Says:

    Not only the great photos as usual….but one great … great story about Spirit. Be safe and enjoy.

  2. Old Fat Man Says:

    I still remember the day I met SPIRIT. You and I were standing there talking and SPIRIT wandered over and gently put his foot on mine and lifted his head for attention. It was the most gentle of introductions I could imagine. He is a wonderful pup.

  3. Pam in Louisiana Says:

    Such a sweet story of two kindred spirits becoming as one. Animals are definately not dumb or have no feelings as some people may think, they just can’t speak ‘our’ language. Yet they can truly speak the universal language of love.

  4. Ara & Spirit Says:

    There is no doubt about that. Thanks. Ara and Spirit

  5. Ara & Spirit Says:

    He is wonderful. Not a single complaint for sure. I wonder if he thinks the same of me!!! Stay well. Ara and Spirit

  6. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Thank You Steve. Stay well. Ara and Spirit

  7. Sissy Says:

    You are not far from Durango, Co. I was hoping you might take a run there; give pictures or better still, video. Reason? A lone ‘vagabond’ brother, whom I’ve not seen in many years is around Durango. Same age as you, Ara. I’ve often wondered about the area’s views. Ah, well, I’m just dreaming again. I could sure lay a big hug on Spirit – precious to see such spirit in an animal. I too love animals over many humans. Now as for your pictures – one day a book of them should be birthed – no doubt about that!
    Carolyn, east Tennessee

  8. Sally from MT Says:

    The “natural” part of dogs always amazes me…Had one who would jump in our pond and swim over the the little blow up raft I was on , grab it with his teeth and pull me to the shore..He was one of those rescue dogs who sparked that connection.. I went in there looking for a small, female , short haired dog and came out with this long haired male shepard..Really looking forward to reading your book. Glad you are offering a paper copy, just something about holding a book ! Hamilton , Mt is starting to get really pretty finally, if you need a spot to camp en rout , I have spot in my pasture available. Do you have a paper copy of your recipes?

  9. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Hi Sally. No on the recipes. They are just on our Journal. You can print them? Maybe some day… The logistics being on the road and doing such is difficult like right now! The electronic format of the book will take longer but I will probably announce the book up this weekend. Through the Journal if wanting autographed or through Amazon. I also like the soft covers! Thanks for the offer. We will start heading more north in July for sure after a Friends wedding in Colorado Springs on the Fourth of July. Hamilton MT? What is the nearest town, to have an idea.

  10. Sally from MT Says:

    The nearest city is Missoula, we are about 50 miles south in the Bitteroot Valley.. July is getting pretty hot here, further north camping is delightful that time of the year..I like the Seely Lake area and the Blackfoot River which has great access for camping and fishing. I will try to buy the downloads and print the recipes, haven’t done that yet..Happy Trails!

  11. Ara & Spirit Says:

    WE do not do heat very well! Reason we will move on probably to the Glacier area soon. Still in the 70’s here throughout the day and 30’s at night!!! Thank You and stay well. Ara and Spirit.

  12. Denny Gibson Says:

    Thanks for the story and thanks to your friends who prompted you to tell it. I had only a vague concept of the rescue and it’s so much better with the details.

  13. Randy Says:

    Natasha (our traveling Pit) loved this post. So did I.

  14. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Scandinavia!!! Have a great one and always Thank You for supporting the Journey. Ara and Spirit.

  15. texascindy Says:

    So glad you shared a more complete story of you and Spirit finding each other. I can remember the first time I met him (and you, of course). He came bounding out of your RV heading straight for me. All I could think was either he is going to eat me or lick me to death! Turned out he was just so happy to see me; almost as if I was a long lost friend! I’m sure he greets many like that since he is such a sweetheart. You two were definitely meant to be a together. BTW you better copyright that next book’s title! I like the “short stories” one best. Take care!

  16. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Thank You Cindy. “Short Stories off the Leash”!!! Some day…
    Will call you soon to reply regarding information for your own destinations.
    Stay well, the Book is now live to be ordered. Amazing. Ara and Spirit

  17. Rex Covington Says:

    Just bought the Kindle version of your book, look forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Kristin Says:

    What a truly lovely story. I was hoping you would be sharing it soon. Lucky Spirit to have been saved & lucky man that has him for a companion! The universe brought you 2 souls together. I have 2 rescues (1 pitbull) that make my life so much better. I look forward to reading your book! Take care.

  19. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Thank You Kristin. Your book is going out tomorrow! Yes, our buddies are precious…
    Stay well. Ara and Spirit
    Rex, Thank You. Comments on Amazon are appreciated! Good or bad…

  20. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Thank You Kristin. Your book is going out tomorrow! Yes, our buddies are precious…
    Stay well. Ara and Spirit
    Rex, Thank You. Comments on Amazon are appreciated! Good or bad…

  21. Jeff Says:


    Sunday, June 15th. I was in the Gunnison Napa applying some forgotten chain lube, you stopped for no other reason than to see if I need some help. You sir, set the bar very high indeed.

    Thank you.


  22. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Amazing you found us Jeff. This is what we do on the road. You would have done the same. Actually back in Gunnison for a couple days right now. Lake San Cristobal was a beautiful time. Stay well. Ara and Spirit.

  23. Sherry Hill Says:

    We were camped next to you and Spirit this week at Lake San Cristobal. I can attest, having met Spirit, that he is indeed a softie. He came right to me with a big smile. He’s a handsome guy, with his beautiful brindle coat. We’re back in Oklahoma ourselves, and I sure do miss those cold nights and pleasant days there in Lake City. Take care. Sherry

  24. Steve Davis Says:


    We had to put down our shelter dog Chewie last week after he was struck by a car. One of the hardest things I’ve had to do. He came into our life about 7 years ago during a tumultuous divorce. Like Spirit he was to be euthanized on the day we found each other. I’m still unsure who needed who the most as I was at the bottom. He was such a calming and steady companion and his unconditional love helped both me and my sons get through the divorce and on to living.

    I’m still not over losing him – it feels like I never will be. I scoured your archives for this story and it has helped me get through the day. Thanks for sharing your experiences good, and bad. You and Spirit are both an inspiration to me (and to many others obviously).



  25. Spirit Gureghian - The Dog in the Sidecar - Scooter in the Sticks Says:

    […] last 11 years or so — Spirit.  I felt a great sadness today when I read of his passing.  Spirit, a rescue dog, occupied a big space in Ara’s life and in the minds of his many readers.  When I look at […]

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