When Sue and Jerry Sonnleitner’s dog, Belle, died last April, they thought their 40-year run as dog owners might be over.

But when tragedy struck just before Christmas, the long-time Green Lake residents unexpectedly found themselves caring for a 7-year-old pup who lost both her owner and companion in a matter of days.

Shelby, a standard poodle with a habit of offering her paw to those she deigns to allow pet her, had been a kennel dog, Sue explained, before Sue’s friend Barb Peteranetz took her in.

Peteranetz brought the poodle, then 2 years old, to her 80-acre, wooded family farm on the Fox River near Montello to live with her, another standard poodle named Dudley and some chickens.

The arrangement initially was not smooth sailing.

“‘I don’t know what to do with her because she runs and hides behind the sofa or runs into the other room and disappears,’” Sue remembers Peteranetz telling her.

With Peteranetz’s care and the companionship of Dudley, Sue and Jerry believe Shelby calmed down and settled in.

“She has very good habits,” Jerry said. “She was well-trained.”

Read more in the March 9, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.