The Dart: Dog provides lifetime of friendship to family

Published 12:34 am Monday, June 11, 2018


VIDALIA — Ishmoo had just gotten her first haircut of the summer when The Dart landed on Concordia Avenue in Vidalia.

Ishmoo, a 14-year-old blonde Yorkie, still had tufts of fur around her feet where owner Leah Landers had not yet shaved.

Email newsletter signup

Landers has had the dog since her eighth birthday, when Lisa Halford, Landers’ mother, put the little dog in a hat box and took her to the bowling alley, where Landers was having her birthday party.

“She just screamed when she opened the box. She loved her so much,” Halford said.

Now, all these years later, Halford and Landers still play with the little, aging dog.

The funny thing is, Halford said, no one knew Ishmoo would live this long.

When she adopted the dog as a puppy, the veterinarian told Halford the dog might not live long.

Ishmoo has a blood condition called red mange that makes her break out if she gets too hot or too excited.

So, the summer shave is not just for Ishmoo’s comfort; it’s for her health, too.

“The doctor knew that we loved animals, and we just wanted her,” Halford said. “It takes constant care, but we love her.”

Ishmoo is happy and ready for summer now, with what Landers called the whole “Cousin It” shaved off of her.

“She looks like a Clydesdale with those big tufts on her feet,” Landers said, laughing while Ishmoo played with her niece, Haley Landers. “She’s my best friend.”

Haley, 4, has grown up with Ishmoo, who she affectionately calls “Ishmee.”

Whenever Haley comes to her grandmother’s house, she looks forward to all kinds of things, including making slime, making homemade Barbie clothes and, of course, playing with Ishmoo.

“I never thought she’d be around this long,” Halford said. “I didn’t think she’d be this big a part of our lives.”