We lost Sammy, our shepherd mix, when she was nine years old. I was stunned by the loss and no amount of telling myself that she was” just a dog” helped. She was gone and I missed her presence. I found myself stepping over nothing in the hallway. I kept listening for her breathing and her grumbling while she slept. We decided after much thought to look to the Shepherd Rescue and see if there was a dog out in the world that needed us or rather me.
We found a sweet looking dog and inquired about her and found that someone else was adopting her. So we waited. Finally Sophie appeared on the web site. She was only one year old and had this funny quizzical expression. My husband liked her instantly and we decided to contact the rescue. The people were so easy to talk to online and I found out about another dog that was older than Sophie. After a few days, I looked her up and Helen was introduced to my heart.
The hard part was choosing, and in the end we walked away with two beautiful dogs that kept turning around looking for their foster mothers. We put them in the car and I don’t think I have ever felt more like a kidnapper. Sophie had some medical problems but we were willing to work with that. However when her foster mother handed me her food that she had prepared I thought,” Cook! I don’t even cook for my family!”
Watching them get to know one another was interesting too. Helen became the boss even though Sophie was so much bigger. Once Sophie was allowed to run Helen had to set some limits because it became apparent that Sophie didn’t have any. It was as if we had a little kid in the house. Sophie would watch everything and then try to get in the middle of it. Helen took to hiding her chewy and then guarding it so “that youngster” wouldn’t take off with it. Eventually Helen has lost the resigned look on her face and looks like she could actually believe someone wanted her.
This was such an unexpected experience that I wanted to share the worthiness of opening up to someone new. It wasn’t Sammy but it was Sophie and Helen and they are companionable and fun and careful of their humans. It is a feeling like none other when they put their heads in your lap or run in circles around you because they’re glad that you’re home. It’s even worth the chewed up flip flops that I had to remember to put away. I wanted someone to share space with me and got so much more than a breathing partner. I got fun and the opportunity to make new memories. The rescue people that saved these two did us an enormous favor.