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bailey 3A year ago, just a few days before Christmas, my wife Dallis and I walked into a dog rescue organization “just to look.” We walked through the kennels, and in one we saw four small dogs. Three of them were jumping and barking as you might expect. The fourth one sat there quietly in the chaos and looked at us with eyes that said, “Well, are you going to let me out, or what?” We asked to see him. Then we walked him on a leash, and he didn’t seem to have a clue about that. But he was trusting and he liked to be held. So we took him home on a “trial basis” — no papers signed, no promises, no nothing! Within half-an-hour our hearts were hooked.

It had been almost a year since we lost our Pomeranian named Sadie, who died suddenly of congestive heart failure at the age of just eight years old. Our hearts were still a little tender. But Bailey entered our lives just before Christmas, much to our surprise, and helped in the healing process.

I ran across the piece below written by an unknown author that helps me to remember that the grief of loss is soothed by finding another pet to love.

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Bailey was initially found wandering the streets of our city. He was in bad shape. He was held at the county shelter right up to the day before his time on earth was scheduled to expire. But the strange and wonderful serendipity of him entering our lives is that we initially thought we were “rescuing” him, and it turns out that he “rescued” us. He came into our lives right at the right time, and he makes us laugh at least once a day!

Here’s the piece titled, “A Dog’s Last Will and Testament,” author unknown. I imagine Sadie, who wasn’t all that crazy about other dogs, approving nonetheless of us finding another canine companion to share our home. Some of her toys and beds remain, and Bailey now enjoys them.

Before humans die, they write their Last Will & Testament, and give their home and all they have to those they leave behind.

If, with my paws, I could do the same, this is what I’d ask…

To a poor and lonely stray I’d give:
My happy home,
My bowl,
My cozy bed,
My soft pillows and all my toys,
The lap which I loved so much,
The hand that stroked my fur and the sweet voice which spoke my name.
I’d will to the sad, scared shelter dog the place I had in my human’s heart, of which there seemed no bounds.

So when I die please do not say, “I will never have a pet again, for the loss and pain is more than I can stand.” Instead, go find an unloved dog; one whose life has held no joy or hope and give MY place to him. This is the only thing I can give … the love I left behind.

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