Sometimes, a rescue dog is a perfect gift for the whole family.
After a rough couple of years involving a lot of loss, my husband and I were ready to add to our family. Not yet ready for a child, we decided a dog would be the perfect addition.
So we started the search!
We knew we wanted to rescue a dog from a shelter and that any dog we chose to bring into our home needed to be good around kids and other animals, but we tried to keep an open mind about all other aspects of our future dog. We weren’t going to narrow down the list of deserving dogs based on breed or appearance. We just wanted to give a dog a good home.
And, as often happens, we connected right away to one of the dogs.
He stood out by being one of the quiet dogs. He was medium sized, with a beautiful red coat, and seemed anxious being stuck in a room with 20 other caged dogs barking like crazy. We immediately fell in love and decided that he was the one.
We talked to the vet about his health background, signed the paperwork, and brought him home. My husband chose to name him Niles, after a character on one of his favorite T.V. shows, Frasier. We introduced him to our cats, the cats approved, and he officially became a member of our family.
What I immediately noticed was how quickly we all bonded. Having been rescued from a hoarding situation as a puppy, Niles was a very anxious dog. This was something my husband and I could appreciate (the anxiety, not the hoarding) and we immediately took it upon ourselves to help him feel safe and comfortable both in his new home and out and about in the neighborhood. What started out as a shaking, scared dog transformed into a happy and playful pup full of personality. Although still cautious, he has learned that the people in his life are here to keep him safe.
And while we’ve given him a lot, he’s given us just as much. This new puppy brought some much needed joy and hopefulness into our home.
Having experienced the loss of my mother-in-law in April, my husband and I were still going through the grieving process and struggling with the thought of a Christmas without her. And while a new dog is in no way a replacement, it was a helpful reminder of the positive side of the circle of life. We will all experience loss and pass away ourselves, but there will continue to be new life to follow.
Needless to say, this Christmas you’ll find us cuddled up with our puppy, remembering those that we’ve lost while also being thankful for those still in our life. Here’s to the transformative power of our canine companions!
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