Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Man's Best Friend

After a two-year break from writing this blog, it’s hard to pick a topic for a comeback post. Eventually, you just have to pick something and go with it.

Some my favorite posts have been about our dogs, so that seems like a safe bet.

The picture above is our latest dog, Abi. She came to live with us about a year and a half ago.

It’s been almost four years since we lost a truly epic dog. Peanut was an amazing girl, and my eyes still mist over every time I think about her. After she passed away, our whole family needed time to mourn. 

I understand why some people choose to fill the void left by the passing of a pet right away, but I just can't do it. I need the loss to fade before I can give a new animal the emotional investment they deserve.

It took a long time for me to wrap my head around adding a new dog to our household. The decision was eventually made by a simple fact – Hogan was lonely.

He had never been an only dog. After Peanut was gone, he had a couple dog buddies, and we tried taking him to the dog park. But Hogan isn’t a run-with-the-pack kind of guy. He likes to have a friend he really connects with.

One day a friend sent me a link to a rescue group's Facebook photo of a female Belgian Malinois that needed a home. I fell in love. And that is how Abi came to live with us.

It took a long period of adjustment, lots of guidance on feline diplomacy, a stolen sandwich, a chewed piece of wall and much patience from all parties involved, but Abi has become one of the family.

I don’t know how she ended up at the animal shelter where she was rescued the day before she was to be put down. She certainly bounced around quite a bit for the first year of her life.

It’s hard for a dog to get used to a new home with new rules. It was hard for Hogan to get used to living with a new dog, especially one whose idea of fun is a ferocious neck-grab takedown.

Right now I’m watching them sleeping side-by-side. Dogs – just like people – need time to form a relationship. Seeing the bond and love between them reminds me of something else common to dogs and people.

There’s nothing like having a best friend.   

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