Why dogs?

19 May

I’d like to start off by telling everyone a little about myself and why I have such a love for animals!

Ever since I was a little girl, we’ve had animals around; whether it be cows, horses, raccoons (yes, a pet one, named Ricky), pigs, rabbits and/or cats! We always had some type of animal around and I knew at a young age, my passion was with animals! When I was born, we had a dog named Trapper. She was a lab mix and the sweetest of sweet dogs. When I was 5 years old, she was put down and it truly devastated the family.

A few years later, we adopted a puppy, a chocolate lab puppy. When we brought her home, we were having a hard time coming up with a name for her. She was just so cute and so tiny. Within a few hours, it hit us all like a ton of bricks. Everywhere I went, she went. Every room I walked into, she walked into. Soon, we had a puppy named “Shadow.” This dog, was “my dog.” She was the best. One of those dogs who met you when you got off the bus, woke you up in the morning and waited until everyone went to bed before she would even think about it. In June 2008, Shadow died. We knew she was getting old and one day, we knew it was time. She laid out in the entry way and whimpered until I went out and laid with her, holding her head in my arms. Her whimpering continued until I started talking. I soon realized that it was soothing to her to hear my voice and I know it sounds silly, but I sat there and told her stories about all the fun things we had done in her life and talked about all of her favorite places to dig and times we rode in the car. During this time, her whimpering stopped, almost as if she was listening intently to every word I was saying. It wasn’t long, and she passed away. This was a defining moment in my life. It was at that moment that the concept of life and death became vividly real. My loyal friend of 13 years was no longer going to meet me at the end of the driveway or lay on the steps waiting for me to come in the house. She was gone. Shadow was buried underneath a tree that my mom planted from an acorn. My mom and Shadow would go out and water it everyday and so that tree is where she belonged. The tree is healthy and year after year it grows taller and taller and more and more leaves bloom. This tree is a symbol of our “Shadow” and we think of her often.

It took a long time to get over losing her as she was a member of our family. However, as we moved forward, we started to feel like there was a void in our family, a void only an animal was going to fill. When you have 2 loyal dogs, both for 13 years at a time, you start to realize that your family isn’t a “family” without one. In the fall of 2010, we adopted another chocolate lab, Sadie. She’s a mix between a yellow lab and a black lab and came out to be a beautiful brown. Over the last year and a half, she has filled that void and then some. It’s so great to have a dog in the house again and I look forward to the next 12 years that we’ll all have with this dog!

It’s pretty obvious that animals have had quite an impact on my life and have led me to have a passion for them. I’ve been raised in farming communities my whole life and have always had a dog in the house. But it’s dogs that offer something that humans can’t; they’re always there when something is wrong, and they know something is wrong without having to ask, and they’re always another body in the car if you just need to drive. They love unconditionally.

It is my hope that with this blog, animals lovers everywhere can share these stories and share stories of their own.

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3 Responses to “Why dogs?”

  1. kateshrewsday May 19, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    What a lovely idea 🙂 They do transform our lives, these little spirits…. all the best as you start out on this new project!

  2. Connie Cooper May 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    Sarah, I never knew about the tree your mom planted from an acorn. So appropriate that Shadow is there. Animals are truly a blessing sent from above to help us cope with day-to-day life and love us unconditionally. Growing up with dogs and now living with cats, I can’t imagine life without them. Thanks for sharing your story – it brought tears to my eyes as I remembered Trapper and Shadow and the love you all shared with them. Sadie is your blessing now. Keep up the blog – you’re very good at it!

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