Prior to this event, I had already been adopted once. A family of six which consisted of the two parents and their four young sons rescued me. However, we were not compatible. The children were lively and rough players while I am laid-back and quiet. I did not like to spend my day being hyper or playing with toys. I simply wanted attention from the family that adopted me. I did not meet their needs, so I was returned within the same week. That family left the shelter with an energetic puppy instead.
I was discouraged, but this adoption event gave me a new spark of hope. My handler guided me quickly to the location of the event. We were an hour late because we got caught in traffic. I was the very last dog from the shelter to even arrive to this event. My handler worried that that hour could have affected my chance. The moment I arrived, I looked around and then spotted a girl.
She looked rather young, perhaps the same age as the boys from my previous home. When we locked eyes, a smile covered her face. I sensed good vibes from her. She seemed like a dog person that wanted to greet me. That attention-wanting part of me took over and I pulled on the leash. My handler caved and allowed me to approach the girl. She bent down and began to pet me gently. I pressed my muzzle into her and she hugged me. Shortly after our first encounter, I learned that the family spotted a picture of me on the Internet and drove an hour to meet me. I have my forever family now.
The girl, Maria, and I grew up together. I watched her grow from a small third grader to a sophomore in college. We have been through everything together. Whenever she was upset, I was there to comfort her. She is not one to cry in front of people, so I would be the shoulder for her to lean on when she needed it the most. I was also there when she was the happiest. Her happiness made me happy in return.
Although I had some of the best memories with my new family, I also had some rough times as well. My veterinarian diagnosed me with a benign tumor around the age of four which grew on my front left leg. Although it remained in one spot, my family was told that the probability of it returning after surgery was very high. The vet was right. My family paid to get my tumor removed four different times throughout my life.
Once Maria became a sophomore in college, she made the decision to transfer to a different school. Her new university was an hour and a half away, so she had to live on campus. Adjusting to her being gone for long periods of time was hard. The longest the two of us have been apart was a week tops. Now I was lucky to see her one weekend a month. However, it became manageable as time went by. I valued each weekend that we got to spend together.
But while she was gone, my senior age of 13 began to get the better of me. A fifth tumor grew on my leg. The vet said that surgery and recovering would be too painful for me to bear so it was left alone since it caused me no pain. I began to have strokes that caused half of my body to paralyze for a couple days. Even though I recovered, I often had another stroke by the next month. Then February came. I had my fourth and worst stroke yet. Mariaâ€™s mother grew concerned and rushed me to the vet. The look in her eyes when she received the news was enough for me to know that this would be my last day of my life. On February 5th, 2013, I was euthanized. I did not get the chance to say goodbye to Maria that day.
The next time I awoke, God greeted me at the Rainbow Bridge. As He led me across the Bridge, He promised me good health. I would be free of my cancer, strokes, and painful recoveries. But there was one thing that I was not free from: a broken heart. Watching Maria learn the news of my passing was devastating for me as I watched her sob terribly in her dorm. For the first time, I was not there to comfort her when she needed it the most.
But this is not supposed to be a sad ending. Even though I am gone, we will one day meet again. My family gave me a second, no, a third chance at life. My dream came true: I had a family and forever home of my own. Just shy of a year after my death, I watched as Maria invited a young corgi, Jake, into her life. I am not jealous, but proud of her. Just like me, Jake received a third chance at a forever home after his previous family returned him to his shelter. She has not replaced me, but has given another dog another chance of life. And I know that Maria is the perfect person to take on that challenge.
Profile by Ziva
Overlay by Rathoren
Background Image obtained from Xanthorpe Blogspot, The Stairway To Heaven
Pictures of Chili taken by Tali