Monday, February 20, 2012

Life with Shelties Means...Healing

One of the very hardest things any person owned by a dog experiences is their death. I always say, the only bad thing you can say about dogs is they don't live long enough! But sometimes another little soul comes into our lives when we least expect it to heal our broken heart. Here's Amanda Oswalt's very special essay about losing her heart to one sheltie and then having it healed by another.

Early last December we suffered an unexpected loss.  Our 8 year old sheltie, Sammy, suddenly passed away.  We never found out why it happened, but it was a devastating shock.  However, while we were all grieving the loss of Sammy, our older sheltie, Kassie, mourned harder than any of us.  Kassie began to bark repeatedly and rhythmically from the time she would wake in the morning until she’d fall asleep in the evening.  It never stopped.  We tried treats, new toys, etc.  Finally, the vet told us that as the alpha dog, Kassie was calling back the lost member of her pack.  The only way to help her was to get another dog.
I certainly didn’t feel I was emotionally ready for another dog.  However, I knew it was necessary.  I searched for several weeks.  The new dog had to be perfect….not too big, not too old, not too young, and of course, a sheltie! 
It was the night before Christmas Eve.  I decided to call a childhood friend who was a vet over a hundred miles away.  To this day, I haven’t a clue what made me call her.  We hadn’t spoken in nearly 15 years.   I explained our situation and asked that if she ever came across a sheltie, could she please keep us in mind.  There was stunned silence on the other end of the phone.  She eventually said that a sheltie was just brought into the hospital.  He had been attacked by a Rottweiler and the owners wanted him put down.  His windpipe severed, lungs collapsed…chance of survival was minimal.  The vet assumed ownership and performed emergency surgery.  I called just as he was moved to recovery.  She immediately put a sign on his cage stating that he had a new owner and I picked him up a very LONG week later.
Adopting Rudy and helping him recover healed all of our broken hearts…even Kassie’s.  He was sent to us to help us heal after losing Sammy, and sadly, to help us through the loss of Kassie just 3 months later.  Rudy is truly our angel.

Amanda wrote in her email to me that this photo was taken the moment they put Rudy in her arms. She said, "I was so happy, I thought my face would break from smiling!"

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