Last year I experienced my darkest hours of despair. During those hours when my life was turned upside down, and shaken in every direction it was possible to be moved, my beloved special needs dog Jack died in my arms during a seizure. He had cluster seizures, lasting as long as 6 hours straight, and I knew his heart had to be weakened from the extreme stress placed on his body, and every time he suffered I prayed, please God, let this time be the last time. Then on that day as I prayed my prayers were answered, just not as I had hoped. His loss made my despair so much more intense and I went to a site on facebook called the Rainbow Bridge and poured out my soul and I was befriended by a kind person that lives far across the country, and through that friendship I have been welcomed into a group of friends that have enveloped me in so much love that I give thanks every day and live in gratitude for the understanding that Jack had to leave at that precise moment to put me in that place to be found by my now very good friend and kindred cat person, Tabby. Through Tabby’s introduction I have met my twin brother of another mother, Jim (he is 7 years my junior so that was one LONG labor), and this story is about him. Growing up as an only child I have always imagined what kind of person would be my sibling and he hits the mark on all cylinders so it was no surprise but expected to hear he has a rescue dog in his household that we’ll refer to as brown dog. Jim owns his own business and brought himself to success through hard work, book smarts (though he denies that fact vehemently) and street smarts, a kind heart and the ability to laugh at the world around him while laughing at himself first and foremost. He’s been planning on leaving his successful enterprise to his children who have worked in the family business since they were old enough to be entrusted with doing the job in a manner befitting the eye to quality their dad expects his customers to receive, a gift of himself he gives to everyone he meets. His plans of passing the baton to his oldest son and perhaps taking a little more time for himself, a gift for all those years of hard work and his well earned reward, were put on hold when his oldest told him the hat his dad had been preparing for him to wear all these years was not the hat he saw himself wearing into his old age and he had found a new style of haberdashery to try, and so was leaving the warmth and comfort of the family business to see the world for himself and see what hats fit his head best and brought him the sense of comfort and warmth the family business couldn’t, leaving Jim dejected. All the best laid plans now had to be rethought, and the most immediate of those was his annual vacation to the mountains where he spends the holidays every year with his wife, recharging during the down time in his construction business, renewing his soul for the new year ahead so he can be his best self for everyone. During this upheaval his wife went ahead because reservations had been made, tickets paid, but he stayed behind to take care of business. His first day at home, alone, and he walks into the house and finds it empty. No brown dog anywhere. Whenever someone is missing from home she notices and mopes, won’t eat, just sleeps in one of her usual spots, a big cushion in the family room where the big TV resides, a cage with blankets in the laundry room where she goes when thunderstorms hit, a porch swing with cushions so she can survey all that happens around the neighborhood (mostly squirrels) and a couch she isn’t supposed to be on but she thinks she owns (and according to Jim, she does….lol). To say he was stressed is an understatement because she learned to open an unlocked door and he was imagining the worst as he went and surveyed the yard, and no sign of her anywhere. He has a downstairs office but in the 13 years she has been his beloved she has never once gone down those stairs, but no one has ever been able to figure out why it scares her so. Finally as a last resort but knowing she would not, could not be there, he went, and there he found her, curled up in his office chair, nervously wagging her tail with a grin. That night she slept in his bed, curled up against his back, again, not her normal place to be. Only a beloved dog could understand the heartbreak of thinking your life is in order only to find you’re back in the middle of chaos, and walk through the fire of their own fears and inadequacies to bring you the comfort and love you so desperately need during your troubles through the gentle touch of their warm and loving spirit. Brown dog is one of those beloveds, just as my Jack was. My brother of another mother and I are indeed lucky. I wouldn’t even have the comfort of sharing in this if my Jack hadn’t gone to spirit at the exact moment so I was in the exact place for our mutual friend Tabby to find me and bring me into this experience and incredible story of love, comfort and commitment that only a special Angel of God can bring to our lives. We truly are blessed when we are loved by a dog. There aren’t words that do justice to what they bring to our life just by being. You can have this too. Just rescue one today. You’ll never be the same again. Your life will be so much better there isn’t enough newsprint for me to tell you all the ways.
And never forget it’s only through you the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.