This post about why Our Dogs Are Our Family is part of the Nudges Wholesome Dog Treats #NudgesMoments #shop hosted by #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. All opinions are my own.
Do you have dogs? Well we do — and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. In our home, our dogs are considered true, valued members of our family and we give them a tremendous amount of love and respect because…they deserve nothing less. Over the years, our dogs have been through a lot together with us and throughout it all, they’ve always been a steadfast source of support, companionship and affection for us.
You see, once upon a time ago, I was trying to conceive and I was told that my chances were pretty slim. Back in college, I suffered from appendicitis and a ruptured ovarian tube due to a very large cyst gone rogue and I needed emergency surgery to deal with some internal bleeding. I was pretty young at the time, and kids were not really on my mind, so when they were hemming and hawing about saving a small piece of my ovary, I didn’t really care all that much. But years later, when I had met my match in my husband, I decided that I really did care and I wasn’t quite sure what that little scrap of ovary would be able to do for us.
Unfortunately, the surgery that repaired my tube, also caused irreversible scar tissue to form, rendering it useless. Well, that’s not really fair – it was holding onto that scrap of ovary, so I should be nicer to it, eh? Anyways, my other ovary wasn’t functioning up to par either, so after many doctors appointments, and several years of trying to conceive, we went on fertility medications.
But, at some point during all of this trying to conceive, I became pretty depressed and I started to really dislike pregnant people. I know it sounds awful, but it’s the truth – and I especially disliked anyone who was complaining about how much it sucked to be pregnant. I also started to avoid social situations if I thought any pregnant people were going to be around. It wasn’t pretty and since I had no idea if we would ever get pregnant, I needed to figure out Plan B. Fast.
And then one night, it hit me.
I needed a baby.
And if I couldn’t have a skin-kid, I would make certain that I filled up my life with fur-kids instead.
So, I brought it up to my husband and we decided to rescue a four-legged fur-baby. And we made sure it was a p-u-p-p-y. You know, so I had to wake up every 3 hours to let it go peeps, and so that it cried and whined and whimpered until it was picked up and cuddled and smothered with love, and so I could put it on my lap and take it everywhere with me. But where would we get such a fur-baby from?
Enter Another Chance for English Setters. By chance, we came across their website and I filled out an Adoption Form. By chance, they had someone local who could do a Home Visit asap. By chance, they had a litter of puppies that we’re almost ready to be adopted. And by chance, there was only one other person ahead of us on their list to Adopt a Dog.
When we got our first set of emailed pictures and laid eyes on our big, fat, roly-poly puppy, it was love at first site. Greta, as she was then called, was a tri-colored field setter. She was a silly, little puppy, and it looked like all of her parts and pieces were haphazardly stitched together. We adored the uniqueness of her markings. Her cute little face was black and brown, and her body was white and black, and she had a huge black clover on her backside. We knew we wouldn’t call her Greta forever – but we also knew that she was an answer to our prayers.
When Greta came home, she fulfilled a need for us. A desperate, ravaging need to take care of someone. She became Birdy (my husband was a big golfer back then) and she only slept in the crate for one week. After that, she slept in bed with us – nestled between us – and we co-slept with her. We still do.
Ironically enough, we got pregnant a few months later.
A year after our son was born, we decided that even though our hearts were very full, we wanted to see if we could give him a sibling. We should have known then that “the sadness” would creep back upon us, but we were optimistic. But, after a few months of not conceiving, I felt it sneaking back upon me in my downtime. Only this time, I was older, smarter and wiser – and I knew the way out.
One morning, I looked at my husband and asked him for another puppy. He smiled, and we reached back out to ACES again. By chance, a litter had recently been given up for adoption and one of these adorably sweet, liver-colored pups was available to be snatched up.
The minute we saw pictures of Donut (yes, Donut!), we knew that we had to have her. She was gorgeous. And by gorgeous, I mean catch-your-breath gorgeous. She looked like an albino fawn. Plus, she was being fostered by one of the greatest foster mothers of all time, Danica, and I knew she was in good hands.
Unlike our rambunctious fur-child Birdy, Libby, as she came to be called, was a gentle, shy, little gem and became the perfect Ying to Birdy’s Yang. And, just like her big sister, Birdy, she spends every night in bed with us.
As luck would have it, a few months later, we found out that we were pregnant again – and our family was complete.
Through their endless supply of kisses, head bumps and laying their heads in my lap, our dogs have helped heal my heart, time and time again, and have shown me that love can come from many, many places.
Thanks for reading,