Big dog and I first met in 2013. My marriage was in a rocky spot and there was a sense that getting a lab dog might be just the thing to fix it. Writing this down now, I understand how utterly stupid that sounds. At the time it made sense.
I contacted a lab rescue group, and began the search for the perfect dog. I was initially offered a small black lab that was about 7 months old, but he was set on a golden lab and I wanted a dog who was a little older maybe between one and three. The group reported that they did not currently have any dogs that would meet our requirements. With such a narrow criteria, she warned me that it could take several weeks if not months.
I got a call later that day.
Big dog was brought into a shelter in Georgia by her owners. The story that the rescue group received was that the couple who had brought him in was an older couple, one of whom had had a stroke. The care for big dog was too much, and they had to give her up. I got a picture from the rescue group, and I knew that it was meant to be.
Not much later, I went to the foster home with two little dogs to meet her. It was a combination of anxiety and excitement. Would all the dogs get along??? Would big dog even like me??? Needless to say, all went well and Big dog soon joined the family.
About 1 year later, Big dog and I ended up joining an obedience class. A co-worker of mine suggested it, after I admitted to her both my recent struggles with depression and the behavior issues that I was seeing with Big dog. The first class was really rough and I thought that we might get thrown out. Big dog was growling and lunging. It turned out to be exactly what the doctor ordered for us. Big dog started to thrive and became happy and more confident, and I also began to thrive as I engaged outside of my world. Big dog and I bonded during that time period. Our weekly classes, became a time of solace for me.
Big dog, and the others ended up coming to live with me. The first night I was finally totally on my own in my new place, I totally fell apart. I sat on the kitchen floor and sobbed. Big dog calmly came over and nuzzled into my side. Then, gazing at me with those big, brown, somber eyes, she calmly licked the tears off of my face. She stayed glued to my side the entire night.
Big dog is the absolute light of my life. I can’t imagine now having her in my life. I wish I could tell them how well she is doing, and thank them for caring for her the first year.