September is Pet Insurance Month and in honor of this, Trupanion celebrated the special bond that we have with our pets. We collected your stories explaining how your pet changed your life. It wasn’t easy, but we chose our top 5 finalists and Maureen’s story is one of them.
As a young mother with two girls, I often heard the pleas to get a dog. I would tell them to save the oxygen as that was NEVER going to happen. The thought of dog hair around the house and on my clothes made me cringe.
Many years later, with both girls grown and out of the house I felt it necessary to review my hard stand on dogs. Harry and I have been together for 16 years. On and off over the years Harry had talked about us getting a dog. My old phrase about saving your oxygen quickly flowed from my lips every time he brought it up. I did not want a dog – PERIOD.
About six years ago, Harry’s health started to deteriorate to a degree that his ability to get around on his own became difficult at times. Since he has been retired for several years and I am still in the workforce, he was beginning to spend a lot of time home alone. I knew a dog would be good for him so I had to soul search really deep and come to terms with getting a dog. I knew that I would have to be the primary caregiver, trainer, walker etc. This was a really big decision for me. I did this soul searching for a full month and discussed it with no one but myself. I realized that getting or not getting a dog wasn’t about me anymore. Harry needed a dog – PERIOD. I decided we would get a Golden doodle because a friend had one and they “didn’t shed”. (LOL)
I told Harry one day I thought we should get a dog. As you can imagine, he was stunned but very pleased. I also told my friend that had a Golden doodle. While Harry didn’t really react right away, it didn’t matter because my friend called me the next day and told me she found two Golden doodle puppies and gave me the info to call on them! After sharing the info with Harry, we decided to make a call. We made an appointment to see the litter the following evening. Picture this . . . me, practically afraid of dogs and Harry, having a bad pain day so he is using two canes going to this house to check out a litter of puppies!! After spending about 30 minutes inside – Harry checking them out one by one – Harry identified the one WE wanted. After learning that they would be 8 weeks old the following day, Harry makes arrangements to pick up the dog at 12 noon the following day. MY HEART STOPS BEATING!!! I didn’t expect things to move so quickly – what if I made a mistake???? It was 8pm at night, we didn’t have anything that a little puppy would need . . . I was in panic mode. We stopped at Petco on the way home and picked up dog bowls, a leash, collar and a book. The book was for me. I needed to read up as I was clueless when it came to dogs, no less a puppy I had to train!! Harry, who had dogs all his life, kept telling me not to worry.
The following day, my heart racing, worried to death I had made a mistake and we really shouldn’t get a dog, we drove to pick up Tee. Since Harry was a retired golf pro, we decided to name our dog Tee, like the golf tee. With Harry a little unsteady on his feet that day, it quickly became apparent that I would have to pick this puppy up. I didn’t even know how to pick up or hold a dog. I remember saying to myself “get a grip, bend down and pick him up.” I know now, I started to melt at that very moment. We took Tee home to find my friend waiting for us with a crate and lots of other necessary items for training an 8 week old puppy. After spending a few hours together, Harry needed to lie down so I put Tee in his crate. He immediately curled up and went to sleep. With a peacefulness that was so unexpected I went back to my office knowing my boys were both taking a nap.
Tee is without a doubt the absolute best thing that Harry and I have done in our 16 years together. God knew I didn’t know anything about dogs and gave us the smartest most lovable dog ever. Tee never cried at night and training him was so simple. He learned everything so quickly. He is the most lovable dog I could have asked for. Just as we had planned, he is a companion for Harry all day long while I am at work. They just love each other. The unexpected end of the story is that as soon as I walk in the door, Tee is my faithful companion. He follows me around the house when we are home, we go on long walks together and visit lots of friends for play dates. In my wildest dreams I never knew that I could love an animal the way I love my dog and this bond happened immediately. Tee is now two years old. My kids just shake their heads. They can’t believe that I have a dog, talk to him like a human and let him sleep in my bed! Life will never be the same . . . and that’s a good thing.
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