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  • Tracy Struthers

For The Love Of A Dog.

He came to us in a Walmart parking lot.

We had our family dog, Jessie, who was 12 when we brought Bear home for the first time. Jessie, who was adopted from the Humane Society, was our family dog who watched over our kids as they grew up, and loved them like they were her own pups. She didn't mind Bear, who was 4 months old when we brought him home, and sort of showed Bear the ropes on how to be an amazing dog, because Jessie was. She was extraordinary in her own right.

I found a listing on Kijiji, from a lady who had happened upon hard times, and was trying to find a home for this fuzzy king shepherd puppy and some of her other dogs. I quickly connected with her, and she invited us to meet him at a dog park they often went to. When we saw him for the first time, he was running through big piles of mud and having a blast. Even though dripping with mud, I fell in love with him. We told her we would take him and made arrangements the next day to meet at the Trenton Walmart parking lot for the hand-off. My daughter Leigha and I headed out the next day to pick him up. As Leigha held him the drive home, he showed us that car rides weren't quite his thing yet, and vomited all over her. Although gross at the time, that memory was quickly turned into a laugh. I tried to keep in touch with the lady who owned him, but I think it was too hard for her to hear.

Bear is still with us, turning 13 this May. He is a sweet, gentle giant weighing in at 115 pounds, who loves his family, his squeaky toys and even Nike the cat (who also came from the Humane Society). Bear fools us into giving him more treats, and loves all of us unconditionally. But, I am Bear's person, and am honored to have that title. I am the person he waits for everyday, the furry pillow under my feet in the office, my daily hug, and my bathroom buddy (any shepherd owners can relate here). Where I am, he is, always. He is my best friend.

It's hard to explain to people, that don't have a dog, why they should. Like anything, it does take work, effort, and sometimes unexpected expenses. But the love of a dog will give you back far more than you will ever give. I read once, that dogs really only have one fear. Their fear is that when their humans leave the house, that they never come back. Gulp - that gets me right in the feels every time. I guess that is why I adopt from and support organizations like the Humane Society. Dogs come in there, as well as cats, rabbits etc., because of situations in which the owner couldn't or shouldn't look after them anymore, or have abandoned them. I feel their worry and confusion. If I could take them all home, I would. Dogs just want to love you, and protect you, and feel wanted. They all need a home, no matter their breed or their age. My sweet Bear comes with me wherever I can bring him, his are the first set of eyes I see every morning, and the last kiss on the cheek I give every night. He is home to me.

We will adopt again from The Humane Society in the future, because we know there will be incredible dogs there, that simply just need a home, and people to love them. The Humane Society is an incredible organization that does everything they can to make their animals visit a good one, while helping them look for their forever homes. Adopting a dog from a shelter or a rescue will save their life, but I guarantee you they will save yours even more. If they are willing to come to all their nicknames you give them (Bear aka Mister, Boo-Boo, Stinky Butt, Poo-Poo, Bearington) and you're willing to look away from the dirty foot paws on your floor, you may have a best friend waiting.

Take them home, your life (and theirs) will never be the same.

If you would love to adopt a dog please visit,

Or visit a local Humane Society near you.

Tracy x

Side note: If you are not able to have a dog, but want to help, you can become a dog walker, volunteer or donate. Contact your local Humane Society for more information.


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