I have spoken about how I have two rescue Labrador retrievers whom I adore quite often on this blog. I have talked more specifically about Holli and how she has been like a therapy dog for me in this post here.
Yesterday afternoon, my attention was mostly focused on my younger dog, Phoebe. She is about a year and a half and so full of life. Every little thing is an adventure for this little girl. I know Phoebe entered my life for a reason. After the passing of my chocolate lab last March, my family and I rescued Holli and through the woman who was fostering her, we found Phoebe. Initially, my parents didn’t want the extra responsibility of dealing with a puppy since I was going through so much at that time already. This was about three weeks before I had hit rock bottom and checked myself into a psychiatric hospital and then shortly after was diagnosed with another auto immune disease. So, there was a lot going on to put it mildly.
When my dad saw the picture the woman who had fostered Holli sent us, he just said to my mom on the phone “Tell her we will take her. That’s it. I am hanging up. Make the call. The end. I want her.” We had a yellow lab before; Kobi and she was my dad’s favorite. He loved Kobi and she was taken from us unexpectedly so as soon as he saw a picture of this adorable yellow lab puppy, he knew we had to have her. So after my mom spoke with the woman who “Phoebe” (who had four different names by that time) was living with, we decided to rescue her. And boy was that the best decision we could have ever made!
“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you might find
You get what you need”
~Mick Jagger/Keith Richards~
Phoebe was exactly what I needed at this point in my life. I was going through so much and I feel like she was a gift. I have honestly never met a dog like her in my entire life. She is so dependent. She needs to be on top of me constantly. She is incapable of being alone. I know these sound like annoying traits and for many, they are. But for where I am right now in my life, I NEED a dog like her. I need a dog that won’t leave my side. I need a dog that needs to literally lie on top of me even as I write this blog. I find her extremely comforting. Sometimes when I feel anxious, I lay down on the couch and she comes over and lies across my chest and I can literally feel my heart rate slow down. She makes me feel safe when she does that. I know since she is a rescue dog, she was shuffled around a lot so she needs to feel secure also. It is a win win for both of us. She is an amazing example of one of the rescue dog slogans “Who Rescued Who?”
As I have talked about a lot, Holli is my therapy dog in many ways. She wakes me up from my awful nightmares that I have due to PTSD that developed from all of the trauma that was done to my mind and body from severe ulcerative colitis. I haven’t told many people this but before we adopted Holli, we attempted to adopt another dog. Her name was originally Abby and she was going to be my graduation present. We had her for about a week, got her a name tag and everything but I knew after a few days that she wasn’t right for me. She was an Irish setter and I knew deep in my gut that that wasn’t the right breed for me but I couldn’t bring myself to say it out loud because she was such a sweet girl. I also desperately wanted a dog of my own and she was adjusting to sleeping with me and was incredibly gentle. Anyway, she started scratching a lot so after taking her to the vet, we discovered that she had these chronic allergies that required a lot of ointments, special foods, and medications. It would be an expense and an ordeal since she we had to make sure the ointment stayed on which with a dog is quite difficult. It opened the door for my family and I to have a discussion and we ended up giving her back to the rescue organization.
Once “Abby” was out of my life (and was adopted by a wonderful family shortly after), Holli came in which paved the way for us to get Phoebe four months later. I feel so grateful to have this dog. I always want to believe that everything happens for a reason. It has been hard to think like that but Phoebe gives me hope. Just yesterday morning I was watching something with my dad and just as a gigantic explosion was going to happen, Phoebe moved her head which completely blocked my eye line so I missed all of the gory parts. I also tried to commit to making yesterday a relaxing Sunday and just as I was about to get off of the chair I was sitting in, she came up and sat on my lap. Once she comes up and settles in, there is no way I am moving unless I have something I absolutely need to do. She is just so cuddly and adorable but it forced me to actually sit down and relax a little with her. I would have gotten up and proceeded to do all of the things I thought I “should” have done that day if it wasn’t for her. Yes, I am aware that these things could be coincidences but it gives me hope to think that Phoebe is in my life for a reason.