We all know by now that I am the biggest dog person there is. We got our first lab when I was four years old which my dad trained for hunting. But before we got our first dog, my family and I would travel to Nebraska every year to visit family friends and one of our family friends there in the town we stayed in had a Chesapeake Bay Retriever (aka Chessie). Wherever that dog was, you would find me also. Reading dogs and their temperament has always come naturally to me. And even more so since I got Bella. My Dad will tell you that Chessies don't have the best temperament - they are protective and basically a one owner dog. Where Chessies will protect your home, labs will welcome you in and invite you to stay a while. Oh, but Dorothy couldn't have been the most sweetest dog. Why? Because of how her story shows such redemption. Dianne rescued Dorothy shortly after her second husband, Tony, passed away from cancer. Prior to his death, Tony looked into Dianne's eyes with tenderness and grace and he said to her, "There will be a time when I cannot take care of you. I won't be here. Who will take care of you?" to which Dianne said that her side of the family was plenty big and would be there to support her and offer her comfort when she needed it. They were close. She didn't worry about that at all. And then grief shattered her world like it does to many of us. Dianne found herself alone without anyone in her home. Her stepsons, when not with their mother, had grown up moved out of their their parents homes and started living their lives, but still continued to check in with her regularly to see how she was doing. It was one day in particular that Dianne went to visit a friend who rescued Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and quickly noticed how one of the dogs couldn't walk. Her head hung low and had a lack of confidence abut her. Her friend explained that their was a tumor on Dorothy's spine that prevented her from walking or having the quality of life she deserved at such a young age. Dianne knew that it was a risk to take a special needs dog into her home knowing the outcome of the surgery wasn't guaranteed. Dorothy got the surgery to remove the tumor and Dianne started rehabbing her back to life. And LIFE is exactly what Dorothy got. You wouldn't even know it now by seeing her, but Dorothy is a lively and spirited dog. She loves to run and jump and retrieve her favorite ball. It is very clear the bond that these two have. Dorothy is forever grateful to Dianne for giving her life. For making her better. And in return, Dorothy healed Dianne from her grief and also gave her LIFE. Everyone that knows Dianne, her stepsons included, see the importance of Dorothy in her life after losing her husband. While the pain of losing your spouse never truly goes away, there is something about dogs that change us. They give us a new sense of purpose and direction. They fill our souls with a different kind of love - the UNCONDITIONAL kind of love that we deserve. Dianne wears a locket close to her heart of her husbands ashes and once I found that out, I knew that a "family" photo needed to be taken. That Dorothy, Dianne and Tony were captured together. Because in the end, healing is what brought them together.
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