This title is courtesy of my new favorite car magnet …
When I got it, it made me think about the past 3 months we’ve had Tayler in our lives. I owe HIM so much for rescuing ME and US.
We lost Jaeden on October 16, 2015 and I was broken. He was my baby and my dog son for over 14 years. It took me a long time to get through life – continuing to smile and to teach – and I still feel like I’m not done grieving. I miss Jaeden more than ever, but I also know he wouldn’t want me here sad. He knows how much I loved being a dog mama and would want me to have someone else take over in his absence – never replacing him, but stepping in for him.
Three months after Losing Jaeden, I was finally ready. Gary knew I didn’t want another pug, and that something was tugging on my heart to rescue a dog. I’ve known that rescue dogs can be challenging as we don’t know their story, but there were so many dogs in the world that needed a loving forever home and that’s what we could provide. I was open to a medium or bigger dog, whatever dog ‘chose us.’
We made friends with an awesome friend who happened to volunteer at multiple dog rescues. He took us around town to them to teach us which were the best he’d recommend and how to connect with the right pup. We spent a whole Saturday looking at rescues, seeing some adorable dogs, but none that ran up to me … or licked my face … or who showed us they wanted us to take them home … as our new dog.
On the way home, Gary asked me if we could stop at one more place. Tired and sad, I agreed because I had nothing else to lose. He’d done research on a rescue called Heaven Can Wait – a small shelter who rescued dogs from situations where they could be euthanized, and rehabilitated them with training through the women’s prison system (Pups on Parole.) So, we went to one more place … a local dog store who had some of HWC’s dogs for adoption.
We pulled in, and I saw a large black dog who was walking with another couple, a terrier who growled at most everyone, and then this copper-colored dog who someone was walking back to be re-crated. As soon as I walked up to the adoption table, this dog looked over at me and sat right in front of me. My heart melted.
Tayler had scratch scars on his snout, a long adorable tail that wagged for days, and a calm but loving demeanor. I felt comfortable enough to kneel down and pet him and he nuzzled his face into my lap. I just knew he was the dog for us. Gary was apprehensive at first because of how quickly we found ‘our dog’, but something told me he needed us.
Tayler was named “Cookie” by a shelter in Kingman, AZ and was on the list of dogs to be euthanized before HWC rescued him. He was taken in as “Copper” and trained for 6 weeks on crate training, house training, and basic commands. By his dental exam, he was projected to be around 2.5 – 3 years old and labeled as a “Shepherd Mix.” I had to change his name … to start his new life over again.
Our ride home was a challenging one, with Gary being nervous and Tayler feeling just the same. Over the course of the next few weeks we all learned each other’s boundaries and learned to trust each other. We quickly saw how much Tayler just wanted to please us. “Good Boy!” to him is the equivalent of me seeing a rice krispie treat with my name on it!
It’s like he was meant for us. Tayler loves to hike, walk, run, be outside … he also loves to nap and rest and relax and is very low key. He’s learning to play and is socializing well with other dogs (male and female as long as they aren’t aggressive.)
I feel so much safer at home with him during the day, and just to have him in my life. Tayler reminds me so much of Jaeden and sometimes when I look him in the eyes I see a little piece of Jaeden in him. He’s walked over to the box we keep Jaeden in and pawed it to say “I’ve got this, big brother.”
When I see his floppy ear, his scars (we have no idea how they happened), and some of his little teeth missing, I’m reminded he has a story I have yet to learn. But, don’t we all? He’s accepted us for where we are and we have accepted him just the same – we’re blessed to have rescued such an awesome addition to our home!