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Saving Each Other

Updated on April 2, 2019
Anafa Siegel profile image

I am a prior Psychotherapist and trained my rescue dog to be a companion therapy dog, and she was healed in the process.

Saving Each Other

Maizygirl | Source

From Grief to Extreme Devotion

It all started on a warm day, unusual for New York in January, The sun was bright and shining and blinding to the eye. Many obstacles developed that could have prevented the events that follow but alas they didn’t. I drove to pick up my husband who locked his keys in his car and took a longer scenic route on the way home upon picking up Gary, my spouse. We ran into some friends at an antique store moving a large wardrobe and they needed help getting it into their home. I volunteered my husband‘s help but asked if I could first go home to pick up my dog Missy to be with us, and our friends gladly agreed and invited us for a home cooked meal in exchange for our assistance.

Everything was going as planned, but Missy unknowingly ran outside when the door was ajar as she loved running freely. No one realized she’d gotten out until we watched in horror as she ran wildly down the mountainside into an oncoming car. The afternoon took the most unexpected tragic twist. We gathered her and wrapped her in a shawl and said our goodbyes with heart sobbing prayers. Everyone loved Missy and she was a little dachshund terrier mix. The next day we cremated her and I cried myself to sleep loudly and was heartbroken for a long while. Friends and family stopped by to pay their respects.

Three weeks went went by and I found a rescue dog on a pet finder’s website. She looked timid and sad, as she was to be euthanized as she didn’t manage well in the high kill shelter she was at In the South.

We met reluctantly following my 3 hour tear filled drive to get her from her foster parents In southern New Jersey. Initially she didn’t wish to come with me and I was also reluctant as she was scruffy looking and she was much larger than I’d thought that she would be.

We eyed each other up and down and when it was time to go she she jumped into the passenger seat of my car and she eyed me with caution . I won her over upon getting her a cheeseburger at a rest stop and she became more trusting and at ease.

As it turned out she had many quirks that could be described as ptsd and ocd behaviors. She had patterns she repeated and would not step into the kitchen or near the kitchen floor, and would only go down certain hallways of our home. She still to this day, 10 years to the day of adoption is needing encouragement to get up the stairs and down the hall to our bedroom! Every single night and morning reversing this ritual, But.......

Maizygirl is liked by all and she loves everybody she meets; she’s been in banks , resrauaunts, stores, museums, the river, the ocean, bookstores, antique stores and so many other places. She became my companion dog and would work with me at my Private Practice as a therapist. Her only residual drawback is that she dislikes most dogs and is territorial and protective. Sadly she’s had few dog friends but luckily Gary plays with her in a doglike manner.

For seven Years she never vocalized nor barked but in her later years she’s become quite the vocalist letting us know her wants and needs. When she needs to go out rather than vocalizing she just stares at the door with burrowing eyes until I realize that she is being still and too quiet. She makes me laugh as she structures her play in very ocd ways and is the best companion mate I could ever dream of Having. I too have some limitations ands she’s always right by my side.

I will I’ll greatly miss everything about her when it’s her time to transition and love her more each day we have together.


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