What do you do when your dog of age 16 passes away? Do you get another one right away? Is that taking the memory away from the other dog? What to do.

My little toy poodle died in November 2008 of old age (16 years) – it was a truly distressing time. I was adamant with my husband “no more dogs”, and then thought, hmm… could there be a dog out there waiting to be rescued or adopted?

Here’s my story: Emma and I met for the first time on December 09, 2008.

The weather was horrible, slushy snow and pouring rain, but I wanted this dog. I was to meet her at her foster mum’s home, for she had been living there for the last 2 months. They were keeping her, trying to bring her back to a healthy weight and also potty training her for an adoptive home.

Emma scurried to the door to greet my mom and me, then rapidly ran back to her doggie bed. She was ever so adorable, yet looked ever so frightened also. But what was I to expect, I knew there could be problems – Emma was rescued from a Puppy Mill. I shed tears while hearing of Emma’s past, or what they knew of it.

The rescue organization said that when Emma arrived she was like a “block of salt”. No movement/no expression. Just sat there. These unfortunate dogs from puppy mills didn’t ask to be born and enter a life of living in undersized cages for all of their lives and bred every time they come into heat from six months of age, twice a year until they are too old and of no use. It’s a life of freezing in winter and surviving from the heat of summer. Never a toy, a tender touch, a friendly voice, a soft bed or treat. Just behind bars all day; in a prison.

I adopted Emma with no question, yet still pondering “am I taking on too much?” But no, my mind was made up.  Adopt a dog and NO breeder, plus this was my mission, to give her a permanent home instead of the horrid prison where she spent all of her life and survived for her whole 6 years. I wanted her to experience a soft bed, toys, her own dog dish, someone speaking lovingly to her, giving her hugs and showing care and love.

UPDATE: March/2019

We’ve had Emma for over 10 years now, and she is beginning to show her age as the rest of us!  What an incredible companion she has been remaining extremely attached to me and a true support friend who senses when I’m depressed or feeling pain.

I’ve been ill with cancer for the past few months, and Emma has been at my side observing my movements, ensuring she is present wherever I am in the home,  sometimes following me from room to room! Usually, she’s beside me when I’m watching TV or laying by the computer, and she sleeps atop her favorite pillow on the bed overnight. 

I believe dogs sense when people are depressed or having a crappy day. They cuddle up beside you almost saying “Don’t worry, I’m here for you”

I truly made the right choice with this fantastic dog and I am lucky to have her, right Emma? Whoof. Whoof


15 thoughts on “EMMA”

  1. Hi Deb, when our Duke went over the bridge the house was so lonely without a dog. I had always been a cat person but had to give my cats to my mom when the first kidlet came along and was allergic. We found Keely through a breeder because I really wanted another Red Lab. We went to just “look” and hubby was eyeing the Chocolate runt but then the breeder brought out two green eyed red labs. The one just lay at our feet to get get some loving, Keely ran around us like a crazy puppy, ran into the electrified fence area to see her momma and then back to us. We almost took two of them! But Keely came home with us and she became my dog because shortly after or around that time was well everything hit me. It was a couple months later that I knew she was meant to be for us when she woke up and went running to the back door to see dad. Then we found about Ranger – his litter was an oopsie. I’ve never seen such a range of puppies ever. We fell in love with Ranger right away. We should have called him Chewy because he makes funny sounds like Chewbacca. They have their own Instagram at keelyandranger


  2. Our family dog of 13 years died about 3 weeks ago. We had that dog when my husband and I started dating, and he was simply brilliant. I tell my husband we are only still married because of Noir-who used to jump on the sofa between us if we ever raised our voices to one another in those early years together.

    His health had been going for years, he hurt his leg a few years back and never fully recovered. He was pretty overweight and as a black chow chow/lab mix from a rescue shelter, we had no idea when we got him as a pup he would be so very big. Most of the last few years he sat back and watched the world go by, but his eyes….he had the eyes of a human. And anything you needed to know about this dog, was conveyed through his eyes… I see them in my mind all the time still.

    We were out in the backyard and my young kids were playing in our Fl room, I had just bathed him. Normally he was knocking me down to get away from the water, but that day he didn’t try to, he just layed at the edge of the patio in the sun. The last thing I did was take off his leash and pat his head. I went inside for about ten minutes, went back to the porch and he was gone.

    I laid by his side for hours petting his wet body and I could not stand up. My husband and friend had taken our 4 year old and 16 month old inside and I am ever so grateful he slipped away in peace outside and not in front of them.

    I am still mourning his loss and I think I always will. Dogs are not a pet, they are family. My husband volunteered to tell my son what had happened. Initially he thought it best to tell him that he went on holiday. But then after further thought we felt he would always be asking when he was coming home, and so I told him to instead tell him what I believe, that his body was sick and it was better for him to move on and that he is now at peace but one day we he will born again into a puppy and if we are lucky we will find him again.

    I came home from having my beloved cremated a mess of tears and sadness and fearful of my son and how he would handle it, but he met me at the door and said very calmly, mom, noi is dead, but he’s coming back in a puppy, can we go get him…..!!! I laughed and looked at my husband who smiled and said, “Okay maybe that didn’t really go to plan.” The last thing I want right now is a puppy but if that’s what it takes, for all to be right in his world then okay. Will keep you posted on that one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to tell you, tears were ‘justa flowing while I was reading your post, hearing about anyone losing their
      pet, well, just sets me off. I am sensitive, and even more so when I hear of animal cruelty.

      I’m so sorry for your loss, and as you stated, they are family. I don’t have children, so Emma is like my
      little girl, such a special companion, and they never ask for anything. Strange thing though, she really has
      never warmed up to my husband, has never bitten him, but I have read that at the puppy mills, they are treated
      badly by males and sometimes that stays with them for many years? Could be.

      Yes, please keep me posted on updates. I’m sure your children will want another dog, it’s a piece missing in
      your family clan that you become accustomed to. All the best, take care. Deb

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I adopted my (now) 9yo doggy named Molly and she has saved my life twice. I fully appreciate that special kind of love between pet and person, especially when mental illness is involved, and I’m really happy to find another blogger who can see this too. 🙂

    I’m looking forward to future posts!


  4. Hi Deb,

    WOW!!! I am a dog lover. Reading your story, it breaks my heart that puppy mills even exist. How can this be? How can people be so cruel. I can not think about. Instead, I will focus on the joy and beauty of your story. Look at how you have changed this dog’s life, and no doubt how she has changed yours. Today, I sat with my dog over looking a lake. The wind was blowing and I could tell she was so at peace. She always sits with her body up against mine. I love it. Thank you sooo much for sharing your story. Emma is terribly cute. I am sure with your story you have inspired others to adopt a pet from a shelter as well.
    -A Mermaid.


    1. Emma is so special and rescuing a dog just feels like the right thing to do for these poor dogs. She has been the best companion and I too love to feel her body beside me. From one dog lover to another. Hugs xx


  5. Hey Deb,
    I have a 5 year old chocolate lab. During the summer, before I was able to get any help I called her my “sponsor. She was so wonderful and gentle with me, and could always tell when I was having a really bad day. She followed me around the house, and “forced me outside” so she could go on her walks.
    She really has made a huge impact on our family. I know my girls will curl up beside her too, when they are having a hard day.
    Thanks so much for your writing – it is very inspiring.


    1. Rescue dogs are somehow forgotten and passed over for puppies and dogs from breeders. People, many times find out, “why did I pay $1000 if I’m not going to breed her/him anyways”. These doggies have been treated so badly, cooped up in cages 24/7, 365 days, no toys, no gentle hands, just there to produce. All I know is I was meant to rescue my Emma, and will never look back.



  6. It’s odd. I have been afraid of dogs and avoided them for most of my forty some years (even the ones in my family!) until our youngest son went from dog friendly to dog crazy. A couple of years ago I gave in and decided “for” my husband that it was time for an inside dog. Two years and another pup later, I don’t know how I would have coped with life and the tumult it brought of late without my stinky distractors.

    Keep up the great work on your blog! I love the mini bios on the right of famous folk. How about Meryl Streep advocating for her sister with bipolar disorder? Just a thought.

    ~ Kate


    1. Thanks for the comment. As far as dogs go, I can’t say enough about the love they give to people. Every time I hear of any abuse I just tear up and can’t fathom how anyone could do this.

      I am so happy that you found dogs that are helping you cope with the dark times. Emma is laying by my chair right now, as she usually does….that is so comforting.



Your comment is important to me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.