divorce

Lily, the Black Labrador who was meant to be a Hunting Dog (part 3)

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“When I first got Lily, I was going through a divorce and she was a constant source of joy and playfulness, which was wonderful.

She required a lot of attention, which was a great diversion from the divorce.

She was great about getting me a whole new social network and seeing parts of the city I had never been to before having her.

I have made friends through my walks with Lily that are now part of my social life.”

Lola, the Corgi, Border Collie, Australian Shepherd mix (he said, part 3)

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“My son was watching tv and feeding her raisins.

We had to rush her to the vet because my girlfriend and I knew it was dangerous.

The vet had to induce vomiting and put her on fluids for hydration.

We now have a list of food on the refrigerator, and the kids learned a valuable lesson.

One of the ways Lola has changed my life is that I feel more grounded.

In a divorce situation it’s strange having children come and go (for both the parents and the kids), and having Lola all the time has helped smooth out the waves.

One more thing– I recommend adopting and supporting your local shelter.”

Lola, The Corgi, Australian Shepherd, Border Collie mix (part 1, she said)

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“My boyfriend and I had been discussing getting a dog and I took his kids into a store at Columbus Circle to buy him a Father’s Day present.

While we were shopping, he found the North Shore Animal League Adoption Truck.

He called me and said, you need to come out here as soon as you’re done because I want to show you something.

That something was Lola.

We all walked into the truck and there was lots of encouragement from the kids to get a dog.

It was a fairly impulsive buy.

That was a year ago, Father’s Day.”

Diego, the sensitive greyhound rescue (part 4)

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“I filed for separation from my husband a few months after Nutmeg died.

I realized that both Nutmeg and Diego were my guardian angels.

Throughout the stress of divorce and daily life, my dogs have been a grounding force.

They’ve been angelic.

They have wisdom.

Having dogs has centered my focus.

No matter what I am going through, I always have a reason to get up, walk, and feed Diego.

I always have a grounding responsibility that is a privilege.”

Diego, the sensitive greyhound rescue (part 2)

“Nutmeg went from being malnourished and frightened to learning that she was safe and healthy.

She became a vivacious diva.

She was both regal and goofy.

She had a giant overbite which made her look like a dork.

But, she also looked regal, like something out of European aristocracy (as the greyhounds often look).

I adopted Diego while I still had Nutmeg.

I wanted a baby and my husband (at the time) wasn’t right for the job.  He was neither willing nor capable.

I had more love to give and I rescued another greyhound; Diego.

At first, Nutmeg couldn’t be bothered with Diego, but he has this sweet genuine quality and eventually she gave in.

Diego would stand by Nutmeg, guarding her.

She was his queen.  It was phenomenal to watch.”

Ziggy, the dog who spreads joy wherever he goes (mom part 2)

“I’ve had Ziggy for two months.

The best moment was bringing him home.

I am going through a divorce and I have been lonely.

Ziggy is a great companion.  He is very loving.  His first priority is to be a pet.  He follows me everywhere.  It’s hard to get privacy.

The hardest thing is that he is scared of street noises.  They stress him out.  I am exposing him a little bit each day and rewarding him when he looks up at me while he’s on the leash.  I basically reward him whenever he’s not too preoccupied to take the treat.”

Theodora, the cute blonde (part 1)

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“I had a Portuguese Water Dog with my kids and ex-husband.

When I left the ex, we had to have a dog to make our family complete.

I adopted a teacup poodle called Bruno.

Aaron, my older son was eight years old at the time.  He brought Bruno to a play date.  He wanted the responsibility of walking Bruno, so I let him take the dog.  This wasn’t the first time.  Aaron was a very responsible child. While Aaron was walking Bruno he let the leash out too far at the corner.  Bruno was in the gutter and a taxi came speeding along and ran over the dog.

Poor Aaron.

That was so intense.

He ran after the taxi.  The taxi driver hadn’t even registered that he had hit a dog.

The mother supervising the play date rushed Bruno to the vet, but it was too late.  Bruno had died.

Aaron was mad.  He was mad at the taxi driver and he was mad at himself.

That night we sat around Bruno’s bed as a family.  The mom and Aaron’s friend were there too.  We performed a memorial service to Bruno.

We told stories about Bruno.  We thanked him for being in our lives and then released him into the universe.

I think that memorial service helped Aaron. The main thing I wanted him to know, was that it wasn’t his fault.

Shortly after we lost Bruno, the kids had a winter break and we were in Los Angeles visiting my family.

Our quest became visiting every animal shelter to find a new dog.

Because of Aaron’s asthma it had to be hypoallergenic.

We hit every shelter between Palm Springs and L.A., with no luck.

The day we were leaving I found a small animal rescue group in Venice, and literally hours before we boarded the plane back to NY we found Theodora.”

Mitzi, the lifesaver and Ollie, the lover (part 1)

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“I knew that Mitzi (border collie mix) was getting older and I couldn’t imagine a future without a dog.

I had met a shih tzu poodle mix that was a good size for traveling and I heard they got along well with older established pets.

I visited the breeder in Canada and came back to my car with a teacup sized puppy. I drove all the way back to New York with Ollie spooning Mitzi on the back seat.  It was a seven hour drive.

Mitzi embraced and accepted Ollie right away. I loved watching the two of them play together and become great companions.

Ollie extended Mitzi’s life for another two and a half years.  He brought joy and play to an old girl.  Mitzi was fifteen, arthritic and mostly blind.

She had been abused as a puppy and was left to die in a dumpster.  All her bones were showing and her tail was hairless.  I wondered if she was the kind of dog that should have had her tail cropped.  Before we named her she was called dumpster dog.

We called her Mitzi because she had little white mitten markings on her paws.

At first she was terrified of everyone and everything. She was afraid of life.  The first little while when I tried to pick her up she cowered.

I helped her overcome her fears by holding her in my arms, rocking her back and forth and whispering her name over and over.  I tried to soothe her like a baby.

When she died, seventeen years later, I whispered it’s okay, and I love you.  There were four of us sitting around her in a circle at the vet’s.

Mitzi saved my life.  I went through cancer, a divorce, empty nest, moving from the suburbs to the city and more.  Every day I had to get up to walk her.  I don’t know what I would have done otherwise, but she took away that option.  At night, alone in bed, I would put my hand on her chest and     would breathe in tempo with her .  She helped slow my racing heart and allowed me to fall asleep.  Mitzi helped me get through years of fear.  She was smart, gentle, trusting and loving.

Mitzi died the day after Christmas last year.”