I want to tell you of how a little lost dog saved my family from a grief worse than we have ever experienced. She is a little terrier mix that found her way to my Mother’s front porch. She was there, sleeping in the fern border frightened and so scared it took 3 days of coaxing for her to take the leftover Christmas turkey we had offered her. She was our diversion from the family heartbreak we were experiencing. My sister, Peggy was at home rapidly losing her battle with liver cancer.  My Mother was inconsolable, as was I. To make matters worse, Lucy my Mother’s Yorkie, and companion of 14 years, had to be put down just 1 week earlier. Then my Mother had to endure the suffering and loss of her youngest child. From above, a little miracle was dropped into her ferns. I can’t explain it any other way. This sweet young dog came from nowhere to help with mending our hearts. We had lost Lucy, and we were going to lose my sister. After 3 days, we were able to earn this little dog’s trust. It was not easy; she was very scared and would hide when we came near. We brought her water, we tried dog treats, and we put a plush beach towel for her to sleep on. She still was very leary. Finally the leftover Christmas turkey did the trick. She let us pick her up. She melted in our arms.  We brought her to the bedside of my sister. Peggy had been in-and-out of consciousness but looked at her and said “let’s call her Susie”. Peggy died a month later, Feb 1 2012. My family has been rocked with sadness ever since. The bright spot of comfort has been a small Heaven- sent dog named “Susie”, that is always ready to play, always ready to give back the love we lost. We call her “rocket dog” because when she gets excited she zooms around the house or yard from sheer joy to be with us. It warms my heart to see a smile come over my Mom’s face at her antics, and to see her get dog kisses from her Susie. She is now my Mother’s companion, her day to day partner and her comfort in the lonely times. Even though Susie came to us as a terrified waif, she without condition adopted us and gave us her trust and confidence. I think they’ve got it wrong. We don’t adopt pets; they unconditionally adopt us eager to give us comfort through all our weakest moments in life.

— Lindsey from Riverside, CA