Faith & Sara

Sept. 27, 2012 is a day I will never get over or forget. On that day, I lost my best human friend of over 30 years, and I adopted her two poodles, Faith and Sara. The day began so normal. My friend and I shopped together every Thursday, since we were both retired. When I couldn’t reach her on the phone, I went to her home and let myself in with a spare key.

The first thing that struck me was the two dogs cowering at the back door, looking at me with such fear and panic. I immediately became afraid myself, and I said to them, “Where’s your mamma?” They both ran back towards the bedroom, but stopped in the hallway and didn’t go in the room. My stomach was already in knots as I began to notice all the curtains were still closed and it was 11:00 in the morning. I walked back to the bedroom calling my friend’s name. When I got to the door, it first appeared as though she were sleeping in bed. The covers were under her chin and nothing looked disturbed. But, there was a stillness that I can’t describe and as I walked around the bed I knew.

It was such a shock that I began to scream her name, hoping she would open her eyes. The poor dogs were still cowering in the hall, crying their hearts out. They slept on the bed with her every night, so they must have known when it happened. I was amazed to think nothing was disturbed. There were no scratches or any indication that they had bothered her. I put the dogs outside and called 911. Those little dogs were always good “talkers” yet they never said a word. They stood outside, with their faces pressed against the screen door and never made a sound other than whimpers. Their tales were tucked so far between their legs it looked like they didn’t even have tails.

When the medical examiner came, he looked at them and said, “Oh they look so sad, they know what has happened. Dogs understand about death.” Since my friend’s family all lived out of town, I took the dogs home with me. We were all very traumatized, but I have never known dogs that are so smart and loving. The first few nights, they would repeatedly touch my neck during the night. Like they were checking to make sure I was OK. I did a lot of crying in those early days, and I still have bad days. It never fails that when I start to weep, both dogs hover over me, and want in my lap, where they stare intently in my eyes, telling me with all their being that they understand, and want to help me.

In these last six months, I have grown to love these dogs more than I thought possible. I was grateful that my friend’s family did not want the dogs but I wasn’t sure how happy they would be with me. But, we’ve all settled into routines, and they are just wonderful. My 90 year old mother lives with me and I was apprehensive that they might cause her harm by jumping and accidentally scratching her. But, it’s like they have a sixth sense that told them she was fragile, and they are so gentle, standing quietly by her chair to get the backs rubbed. I think it’s been wonderful for my mother to have two new “babies” to dote on. While the circumstances of their arrival were filled with sadness, I must now credit Faith and Sara for providing me with so much cheer and fun filled moments. I think they have probably saved my sanity. They certainly provide me with much entertainment, and they get me up, out of the house, and keep me moving.

— Carolyn from Cordova, TN