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Waiting a Long Time to Heal

A couple of months after the passing of our beloved Shih Tzu "Mitzi" my wife began looking for a furry healer for our broken hearts. She found "Buddy" at our local shelter. He wasn't the "Shih Tzu" that the shelter had advertised, but she still wanted me to meet him. I went the next day with her to the shelter and I was intrigued. We still hurt from losing Mitzi, but the hour we spent in the shelter's Meet and Greet room was enlightening. Our little "Chewie" was obviously a broken soul. He only wanted to spend time with my wife, occasionally offering me a few short visits here and there. He would look out the glass window any time anyone walked by as if he was hoping they would take him out of the shelter. His fur was very matted and his aroma was not at all pleasant. My wife said that Chewie had been in and out of the shelter and foster for 3 years, since he was a puppy. I wasn't sure I was ready for a new dog and I could tell that my wife had reservations as well, but Chewie thought my wife was his mama. It was obvious. I decided that Chewie needed us as much as we needed him in order for all of us to heal. We took Chewie home that night. The next day we went to the pet supply store to get our newest family member cleaned up and looking handsome. A couple of toys and some new supplies later, we were on the road to recovery as a family. Chewie was a broken little boy and it took a long time for him to come out of his shell. We noticed him starting to follow us around the house. He would occasionally make eye contact, and the accidents in the house decreased. Then one day he wanted up on our bed. He had shown no interest in the bed before, so this was a new experience. Up he went for a spin around the bed. We knew he was coming out of his shell when we left the bedroom to finish up some chores and left Chewie up on the bed to get used to the new surroundings. A few minutes after we left the room Chewie gave a little bark. We looked at each other and asked the same question. "Was that Chewie?". We went to the bed room and sure enough, there was Chewie looking at us with that "Well...." look in his eyes. He has continued to grow and become a wonderful, happy little man-pup. It has been 5 years since our journey began and has been rewarding for us all. He is a bit of a couch potato, but that's just fine with me. He likes to sit with me on our chair and I enjoy calling "puppy paralysis" whenever I can. He is still not sure, about his sister but that's another story.

Kurtis Van Cleave