Location: Tampa, FL
Type: Bulldog / Mutt mix
I had a pack of three dogs already, ages 8, 13, and 14. Because my “youngest,” Tyler, a female black Lab, decided at age 5 to become dog aggressive to certain dogs, I was forced to stop adopting before I reached my lifelong goal of having 5 dogs. Tyler was very particular about her friends and I did not want to endanger a new rescue. I volunteer at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, so it is extremely difficult for me not to bring all of them home!
This was a very emotional summer for our pack here, as my 14-year-old “daughter,” Maxine, was laid to rest in June 2008 after a valiant 6-month battle against cancer, degenerative myelopathy, and arthritis. Following her passing, I tried two foster dogs, but my other two dogs did not accept them. My 13-year-old, Samantha, was missing her best friend Maxine enormously, and her health deteriorated rapidly following her sister’s passing.
On July 15, 2008, I went in to the Humane Society for my regular dog walking volunteer shift and there he was–Buddy, a 2-year-old American Bulldog mix–with whom I just instantly had a connection. I feel very strongly that Maxine was looking down and saying, “This is the one who will fit into our pack, Mommy.” And he was. The very next day, I brought him home and both Samantha and Tyler accepted him instantly. He is a sweet, gentle spirit who brought happiness into our home immediately.
Unfortunately, on September 16th, three months to the day after Maxine’s passing, Samantha followed her sister to the Rainbow Bridge. I think she just missed her sister enormously and wanted to rejoin her. Her passing was equally emotional, but Buddy was here to help us get through it. So now I have Tyler, my 8-year-old, and Buddy, my 2-year-old. They play, wrestle, run, and just enjoy life enormously! I took Buddy to dog training classes and he graduated with flying colors and wants to move on to agility training if his Mommy has any energy left!
It is still hard not to come home each time I volunteer with another dog, but I am doing what is best for my existing pack and hopefully bringing a bright spot into the days of those dogs at the shelter who are awaiting their forever homes. I would strongly encourage anyone with just a couple of hours of free time to volunteer. It is rewarding beyond words!