Fearful Rescue Dog Becomes New Baby's Best Friend
Shortly after we found out we were pregnant, we started looking for yet another family member. We scoured all the rescues and humane societies within 500 miles. We were looking for just the right fit for our growing family. I was at work one day and as a long shot decided to look at recuses a state away. I knew the moment I saw the ad for Abby, she had to come home with us. Goosebumps and all, I got up out of my desk and called them right away. They informed us about some of the problems she had and how it was going to be hard for them to find a family for her. They also said she would not be a good fit for a family with little ones. Perhaps, naive, I was not deterred.
My heart knew better and we had to meet her. We drove 440 miles to meet this girl. The "foster" family who had her told us to go slow and don't make eye contact as she is very skittish and afraid of males. Myself being 6'0" and my husband at 6'7" were definitely not the least intimidating people in world. We got there and a family of four were leaving after a long drive, like us, to meet her. My heart sank, 'please don't take her' I thought, but the father was shaking his head saying 'no way'. We were next in the running.
She walked right up to my husband and put her head in his lap. We drove home with her shortly after.
She did have a lot of behavioral issues to work out. She was very protective of me and questioned my husband's intentions daily. There was even a night when I was upstairs sleeping in bed and she would not let him upstairs to join me. We had a lot of love and reassurance to give her. Unrelenting and determined - we worked hard repairing trust. So many people questioned if we would keep her after we had a baby with all of her possessive and aggressive behaviors. There was, for some reason, no doubt in my mind she was our daughter and here to stay.
We were not wrong.
My son was born at home, and Abby knew right away that we were welcoming a new member of the family.
My son and Abby are not only great friends, she is his greatest protector.
Checking on him was her self-appointed task. Being there when he woke and when he went to sleep. She was always there.
One day, when giving lots of love and pets, we noticed a lump in her neck. Thinking it was a cyst we let it go, but in just a short month it grew to three times the size and we went to the vet to have it looked at. They ran tests on the mass and told us as soon as we got the results it was cancer and we needed to get it removed as soon as possible.
The roles quickly reversed and my then only six-month-old son sat with her and watched over her.
When people ask me about wanting only one child; I tell them I actually have two amazing children. Abby and Henley. Two of the most thoughtful and kind souls I have ever known. Our amazing dog Abby to this day has cost us more money than our son, and at times it has gotten really hard. But the joy, love and loyalty she has brought into our lives is unmatched by most humans. I would pick her again and again.
She teaches sharing, gentle cuddles, social cues and so much more. She teaches patience and how to give space or snuggles as needed. She is the most interesting and special animal I have ever known.
Her health has finally improved over the last year and we are so blessed to watch her flourish. Abby is now four and our son is two. They have so many years ahead of them.
We are so blessed to have her in our world.
We are very excited for the years to come with filled many Abby and Henley tales.
Abby, Henley, myself and my husband live in the great city of Seattle, Washington. I own my own business as a photographer, Naissance Photography, and my husband is a tax consultant for a big four accounting firm.
Tilly Goble is a Seattle-based contemporary family photographer. www.naissancestudios.com