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My Second Chance Dog (In Loving Memory) - Pets...a Flowchart
Pets. My Second Chance Dog (In Loving Memory)
By NitanniChionne
Viewed 1542 times since July 2013.

This Pets. flowchart, a free online decision tool is a creation of NitanniChionne and for amusement purposes only. The implicit and explicit opinions expressed here are the author's. does not necessarily agree.

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I had a dog named Totty. My mom bought her from an addict for $5. She was an abused dog, small cairn terrier mix, only 2 years old. She took to me, and I named her. I was 20 years old. It took over a year for her to not be afraid to deal with other people, to not make a puddle whenever someone tried to pet her. It was that bad, but I kept loving her and snuggling her everyday, and she came out of it.

When I was 23, an ex-boyfriend assaulted me. He attacked me from behind, and the result was swelling on the brain and a major concussion. I only remember bits of that night to this day. But what I'll never forget was that Totty became a watch dog after that. She monitored every person that came near me, sounded an alarm if there was a scent she didn't know. I'll always love her for that. She became brave because she loved me.

Even when my son was born, Totty protected him too. I found that beer was a trigger for her. I found out at a party. The smell brought bad memories, so I was always sensitive about that. She attacked someone with it on his breath. She got better about that, too, but she still cringed sometimes.

As all living beings do, Totty aged. She showed the usual signs, like not wanting to go on longer walks, not jumping on my bed anymore, taking great care when using steps or jumping on or off the couch. And I adjusted and helped when I could. She had kidney failure, tumors and what not. We'd taken her to the doctor, kept track of her, gave her her meds, loved her. Finally, one system after another failed. Pain began to blind her memory of us, and the doctors said that her cells were literally killing each other. I asked God for a sign of what to do. I felt I got it.

I held her in a blanket, and the technician ran a long IV line. She only saw my face, was unaware of much else except the pain that made her yelp constantly in my arms. I pressed my lips to her brow as she took her last breath. She was 20 years old, surpassing the average life expectancy for her breed by 8 years. She died the day before Thanksgiving in 2009, and we almost canceled the holiday. It was a somber weekend to say the least.

I know everybody likes full breed dogs, new dogs with a blank slate. I get that. But this dog, my dog, was a second chance dog. She came from a terrible existence and we both carved out a new one, lived life, first and second chances at things, sensed my emotion, and was quite simply, there. Her ashes are next to my bed above where her bed used to be. It took months to pick her up her belongings. And though no other dog could ever replace her, I know I'll have another someday because everyone deserves a second chance--no one knew that better than us--and we know it's worth it.