When we first moved back to the States from China, we went to visit my father in law who owned a very fat, lazy, yellow labrador. She was so fat that she became diabetic, and became blind as a result. Her fatness also led to hip dysplasia. She just laid around and slept all day. My kids were terrified of her! I was shocked! How could they be afraid of a dog that never moved!? We decided we needed to get a dog so that they could learn to not be afraid of dogs.
We went to the SPCA, and found a German shepherd/ Doberman mix, 1 1/2 year old dog named Tommy. He seemed like a good fit, so we took him home. He turned out to be a very nice dog. It might sound like he wasn't when I tell you this, but he wasn't that good with children. He was very afraid of children, probably because of their unpredictability. He would bare his teeth while they pet him. He didn't bite them, but he was warning them not to hurt him. But he was a great watch dog. I used to walk him often, and let him off leash. He was so good to come when called, and would never get in a fight with another dog. He would run the other direction rather than fight with other dogs. The Shepherd in him kept him circling back to make sure we were following him.
In time, he developed a large tumor on his leg that ulcerated and burst open. I took him to the vet, and she could tell that he had cancer that had already spread to his lungs, so we had him put down. It was a sad day, and we really missed him.
I decided to take a dog break after that. We went several years without a dog. But then something happened that made me decide to look for another dog. I wrote about my desire for another dog in a previous post. I really wanted an Airedale, but knew that I couldn't afford to buy one. But let me tell you what made me think I should start looking for a dog.
One night I dreamed that I was traveling to my parents' house, and got there late at night. I didn't want to wake up anyone, so I decided to sleep in the car. I put the seat back, and settled in for a good sleep. I happened to look out my driver's window, and what should I see, but the spirit of my dead dog Tommy, laying on the ground next to the car, protecting me. In my dream I was so happy to see him! I felt good to know that he was still watching out for me.
Awhile later I had another dream. I dreamed I was lying in bed in my own home. I looked down at the side of my bed, and there was Tommy's spirit laying next to the bed, protecting me. I reached down and petted him, and felt very safe with him watching over me.
After the second dream, I began to think that maybe I should think about getting another dog. This may sound weird, but I felt that Tommy was concerned because we didn't have a dog for protection. It had been a number of years since he died, so I decided to start looking. I went to a church picnic, and happened to mention to a friend of mine that I was looking for another dog. When I got home from the picnic, there was a message on my answering machine from my friend, telling me that she had an Airedale if I wanted it. I was SHOCKED! I have wanted an Airedale since I was a young! I agreed to take her, sight unseen. And trust me, she was a mess, but I took her to the groomer and got her cleaned up. I have really enjoyed my Sally, and she has been a great protector for our family.
The other day I had another dream. I dreamed that our house was haunted. lol I could see things being lifted up in to the air, and being moved to another location. I wondered what I should do about it. Suddenly, here came Tommy's spirit in to my dream again. He came to me, and I was so happy to see him, and I petted him. Suddenly I saw something being lifted up in to the air again. Tommy ran over and chased away the ghost. :)
I have heard that it is possible for our deceased loved ones to visit us in dreams. I kind of wonder if my dog Tommy comes to visit me in my dreams. I know it sounds superstitious, but it was the dreams that led me to get the dog of my dreams. What do you think?
This is a picture of Tommy taken not too long before we discovered he had cancer. At this point he was already favoring one hip because of arthritis. As I look at this picture, I can see the pain in his face.