When I first started dating my boyfriend, he had told me “when you come over, my Dad has like 8-10 dogs so, don’t be alarmed” My automatic response was “OOOHHH PUPPIES!!!” Little did I know, seven months later, just how much these sweet babies would mean to me.
I’m not entirely sure if people are familiar with PTSD and the amazing therapy that dogs are for the people who have it, because I’m not entirely sure how that feeling is myself. I do know that I love Chris’ father as I would my own, and that the town of Waterville has completely torn his heart out of his chest. A few months into dating Chris, there was a complaint about these dogs because someone wanted their fence to be completely straight. Because “Dad” wouldn’t sell his land, he now has gone to court, proved amazing care for these dogs, has done everything in his power to keep these amazing dogs with him, and still he’s had to find homes for dogs that shouldn’t have to be separated from someone they love so much.
I just got done spending half the week with my second family. I have watched a grown man and a grown woman, both of who I love so much, cry as they had to separate themselves from their dog family members that they’ve had for 6-10 years. I, myself, had my fair share of tears as I had to see some of the pups I ended up loving and cherishing as well, go. Why am I writing this? Because maybe it’s not my place to share every single detail that they’re going through, every thing they’ve gone through, and everything they’re yet to come as they grieve their losses, but I personally feel so hurt and so ashamed of the world we live in. Someone who fought in Iraq for our freedom… someone who risked his life and is struggling with what comes with that. The only thing that keeps him feeling sane are the warmth, and light, and incredible love that these dogs have and still give him. The town of Waterville is one of only three cities in Maine that has an ordinance stating that a household is only allowed three dogs to a house. There’s nothing saying you can only have a certain amount of cats or any other animal. But dogs. The kindest most sensitive most loving dogs I’ve ever met. The rumors spread about my second family are insane. From hoarding 20 dogs, to how disgusting their house is, and more and more and more. These dogs are the most loved and cared for dogs I’ve ever met and if anyones house who has a dog is spotless, then you’re not doing something right.
“When a dog looks at you, there’s no judgement, there’s no shame, there’s love. An unconditional love. There is nothing that I can do wrong because all they want to do is love me. When I lay with them, and they snuggle me, it keeps every racing thought I have, every sound I hear, every move that’s made seem a little more bearable. I don’t have racing thoughts, I don’t hear every sound and I don’t see every move that’s made when I have my dogs.”
I will never understand what you go through on a daily basis, my ( hopefully 🙂 ) future father in law. But I understand the love of a dog and the healing it does. And I pray that something good can come out of this situation. That all this hurt and pain that you’ve been through will somehow bring something positive. Maybe sharing your story will change someones life, maybe something will be done so this doesn’t happen again. Maybe nothing will happen at all. But I hope you know how much you are loved. By your dog family, and your human family. I’m sorry there was nothing I could do. But I’m honored you trusted Chris and I enough to love two of your babies. But most of all, I am honored to know you.