In mid-June 2013, my family experienced the terrible loss of our beloved Barry, a poodle that we rescued in August 2010. When we adopted Barry from the shelter, we knew that he had heart issues, but on Saturday June 15, 2013 – while we were preparing for a family “Birthday Barbecue” (hosting about 50 guests in the backyard)– Barry’s heart gave out. He passed away at 2:30 p.m., the same time guests began to arrive. The Birthday BBQ turned out to be a repast of sorts. This sounds strange, I know, but it was really wonderful having family there for us when this happened because we really didn’t anticipate the impact Barry had on us and we felt such a great deal of pain in losing him. Our family provided incredible comfort.
A few weeks later, amongst the boisterous noise of our two children playing/ yelling/screaming, etc., my wife and I still felt a void and a silence in the house, a void that Barry left. It was time to search Petfinder to look for the newest member of our family.
Our search took us to 11th Hour Rescue, a volunteer-based, non profit, 501c3 organization that literally saves dogs and cats from death row, where we met an Old English Sheepdog mix. But to be honest, while he seemed like a great dog, I personally didn’t feel in my heart that “Fluffy” was for us. The search continued. We found an interesting 10-month-old through the S.T.A.R.T. II (Save the Animals Rescue Team) shelter, a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 status organization dedicated to alleviating the plight of homeless and abandoned companion animals, who peaked our interest.
It was the end of June and I had called the S.T.A.R.T. II shelter and expressed my interest in a dog named “Prince.” I went alone that day to meet the 25-pound cairn terrier mix after work. To say it was love at first site would be an understatement. He was indeed meant for us – but I told no one.
When I got home, my wife asked what my thoughts. I told her that I didn’t want to discuss it and we would be taking the family there the next day and I wanted to get their thoughts.
The next day, we arrived at the shelter and my wife and kids both felt the same way as I did: crazy for Prince. We all played with him for about an hour and didn’t want to leave. We picked him up a week later. Our family is once again complete – with a royal dog – “Prince Andruch.”