When I was about 12 years old, I was walking home through my subdivision from a friend’s house. I remember passing by a dog that was barking incessantly and angrily at me from behind a wooden fence. For some reason, I have always had a fear of dogs and so I was practically running by the fence when somehow, the dog broke through the fence and attacked me. I still have a small scar on my leg from it.
I can’t say with 100% certainty that this incident is why I never really cared for dogs, but I’m sure it played into it. You know those people that tell stories about their dog’s personalities or the cute things their dog did? While listening to those stories never bothered me, I have never understood those types of things about dogs. Nor did I ever find the stories cute or entertaining.
Needless to say, when I remarried and my husband brought home a brand new puppy for my daughter to help her through the transition without even asking me, I was livid. I was already having a hard enough time adjusting to a new marriage, a new home, 3 more kids, their existing dog, a couple of snakes and lizards, my older daughter moving out and living way out in the country with the ex-wife that lived what seemed like only a block away.
Of course, the responsibility of taking care of the dog fell on me. I fed him, took him out for walks, trained him and took him to the vet. And I resented all of it. That is, until he slowly but surely stole my heart. Tyson didn’t do any of the irritating things that other dogs did like barking, jumping on people or licking. I began enjoying watching his little antics. I began seeing his personality and being able to understand what he needed or wanted. I knew when he wasn’t feeling well. I knew everything about him. And I absolutely loved everything about him!
I’m not proud to admit that my marriage didn’t last very long, but it didn’t. What was amazing to me about it though was that from the first day my husband and I separated, Tyson climbed up into my bed and slept next to me where my husband had always been. It was as if he realized that I needed him to fill that void. He had never once tried to sleep in the bed before. With Tyson, for the first time in my life I was able to understand why people shared those silly stories about their dogs. I was able to understand that dogs do all have their own personalities and that they are able to communicate with you in their own way. I also understand now why they say that dogs are man’s best friends.
When my life was completely out of control about 2 years ago because I was working constantly and had way too much on my plate, I asked the person that we bought Tyson from if she would be willing to take Tyson back – at least temporarily. We know her very well and I didn’t feel uncomfortable asking her this at all. I knew she loved him as much as I did. At that point, both of my kids were living with me, 2 dogs were living with me and a baby was living with me. There was way too much chaos. Since I didn’t feel like I could ask my other daughter to get rid of her dog, I saw Tyson moving out as something I had to do to simplify my life. It was a very, very difficult decision but I knew He would be well taken care of and loved immensely.
Within the first year of them taking Tyson, he had some type of brain aneurysm and died. I was devastated and heartbroken. However, I was also thankful because I realized that God allowed all of this to happen to protect me. I would have never been able to handle seeing this happen to Tyson. I would have been paralyzed and not known what to do. I would have 100% completely fallen apart.
It’s been a year or so since Tyson died. My life has done a complete 360 and I am now living completely alone as opposed to having everyone under the sun living with me as I did at the time I let go of Tyson. I think about him often and have toyed with the idea of getting another dog. But I keep being reminded there will never be another Tyson. And for that, I am very, very sorry. 🙁