I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone for their thoughts and prayers following the loss of our beloved Derby. Life at the Bowman house is slowly getting back to normal. S-L-O-W-L-Y. And by that I mean I’ve stopped crying every day. We still have times when Tony and I just sit and talk about how amazing our boy was and how cheated we feel, but mostly about how blessed we were to own such an amazing dog. He truly brought joy to us.
I know I’ve pretty much been MIA for several weeks, and probably still would be if a couple of things hadn’t occurred to prompt me to share my feelings and seek advice from all of you. And to asked for you help for another family and their much-loved dog.
The first thing is, we got a puppy a couple weeks ago. Tony came home from work, tears swimming in his eyes, and said, “I just can’t stand it, Kim. For almost eight years there hasn’t been a day when I wasn’t met at the door by Derby. Even after almost two weeks of him not being here, I still expect him to be the first thing I see when I get home.”
My heart broke for him. This was his baby. Derby loved us all, but he was definitely Tony’s dog and best friend. So, I asked him if he thought it would get better if we had another dog. He didn’t come back with the answer I expected. Instead, he hugged Cage and said, “No, not really. Nothing will make it better. But Derby protected us. I felt better knowing he was here with guys while I was at work, so I think we need to get another dog.”
I was still on the fence and didn’t want to rush into getting a dog just to fill the void Derby’s death had left. We were still in mourning. And honestly, I didn’t want to grow attached to another pet just to lose it. I’m still grieving over losing my Tessie and now Derby was gone too. I NEVER wanted to go through that torture again.
But then I looked at Cage playing with his kitty and thought, Is it fair to cheat him because I’m afraid?
There happened to be an ad in the paper for pit bull puppies a few days after we found and buried Derby. I got up, called the lady with the puppies, and told her we were on our way. We walked in, and what did we see? This little girl was looking at us like, “Where’ve you been? I’ve been waiting for you.” It was like we’d been handed back a piece of Derby and Tess. Tony and I looked at each other and said, “We’ll take that one!”
OH BOY! We haven’t had a puppy in eight years! To say we’re rusty is an understatement. Lex definitely keeps us on our toes! Between her, the kitty (Possum), and Cage, our house is like a three-ring circus. And now for the part where I need advice. How do we not feel guilty for loving this bundle of fur? How do we stop feeling like we’re somehow “cheating” Derby by getting Lex so soon after his death? I’d love to hear from you guys about losing a beloved pet and how you dealt with moving on with another one. It would really help me.
The second thing that happened is my friend, the wonderful author, Kay Springsteen, posted a story on Facebook about this family who has had their dog Smokey taken from them. (For more details and the whole story, please follow the two links and read this family’s story). With the sting of Derby’s death still heavy on my heart, this hit close to home, and my mission is to make damn sure to do all I can to help this family get their Smokey back so that they have a much happier ending than we did. I’m HORRIFIED by what I’m learning about these so-called “chip-in” groups. I won’t elaborate on that, follow the link above and then do an Internet search and you’ll be as appalled as I am.
This family is now in a legal battle to have their beloved Smokey returned. I donated to their Chip-in account. Even $1 will help. Can you find it in your hearts to help Smokey. We are his voice! If you can’t spare a $1, will you follow the link above to the Facebook page for Smokey and share it and then do the same with the Chip-in link so we can spread the word and reach as many people as possible. Who knows, maybe even FIND Smokey for this family. Then can you take a few minutes and send a complaint to Kim Alboum, the State Director of the North Carolina Humane Society asking that these groups not be allowed to pass judgment and keep families and their beloved pets apart. Now, let me make it clear that we worked with an awesome rescue group when we adopted at pit bull years ago. They were amazing, and most of them are working to save these poor animals. But some of these “chip-in” rescue groups are giving a bad name to legitimate organizations who want to help these animals.
Let’s do all we can to help this family. Keep in mind, this could be you. Trust me, I never thought I’d be burying Derby until he was old and gray. I know you guys are all awesome and will whatever is in your power to help this family. After having to explain to my son that his dog was dead, nothing would make me happier than to see this little girl reunited with hers.