Puppy Love On Loan

Sometimes the universe has a twisted sense of timing. We received a request for urgent help a couple of weeks ago. While a Golden lover was picking up her new puppy half the country away, she got word that her senior heart dog, Sully, was failing – and fast. She rushed home with the still unnamed puppy in tow to receive the prognosis we all dread: she had some time – but little of it. And while her boy could go home for hospice care, an eight-week-old bundle of puppy energy was not exactly what the doctor ordered.

At a time that is supposed to be filled with new puppy joy, there was only overwhelming sadness, chaos, and guilt. Puppies that have recently left their litter need reassurance, time, and patience. But her heart and focus were understandably with Sully, ensuring his comfort and trying to make the most of the time they had left together. Emotionally and physically exhausted, she knew that the best thing for all would be to find a short-term foster for the puppy. My fellow Homeward Bound volunteer connected us, and two hours later, the little fuzz ball was home with my Yogi and Jackson.

I had been warned that she was a bit “vocal” (read “screamer”) when left alone. I guessed that a large part of that was leaving the litter. My boys were just what she needed to make a successful transition – the role that her big brother Sully was planned to fill for her.

Yogi, as usual, was her instant playmate – while Jackson adopted his more aloof stance.

She dished out her tiny terror in unrelenting waves on Yogi,

but she looked up to Jackson. When it came time to snuggle, it was Jackson she sought out. With a mixture of disgust and resignation, he reluctantly surrendered to her charm.

Mom stayed in constant touch, and along the way little girl acquired a name: Shaye.

Rather than test her night-time vocal cords, we set up a crate in the bedroom – a fostering first for our temporary puppy residents. The bedroom is usually reserved for Yogi and Jackson as their safe and quiet zone. But I value my sleep, so the boys were sacrificed. As long as Shaye could see them both nearby, she went right in, settled – and slept through the night. What kind of puppy is this?

We quickly saw what a special girl she was – and despite our best intentions – she crawled right into our hearts.

In so many ways, she reminded me and my husband of our sweet Bella as a pup. A total joy spreader. Maybe the universe knew that her new mom would be in extra need of that.

Mom got the time she needed to say ‘goodbye’ to Sully – and we got an extra special dose of puppy love.
This parting was just a little harder than the others. Come and visit anytime, sweet Shaye.

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I am a nascent gardener, rescuer, and photographer, chronicling the journey of the dogs at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary near Sacramento, CA - and the Memorial Garden we have devoted to them.

23 thoughts on “Puppy Love On Loan”

  1. What a precious pup! I loved the video, and think the playfulness is so disarming! How could you not love this little ball of fur. I’m so sorry for the circumstances that brought her to you, but what a loving community you have for these little pups in need of transition. Lovely, and loving story!

    1. Thank you, Debra. So glad we could help out. We have all been through that loss and understand how special those last few days are with our beloved companions. I know little Shaye will do her best to heal her mama’s heart. How could she not?

  2. Good boy Yogi! You played so well with Shaye. It gives me hope that maybe one day Lotta will have a little bro or sis and play like you did with Shaye 💜🐾

  3. Aw, little Shaye is adorable! I’d have a hard time saying goodbye to her as well! Her poor Mom. I know how heartbroken she must be over her Sully – as you do – and my heart goes out to her. I’m glad she has little Shaye to help ease her pain. 💗

  4. Beautiful photos. Loved the video! Bless you for helping with little Shaye. Yogi and Jackson did a good job helping with Shaye’s transition. I know she will help heal her Mom’s heart.

  5. How lovely. We are still grieving for the loss of our lovely white golden retriever Arnie. He came to us from the dogs Trust After his owners went into a care home. He lived here for three years and was the apple of our eye. Sadly he had cancer and after three operations he had to be put to sleep. I don’t think I’ll ever really get over him. He was my constant companion. There’s space in front of our hearth for another rescue dog. If you see anything needing a loving home, please let me know. Karen x

    1. Thank you, Karen. And I am so sorry for your loss. All of our four-legged companions are special, but still, there always seems to be one that takes up just a little more space in our hearts. I’m sorry that you lost your special friend. Your blog is lovely. But I don’t see a way to “follow” – am I missing something?

      1. Thank you for your kindness. If you would kindly go to the bottom of the comments, right to the end of the blog, there’s a black box with a follow by. E mail section. Failing that, on the right if the page there’s a little box that says follow in green writing. Please let me know if you can’t find it. I need some help with the blog as I’m hopeless at the technical side of things. All the best. Karen

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