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Thursday, November 10, 2011

A New Puppy Eases the Pain of Losing a Family Dog

Our black lab, Ace was one of the best dogs a family could have.  He was 7 years old when he passed away with cancer of the spleen. When the veterinarian realized he had cancer and there wasn’t anything they could do for him, my husband and I only had a few days to prepare our 4 and 6 year olds at the time, that they wouldn’t have Ace around anymore. If you have ever had to do that, you know how hard that is to do. There are just no words to tell your children their dog is going to die. We did the best we could, but it wasn’t easy. Our little girls cried for weeks. Even today, which is a little over a year since Ace passed and every now and than they still cry because they miss him.
 Shortly after our dog died, the girls started asking for another dog. This time they wanted a puppy because they never really knew Ace as a puppy, he was already a few years old when they were born. They also wanted the puppy to stay small in size. Ace was ninety pounds. We also needed a dog that didn’t shed because my youngest had some allergy issues from the dog hair. Our daughter, Randi Kay, was determined to find the best dog for the family, one that had all the qualities were looking for. She has always loved dogs and reads every book she can get her hands on about dogs. She had us watching the television show Dogs 101 on the Animal Planet, searching the internet and reading books about dogs.
 I took the girls to the dog store to check out the different breeds of puppies. Every time they went they fell in love with the puppies. We also went to the shelters to look at dogs. Even though the girls and I were ready to get a new dog, my husband wasn’t ready. He really missed our lab. It’s true the saying, “man’s best friend.” After a few months my husband gave us the ok to “really” look for a puppy.
We decided we would try the animal shelters first. We must have gone to all of the shelters in Pinellas County. We also went to pet stores and looked at ads in the paper for puppies. We even took a drive one afternoon to a flea market north of Pinellas County to check out some puppies. We looked everywhere and just didn’t find the right one. Finally, I was online one night and googled the words non-shedding and Florida. I came across a breeder online that was in Tampa. I couldn’t believe it. I looked at their web site and saw the cutest little puppies called Shihchon’s or “teddy bear” puppies.  I thought non-shedding, small and cute. This is it. And the other great thing was the price was not outrageous.  I called the place and set up a time to go see the puppies. The girls were so excited they could hardly stand it. We had a wonderful experience. We got there and the girls were able to go in a room filled with about eight little puppies. The puppies were several different breeds. We let the girls play with the puppies and find which one they like and liked them. They both decided on a black and white shihchion. He was about 10 weeks old and about 4 pounds. He was just the cutest little thing. When we got in the car to take him home, the girls started crying because they were so happy.  This is my daughter Randi Kay writing about her memories of picking up our new puppy.
Royal Puppy Palace (the breeder) is a good place to go for the family and have fun. I was there and I saw all these different kinds of puppies. They had little dog beds they could sleep in.  I got a dog named Parker. I met lots of other puppies too. It was so much fun.  We loved our dog Ace, but he passed away when he was 7. He had to go the emergency room when my mom and dad said he was going to die tomorrow maybe. I was crying. The next day at school, my dad picked me up and I asked him if Ace was in heaven? He said yes. I was so sad. I started to cry. My new puppy Parker helps me sweep away my tears.
Ever since we got Parker, we haven’t had as many tears. I think the new puppy has been a wonderful addition to our family. Losing our dog, Ace, was a traumatic experience for our children and by getting our new puppy Parker, the healing process became a little easier.

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