When we first arrived at Big Bones Animal Rescue it wasn’t our families intent to begin to look for a dog.  I knew I wanted a dog for our young kids, but not at that specific time.  Our goal was to drop off donated food, cleaning supplies and tons of paper towel rolls since they were always in need.  Big Bones is an animal rescue shelter just on the outskirts of Windsor, Colorado that generally takes in large breeds of dogs and helps place them in good homes. They also do an awesome job with fostering and the adoption of dogs as well.  Once we arrived and began to hear the howls and barks for attention, I knew we were eventually going to be taking a pet home.  I was very sceptical on a large dog, but to my surprise there was ONE cage of two extremely small mixed breed dogs that we fell in love with.  One of the dogs caught our eye – his name was Rory.   

Rory was rescued off of the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico, a city known for euthanizing pets picked up off the streets that aren’t claimed within a specific amount of time.  He was transported to Big Bones Animal Rescue in hopes of finding a forever-home, even though the mixed-breed didn’t match the facility.  The owner let us know that he was a Dachshund – Spaniel mix and was roughly 8-10 months old.

From the get-go he was a bit timid but eventually warmed up and was friendly with both kids.  He ran circles around them in his chain linked cage and had that look of, “Get me out of here!”.  With the light snow from the previous evening and mud build up on the group, I could see why.  After only one other visit, he became ours and we became his “parents”.  We already assigned tasks for the kids to take part in that would teach them about the responsibility of owning a pet.  In the end, I knew I would be the food giver, water refresher and poop picker upper.  (….always fun!)

Rory has now been with our family for almost 7-years.  In those 7-years he has brought so much joy, happiness AND a bit of struggle.  As a puppy, we have endured him chewing up every phone charger, my work glasses, heals of expensive shoes and many other odds and ends things.    Recently he has also ventured into scratching and chewing up door frames whenever we leave our home.  This continues to be a struggle even though we know that it is a fear of being left alone and isolated.  He also adopted a habit of hunting down ANY of my sweaty workout socks from the bedroom and bringing them out to the living room to naw on.  Always fun to play “Find the sweaty sock in our house”.  With these minor setbacks, he has become such a great addition to our family.  

To this day, Rory continues to light up my day.  When going through chemotherapy sessions for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last year, he was always by my side at home.  He knew exactly when I was about to take a turn for the worse and would nuzzle up against my bare skin in bed and push his body up against mine.  It was almost a sense of comfort for both him and I.  He knew exactly when I was going to get sick and he showed his affection in so many ways.  

These last few months, he continued to help me through life struggles.  He would lay with me on the couch during the early morning hours or in the guest bedroom with his chin on my lap with such a selfless expression.  He knew I was down in the dumps and continued to try and lift me up by pushing himself upon me.  I believe his sense of awareness is what has helped me through many of my emotional battles.  Rory was my pet therapy dog before I even knew I needed one.

As the saying goes, “Dogs are man’s best friend.”  I would have to agree and I would even go as far as to say that they are better than humans.  Dogs will be by your side through thick and through thin.  They greet you as you arrive home with a happy wagging tail and find a way to always pick you up when you are feeling down.  They keep you motivated to go on daily walks and protect you when they sense fear.  Dogs just know “how to be a good friend”.

Rory is still going strong and keeping me active.  We continue to walk daily, cuddle on the couch in the morning and play tug at night.  He still loves to chase squirrels and I still find random sweaty socks in different places around the house.  7-years ago I wasn’t expecting to adopt a dog, now I’m wondering how I have ever lived without him.  Not only has he been a great addition for our family, but he has also been such a great addition for my own well being.  Thank you Rory for being such a good friend.