Around the time when we were feeling a huge void when mom passed away we decided to start looking to rescue a dog. We already had one dog (a black shih-tzu) that we had rescued the previous year (but that is another story in itself).
I started looking in the internet for organizations that had dogs available for adoption and immediately I fell in love with “Nimo”, a grey and white male. He was 2 years old at the time and had the sweetest and shiniest eyes you have ever seen, they melted my heart! It was truly “love at first sight” (similarly to when I met my husband 😉
I showed it to John (my hubby) and he agreed to adopt him. While he continued browsing other pictures of dogs available for adoption, I was getting ready to call about Nimo. Suddenly, John brings to my attention an adorable blonde little “girl” named “Zali”. She was only one year old and was also available at the same site. At that once we simultaneously agreed that we had to adopt them both.
It was an exciting moment! The organization is SOS DOG RESCUE (http://www.sos-dog-rescue.org/adopting.html). When I called Nimo was still available for adoption but he was kept in a dog pound in Quebec. We would have to wait up to a month until the volunteers could make another trip in their van from Ontario to Quebec to bring him with other dogs to be fostered in Ontario until they could finally be adopted. My heart sunk…
A whole month seemed like such a long time for this little dog to be caged and surrounded by other bigger dogs, listening to the cries and barks, the cold unfamiliarity of it all. That time must have been so frightening, lonely and traumatizing for him. However, he was a lucky little fellow because he already had a loving family waiting for him to give him all the love and care that he deserved. I took comfort in that while I prayed every night for him, holding my tears wishing that I could rescue all the animals in the world that are suffering abandoned, mistreated, or brutally hunted down for trophies and the so called sheer “sports”. They are innocent voiceless victims suffering due to the lack of compassion through human (?) acts of neglect and cruelty.
Afterward, I inquired about Zali and luckily this little girl was already in a foster home in Ontario (where we were living at the time) waiting to be adopted. We wanted to see her right away and bring her home as soon as possible. We were overjoyed! The day we went to pick her up, we already had bought her a new bed and some toys to welcome her to the family. We decided that I would do the driving so John could bond with her; after all he saw her first.
She was so tiny, I think that she was not yet a year old, she was probably still a puppy but we will never know for sure. When she got comfy in her bed she knew that she belonged with us. To sooth herself she used to suckle (or nurse) on her bed or of any pillows she could find or the corners of her own little blankie leaving them looking like a wet mess. Maybe she was separated from her mom too early, or maybe she was trying to cope with all the stressful changes she endured in her short life by comforting herself. She lost the suckling habit now but she still indulges in leaking her paws or the spot around her before she goes to sleep (in our bed of course because “her bed” is just an ornament in the house) leaving the sheets or blankets with wet spots for us to sleep in.
Finally the day arrived when we could at last bring Nimo home! This time it was John’s turn to drive, since Nimo was bonded to me at “first sight”. It’s funny how everything worked out because that first bond remains strong up to today, Nimo is a mommy’s boy and Zali is a daddy’s little girl. They love us both but they have their favorite parent when it comes to “getting their way” despite better judgment from us, we always end up giving in… indeed, they have us well trained!
The most incredible an amazing part of this story is what happened once Nimo arrived home. As soon as he set foot (or “paws” I should say) in the house and he met Zali it was the most incredible “reunion”, like if they both knew each other before. His eyes lit up and he kissed and kissed her around her eyes and face, tails wagging in electrifying excitement and joy. The pure exhilaration of that moment was priceless! Could this be possible? Could they be related? This was truly significant and needless is to say neither of them had the same reaction when they met our other dog.
When things settled down a bit we decided to call the volunteer ladies that had done the fostering and adoption arrangements for us to tell them this endearing story. At the same time, we were hoping to discover if there was any possible link between Zali and Nimo.
The great surprise was when we discovered that in fact both of them came from the same farm in Quebec. As the story goes, their owner was an elderly lady that “collected” small dogs. She apparently had around 30 of them but when her daughter came to visit her, she would place several of them in the dog pound so her daughter would not get upset with her. Later on, she would try to get them back. The dog pound finally put a stop to it since this was very traumatizing for the dogs and it was then decided to place most of them up for adoption.
To this day, Nimo kisses Zali every night before they settle to sleep. They seem like a body with 2 heads when they go for walks, both in tune with each other. They both have their little rituals when they eat, going around their plates like a merry carrusel tasting each others plates to make sure it’s the same menu and then finally Nimo sits and waits until Zali finishes eating just in case she will leave a little in her plate for him, as she usually does.
We are so blessed to share our lives with them as they continue to teach us unending lessons with their love. When we go for a walk in the park and meet other humans owned by their pets, everyone always enjoys sharing their pet’s stories but they are always amazed when they hear ours.
I hope you enjoyed it to!
Here are some quotes that have always inspired me:
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” Mahatma Gandhi
“Until he extends the circle of compassion to all livings things, Man will not himself find peace.” —Albert Schweitzer
“He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” —Immanuel Kant
“The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But can they suffer?” —Jeremy Bentham
“A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast.” —Proverbs 12:10
“Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” —Thomas Edison (inventor)
“Our task must be to free ourselves…by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” —Albert Einstein (physicist, Nobel 1921)
“Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals) is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission–to be of service to them whenever they require it… If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” —Saint Francis of Assisi (mystic and preacher)
“I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.” —Abraham Lincoln