The Daily Pip

Life Lessons, resources, and random bits for rescue dogs, cats, bunnies, and their peeps

Monday, January 16, 2017

Growing Up With Dogs: A Tale of Friendship

We love and cherish ALL our pets. But for those who grew up with pets, the early ones are often extra special. The one who slept in our room and licked our hands when we woke from a scary dream, listened attentively with their head in our laps as we learned to read, or greeted us warmly with a smile and wagging tail at the end of a bad day.

They are our first friends, the keepers of our childhood hopes, secrets and dreams. Often these early dogs and cats don't see us through to adulthood. But they live on in our hearts and we see the world differently, more vividly and clearly because of the bond we shared.

a girl and her heart dog and why families with kids should adopt dogs
Evan and Brutus. Photo used with permission.
A few days after Evan came home from the hospital, Jan discovered Brutus sleeping near her granddaughter's crib. His love for her was immediate and their bond grew by leaps and bounds each day. Brutus was so in tune with Evan that he would always alert Jan a few moments before she woke up. Four years later, Brutus still does the same thing even though he now has trouble walking and sometimes uses a cart.

Brutus, a six-year old pit mix, and Evan are best friends and constant companions. When Evan watches TV, Brutus is beside her with his head in her lap. And when she wakes in the morning, he greets her with light kisses. Jan, who is raising her granddaughter on her own (with Brutus's help) says, where there is one, there is always the other.

adopting a deaf and blind dog and why families with kids should adopt dogs
Timmy and Brutus. Photo used with permission.

Brutus was diagnosed with rickets from poor nutrition in his early life and continues to struggle with various bone and skeletal issues. Most recently, Jan noticed that he was limping and had trouble getting on and off the couch. And a few weeks ago he suffered a fall where his back legs collapsed beneath him. He now relies on a cart to get around and sadly, his vet now suspects bone cancer.

The tables have turned and whereas Brutus once helped Jan care for baby Evan, Evan now assists with her best friend's care. She helps prepare his food and his medicine (hiding the pills in peanut butter) while always making sure he is surrounded with her stuffed animals and covered with her softest blanket.

adopting a deaf and blind dog and why families with kids should adopt dogs

In addition to Brutus, Jan and Evan have a special needs dog named Timmy. Abandoned as a tiny puppy (most likely by his breeder), Timmy is deaf, mostly blind, and has some other birth defects including issues with his jaw and joints. He has trouble running, moving quickly, and bending over, but that doesn't stop him from playing with Evan on her tumbling mat. Jan says that neither Timmy nor Evan seem to notice his issues. He is just a happy-go-lucky boy who loves to give his human sister kisses. Evan considers Brutus and Timmy to be her brothers and gives each a hug before she goes to bed each night. 

a girl and her rescue dog and why families with kids should adopt dogs
Timmy, Evan and Brutus. Photo used with permission.
The dogs have taught Evan much about compassion and acceptance regardless of our differences. In addition to caring for her dogs and granddaughter, Jan works with local rescues on dog transport - and Evan joins her! Wise beyond her years, Evan understands that many dogs, especially pit bulls and those with special needs, are not as lucky as Timmy and Brutus. But she hopes to change that!

Jan worries about how Evan will manage after Brutus is gone. She hopes Timmy's unconditional love and enthusiasm for life will provide some comfort. For now, they are appreciating and celebrating every moment. Brutus may not have much time left and probably won't see Evan through until adulthood, but his love and friendship with surely live on in her heart.

Thanks to Jan and Evan for sharing their inspirational story. Please join me in wishing Brutus much love, light and healing in the days to come. Feel free to share memories of your first furry love in the comments below.

This story represents a transition from my 2016 series on special needs adoption to my new 2017 series on the human animal bond. I'm currently looking for amazing stories about dogs, cats, and other animals who comfort and heal the humans in their lives. If you have a story to share, please email me at thedailypip(at)gmail(dot)com.

stories of extraordinary dogs and cats who comfort and heal the humans in their lives

If you enjoyed this post, please check out my post on rescuing dogs who are both deaf and blind
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24 comments

  1. This is a beautiful story of the human / animal bond...so sorry to hear that Brutus is ill. It is so very difficult when we lose our furry family members.

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  2. thanks for sharing such a wonderful story... it made this gray moanday to a bright sunny day :o)

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  3. What a beautiful heartwarming story. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers, Brutus.

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  4. What a wonderful story and series. Looking forward to it.

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  5. Awww, what a lovely story
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

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  6. a sad and wonderful story all in one. Brutus looks so much like our Jake he could be a twin. Jake is 12 and doing well, but we know what is coming. thanks for a lovely story

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  7. I love this story, is is both heartwarming and sad at the same time. I think we can all relate to the heartbreak that accompanies losing beloved furry family members that are never with us long enough but leave those paw prints on our hearts! Looking forward to the new series!

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  8. Oh Kristin you have given me chill bumps up my spine with this amazing story and your special way of putting things in writing. It is my opinion every child should be raised with something(s) furry. Oh the lessons we are taught from those furry friends. I have always had animals in my life. Our 41 or our 46 years of marriage have included pets. To day our daughter is 46 and she has had pets in her life all but about 6 of those years.

    Brutus kinda reminds me of Mayzie...
    hugs to you, B and the amazing Miss M and all the four leggers
    Cecilia and Madi

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  9. ***THIS*** is the power of love ... and often our furred family members are better at it than the rest of us. I understand parents' arguments about responsibility but the gifts to your child (and the parents) of growing up valuing, respecting, loving and bonding with "pets" is immeasurable and truly makes the world a better place for our children.

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  10. That really is a very special friendship and the love will last forever.

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  11. What a beautiful story of love!!! We send lots of POTP to Brutus for his remaining days to be as happy and peaceful as possible and for Timmy to have a lot of years left to share with Evan. Thanks for the uplifting story.

    Woos - Lightning and Misty

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  12. Evan is a beautiful girl with a beautiful heart. She, Brutus and Timmy are lucky to have each other. I always had cats growing up, but it was Marvin, who I got when I was 19, that taught me about unconditional love. I miss him every day, but his photo is on my wall unit so he's never far.

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  13. That's a wonderful story. Sad about Brutus. SHE grew up with pets, and has never been without one since.

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  14. What a heart touching story. We pray for Brutus that he may have as much time as possible with Evan. Thankful that Timmy will be there to help fill the void when Brutus is gone.
    hugs
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

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  15. What a beautiful story. Yes, it will be hard when Brutus goes. Pets are usually the first loved one a child loses. It is part of growing up. A terrible part, but part. She, like all of us, will mourn, and learn to love again. Prayers for everyone in the wonderful family

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  16. Oh this made me cry! Thank you for sharing this most beautiful story, gorgeous photographs too! DakotasDen

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  17. This story is beautiful beyond words. Not only is the bond that Evan and Brutus (and Timmy) share inspirational, but so is the life of love and compassion that Evan is so lucky to be learning at such a young age. Just beautiful.

    I was lucky enough to have two best friend pups from the time I was 5 or 6 all the way until my college years. And then, of course, there was my angel Rosie, with whom I shared my life from the age of 4 to 26. I know I was lucky, and I am so glad that Evan is getting to know the magic of furry companionship. Thank you for always finding such truly incredible stories to share with us!

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  18. brutus. we send de manee blessing oh st francis two ewe.....yur storee with yur gurl Evan N brother timmy total lee rockz ♥♥♥♥♥

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  19. What a sweet story and an excellent kickoff to the new series. I can't wait to read more! I love that Evan helps care for Brutus now.

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  20. What a beautiful story. I didn't have the privilege of growing up with dogs; and I know I missed out on a lot. I wish Brutus and his family much more time together.

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  21. Such a lovely post! My childhood dogs Tiny, Bingo & Puffy Girl were such a huge part of my childhood and I still miss them.

    xoxo,
    Bell Fur Zoo Mama

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  22. Heartwarming! I was never able to have a dog as a child, so as an adult I am having all those experiences and I love it!

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