Our family wanted to share about three dogs who have blessed us through N.E.W. Pawsibilities 🐾 In 2013, we adopted the gentlest little cocker spaniel that we named Hannah. She came home and joined our two other dogs, Ryan and Thomas. She was completely blind and it was love at first sight (pun intended). You would have never guessed she was blind, especially as she found every crumb hidden under the couch. She was a once in a lifetime special kind of dog that touched our large family’s life deeply. Earlier this year, Hannah passed away unexpectedly due to a very aggressive form of cancer. Our other dog, Thomas, passed just before Hannah after a long battle with a different form of cancer. Cancer is cruel and unfair and our family’s hearts were broken.

Much sooner than we anticipated, we brought home a little dog we named Benjamin. His sweet, scruffy face needed a family like ours and our family needed him. Ben did not replace Hannah or Thomas, but he brought healing to our hearts in a way that only a dog can. He helped us smile through our sadness. And, it wasn’t just the human hearts he helped to heal. Our senior dog, Ryan, had become depressed and withdrawn after losing his two buddies. Ben’s playful antics put a spark back in Ryan’s eyes.

On a Friday afternoon, not long after Ben came home, a puppy popped up on the rescue website. Ruby was so little and adorable that she looked more like a stuffed animal than a real dog. She came into the room as a little ball of fur and immediately curled up in my lap. I had run over to the rescue without telling my husband and knew there was no way I could leave without Ruby. There were just two catches. The biggest was that this puppy has a heart murmur. After the still very tender loss of Hannah, I wasn’t sure if I could handle more heartbreak. We took the weekend to research and talk about it. Ultimately, we decided that this little love needed a family and no matter how long Ruby was with us, we would love her deeply. The second catch was that Ruby ended up being an Oliver! It was quite funny as four adults at the rescue all stood around an upside-down puppy going, we think that’s a he, not a she? I never realized how hard it could be to tell on a tiny furball.

Ben and Ollie have brought love, joy and lots of laughter to our whole family. Our children are so smitten with Oliver and love to show him off. My husband and I delight in how Ben hops in bed with us and burrows under the covers between us. Our dog, Ryan, has perked up in a way we haven’t seen in some time. Pets truly leave paw prints on your heart. Hannah and Thomas can never be replaced or forgotten, but their legacy of love lives on in the joy that Ben and Oliver have brought to our family. We are so thankful to N.E.W. Pawsibilities for connecting our hearts.

p.s. For those wondering, Oliver’s heart murmur is being closely monitored by our vet. He doesn’t think it will resolve on its own as it is quite significant. But, he also doesn’t think it will interfere with Oliver’s quality of life. It doesn’t seem to slow him down one bit. He may need surgery down the road, but we are taking his heart issues one step at a time. For now, he’s just a playful, normal, super spoiled puppy. 🐾 Jacklyn Brubaker