It’s hard to believe that five years ago today I left work sick “cough cough” and drove 6 hours to get a dog. A dog that I had never seen, but Pam and Carrie said was the perfect fit for me. I trusted the Whipstaff Ranch ladies and I knew in my heart that this was meant to be.
They told me his name was Cullen, that he was mistreated and locked in a crate for the majority of his life. He was just another puppy mill victim awaiting death because his coloring was off and he couldn’t be sold.
The ranch caught wind of this and rescued Cullen and his brothers from their unavoidable fate. Cullen was the last to find a home, for he was to shy and afraid of the world around him. This little one would need an understanding heart and unconditional kindness to bring him out.
In their minds I was that understanding heart, Carrie and Pam believed in me and allowed me to be his mom. Cullen had this look of fear in his eyes, a fear of the unknown. He was leaving the only kind souls he knew and heading off into the unknown. He was broken, but not defeated. Carrie hugged Cullen and told him “watch over her and have a good life sweet boy” and she placed him in the back seat of the Prius. With a heart filled thanks we headed off on the long drive back to the city.
The city is very different from Solaway, it’s filled with new sounds, smells, and OMG grass! Cullen was unsure of me, he found solitude under my bed. He would only come out to eat or drink when I was at work. I spent my nights laying on the floor staring at a terrified dog, often crying and wondering “did I do the right thing.” I was freshly separated, on the heels of a divorce, and this was my companion and he didn’t want anything to do with me. That is until about a 10 days later, I was playing angry birds on my iPad and I felt something wet on my knee. I looked down and there was Cullen with his chin on my knee looking at me like “I’ll be your dog if you be my human.”
Cullen jumped into my lap and I sobbed into his scruffy little head. From that moment on he has been joined to my hip. Cullen goes where ever I go and he is never that far behind me. Overtime he found himself, the little shy dog faded and the super dog took hold.
Cullen found his bark, prefers paper over toys, only wants his treats to be chewy and not crunchy. He prefers that his dinner come from the fridge and not a bag. He thinks he’s a cat, tiny dogs are not his thing, now show him a cat and he will make a new best friend. Mention Grandma’s house and he is at the door ready to go. He is my trusty little side kick and I will go to the ends of the earth to protect him.
I may have rescued him, but in the end it was me who got rescued. Cullen has been the constant in the ever rolling sea of change. He took the loneliness out of the long nights, in his eyes I found peace and nudges from his big gray nose reminded me that I am never alone. Together we took on the world, he brought me out of my shell and helped me find myself.
This little dog of mine has seen me through the good, the bad, and the darn right ugly parts of my life. He kept me company when I was recovering from surgery, we made countless new friends both two and four legged at the dog park, and he judged all of my dates and let me know which ones were keepers. Cully nuzzled up against me as I wrote charlie’s eulogy and he stood by my side as I packed up Charlie’s things. Charlie loved cully as much as I did. He understand that the muppet like dog was the glue that held me together.
With time my heart healed. I was ok with being single and went about my way. On Veterans Day a new man walked into our lives and to cully’s surprise he had cats! To my surprise cully hopped right up on the couch and sniffed Jay, wagged his tail and waited for a scratch. In that moment I knew cully approved and I slowly began to let myself fall in love with Jay.
Nine months later we are planning a wedding and mostly a future together. This little rescue dog of mine is proudly going to walk his mama down the isle. There is no better way to start the next chapter of my life, than with Cullen at my side.
For it was me who got rescued that August day.