This is the story of a dog. An extraordinary dog. He doesn’t save lives or sniff out bombs or visit sick kids in the hospital, but to me, he’s a hero. My husband and I always wanted a dog, but we tried to be practical and while renting, didn’t have a pet. Finally, we bought our first condo in 2009 and right away we were on the hunt for a dog. My husband was working two jobs with night and weekend hours and I never saw him. I threw myself into looking for the perfect dog. I loved the show Sex and the City and identified with Charlotte of the show. I loved her dog Elizabeth Taylor so I was on the hunt for a Kings Charles Cavalier Spaniel. I looked for months and finally saw a dog listed online. He was the last of his litter and when they dropped the price, we scooped him up.
I was in love with this little dog that we named Derek after my husband’s best friend (my husband picked out the name because he thought it was funny, turns out he was right). Derek and I would go for long walks to fill the hours when I felt lonely. I remember one night, on the 4th of July wanting to go see the fireworks, but having no one to see them with. My husband was working and my friends and family were all busy. So I went with Derek. We sat alone on the steps of an elementary school and I held my slightly afraid four-legged child while they went off.
Through those months of lonely sadness, Derek was by my side. When I was sad he’d come up to me and make sure I was ok, and he was always there to keep me company when I was feeling lonely. Doesn’t that sound like a hero to you? He gives the best hugs and sometimes I can tell when he needs one, too. Who doesn’t need a hug now and then? Things changed and I found ways to cope (thanks to Derek) and soon my husband and I were working jobs with similar schedules. Although that time of loneliness is just a memory now, I’ll never forget how Derek was there for me. It strengthened the bond between us.
Because my husband and I were both working during the day, we figured Derek needed a friend, so we got a second dog, Lucy.We hoped they would love each other and think they do. They’re opposites- she loves food and he loves to run. He barks and she is quiet. He’s smart and she’s, well, not. They were the perfect dogs to bring a baby home to. They both love Don and gave him his space as an infant. They now love the scraps from his plate and playing fetch with him. Derek and Lucy lead the adventure. Our favorite family activity is going to the park. Derek plays ball, Lucy eats the grass, and the rest of us play on the playground. Sometimes Derek will even go down the slide which makes us all laugh.A few months ago, I was on a walk with the dogs and Don when a dog escaped from his yard and attacked Derek. It was terrifying watching Derek get torn apart. Finally the dog’s owners were able to get Derek free. My husband and I spent a long night at the emergency vet’s office while he got sewn back together. We cried in the waiting room afraid for our first baby. He means the world to both of us and we were relieved when after some stitches, a draining tube, and some staples he was much better. We both wondered if Derek was protecting baby Don from this dog and we are forever grateful for our brave little guard dogWatching Derek get hurt, made us realize even more how much he meant to us. How much he had been there for both of us. He was our hero dog, in more ways than we could count.
Do you have a special dog in your life? If you’d like to learn more about other hero pets, check out some amazing stories here (and maybe get a tissue ready, there are some super sweet stories)! Click here to learn more about how STAINMASTER® PetProtect® supports all the adventures you and your pet have in your home.
This blog post is sponsored by STAINMASTER® PetProtect®.