Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Best Gift Ever...Our Dog Twila

Four years ago Brenton and I decided to get a dog. He grew up with dogs and felt that owning one would bring a lot of joy into our lives (and it has). We decided on adopting a dog, rather than purchasing one from a breeder. We were focusing on pit-bulls and boxers because Brenton’s sister adopted two pit mixes and they are the most wonderful dogs.

Adopting was a long process of several months. We went through multiple organizations, paid application fees, and even sat through a home inspection. We attended several adoption events to meet/try different dogs. At one event, while looking at another dog, Twila chose us.

She nuzzled her way into our laps, and soaked up our affection. Unfortunately, we were about to leave on a vacation, and had to postpone her adoption for three weeks. When we returned, we picked her up at an adoption event in a town just west of Richmond, Va.

Sadly, she was bleeding. That morning, or the day before, the "foster" owner claimed his dog beat her up. She had cuts on her legs, ears, and face that later became scars. None of this trauma jaded her affection toward other dogs or people though.

Over the years, we have given her a stable home, predictable routine, the mental stimulation she needs through training and more love than you could imagine! She's become a wonderful companion, and brings joy to us and others wherever she goes.

Recently, she's had some problems with her shoulder, causing her to limp. After it persisted for too long, we took her in to get x-rayed. They x-rayed the upper half of her body. We were horrified.

As the veterinarian posted the x-rays up onto the light box, my eyes filled with tears and my jaw dropped. Several air rifle pellets and a bb where shown to be embedded inside her. This could have only happened to her when she was just a puppy, having adopted her at just under a year old. It appears that someone must have used her as target practice. It sickens us to think of people who would do this. It breaks my heart to think of her past, but knowing that she will always be safe and loved puts my mind at ease.

Luckily, the pellets don’t appear to be causing her any problems. Her limp turns out to be a pulled shoulder from having too much fun while playing.

Those of you thinking of adding a pet to your life, please adopt. Consider all breeds. Clearly, these animals have been through more than you'll ever know, and need a loving home.

I titled this post “The Best Gift Ever” because that is truly how we feel about our dog Twila. Everyone says “she is so lucky to have you”, but the truth is we are the lucky ones. She has brought more joy to our lives than we ever imagined. Nothing brings a smile to my face like she does!

Christmas 2010. This is what our living room looks like after opening presents on Christmas morning.
No, we don't have four kids just one dog who LOVES to open presents!


  1. Merry Christmas to you and yours! Enjoy Twila tomorrow morning and her present opening shenanigans! :-)

  2. This is our first Christmas with our little rescued mini schnauzer who we dearly love. We've always had dogs, but this is our first "rescue" and she is the best!
    Merry Christmas to you all!

  3. How wonderful! We feel the same about our cats. One that passed away at the ripe age of 20 had insulin shots twice a day for a couple of years. One we have now had radiation treatment to get rid of a thyroid problem. We've spent a lot of money on our cats, but they're not throwaway items or accessories, you know?

  4. It is such a cute dog! What a sad story.. but what a nice end. Or should I say start of a new life..
    Happy new year!

  5. Thank you for sharing your story about Twila. She is beautiful. We 'rescued' our boxers too, but it was from homes that no longer wanted the dogs, just too much to handle as they grew up, children would not take care of them... my new bride did not like the dog... we have heard it all. They are the best gift ever. Twila is very fortunate to have found you and Brenton.

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. So happy that you, Brenton and Twila found each other, she is beautiful.