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Growing Up With Dogs: A Tale of Friendship

Tags: evan brutus dog
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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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

This post first appeared on The Daily Pip, please read the originial post: here

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Growing Up With Dogs: A Tale of Friendship


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