My Loyal Companion

I'd wanted a dog my whole life. I wanted a loyal companion and playmate, but my dogs have also turned out to be my greatest teachers. I got my first dog Moxie as a puppy. She was born with a birth defect that I didn't discover until we'd been together for a few months. As she grew, her ability to walk became more and more impeded. But, this never held her back. She never stopped trying, and she trusted me completely to guide her and keep her safe. Being a steward of that trust changed my life. She taught me resilience, optimism, hope, and what it feels like to be loved unconditionally. We spent 12 wonderful years together. When she died, it left a hole in my heart I thought would never be filled.

A few months later, and in the midst of the pandemic, I adopted another dog, Effie. Effie had been abandoned as a puppy in the streets of Serbia. I was told that she was extremely fearful and would take a long time to open up. But the moment we met, she decided I was her person. She ran into my apartment, jumped on my bed, and has been using me as a pillow ever since. She's so smart and playful and cuddly. She isn't Moxie (and oh man, I wish they could have known each other), but she is incredible in a whole other way. It's only been a few months, but she's already reminded me of the lessons Moxie taught, and shown me how to open up my heart again.

As W.R. Purche said, "Everyone thinks they have the best dog. And none of them are wrong."

- Jennifer G