Easing the Pain with a New Best Friend

Karen Lee Richards Health Guide
  • In June, I told you about losing my best friend––my dog Becca. I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciated the condolences and sweet, caring, understanding words many of you shared with me. They meant so much to me. As you can imagine, the next few weeks were extremely difficult. (I still have to fight back tears whenever I think about Becca). The feeling of loneliness was overwhelming.


    After a couple of weeks, though, I knew the best thing for me would be to start looking for a new puppy. It would give me a new sense of hope and help me focus on something other than just my grief. I began researching what kind of dog would be the best fit for me. At the same time, I also started praying that the Lord would lead me to the perfect dog for me.

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    I knew I wanted a small dog that I could put in a handbag and take with me wherever I go. That was the only drawback with Becca––at 18 lbs. she was just too heavy for me to carry around and take with me as much as I would have liked. I also needed a dog that had a sweet, calm temperament. With my limited energy, I didn't think I could handle a hyperactive dog with a strong personality.


    My first thought was a Yorkie. I have a close friend who had a Yorkie several years ago so I e-mailed her with lots of questions. After answering my questions, she suggested that I consider getting a Maltese as she thought the Maltese temperament would be a better fit for me. I took her advice to heart and started reading everything I could find on Maltese dogs.


    As I studied, I realized my friend was absolutely correct––the Maltese was indeed the ideal dog for me. Next began the search for a breeder and the puppy that was meant to be mine. I won't bore you with all the details of my search except to say that a fairly unusual set of circumstances came together and led me to what I believe is the perfect puppy for me. A couple of weeks ago my son and I drove to Georgia (five hours each way) to pick up my new little girl.


    And so, without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to my new puppy Elli. Her name is short for Eliana, which means “God has answered” because she was an answer to my prayers. Elli is a 19-week-old female Maltese puppy. She currently weighs all of 2.8 lbs. According to the breeder, she will be close to 4 lbs. when she is fully grown.


    Admittedly I may be a tiny bit partial, but Elli has to be one of the best puppies ever. The transition to her new home couldn't have gone more smoothly. She adjusted beautifully, making herself at home almost immediately. And she was already trained to use a puppy piddle pad so I didn't even have to deal with housebreaking.


    As far as companionship goes, Elli follows me wherever I go and is already sleeping with me. Her puppy playfulness helps keep me active but when she finally tires out, she loves to snuggle up next to me or curl up in my lap for a nap. Who could ask for more?!


    I've already ordered a bag that looks like a regular messenger bag but the main section is designed to carry a small dog safely. On the outside of the bag are zippered compartments where I can carry the items I normally have in my purse. When that arrives, I hope to be able to take Elli with me almost everywhere I go.


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    I'll always miss Becca but I'm grateful to have Elli in my life now. She fills my days with a new-found joy and sense of playfulness. I think Becca would approve.



Published On: August 22, 2012