This is not a living with cancer story. This is a snippet of a wonderful love story.
She came to us broken we thought. How wrong we were. Broken tail, scars on her hind end, weighing less than half the normal adult weight for a dachshund, left in a box outside a shelter, we hoped she could heal with us. We wondered if our love could heal her unseen scars. We thought we were rescuing her. Perhaps, but truly she rescued me, that summer and time and time again for ten years.
The spring, ten years ago now, that I began looking for a rescue dachshund was part of a difficult year, filled with great sadness and more looming ahead. We didn’t “need” another dog, but somehow I did. We found the Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue site and we had just arranged to get our first “rescue” dachshund Rusty (He’s my good boy Rusty.). So why was I still looking through the photos of dogs in need of safe homes? Because it was all simply meant to be. We knew the moment we saw the listing for the dachshund called Naomi that she had to be in our family. And so it came to be.
On transport she came, Florida to New Hampshire. We left her brothers at home and drove the five hours to meet her. It was love, such love from the first moment I held her. Naomi (the name her foster mom gave her), became Nomi, then Omi. Omi Pert. Even after being fostered for months, she was physically battered, scars from an unknown horrific past. The tip of her little tail was bleeding from banging it on her transport crate while wagging. I first noticed it when blood spattered on the car door as she wriggled and wagged her happiness to be cuddled in my lap and loved. She seemed not care about her tail, still wiggling it while soaking up the love we already felt for her. So home we went.
I’ve known and deeply loved several dogs in my life, each one special in his or her own way. One that I thought I’d never find another love like his. (I have, at least twice since.) And yet I’ve not known a dog as beautifully and wholly sweet natured as Omi. Loving, kind, and even optimistic, compassionate and empathetic I believe. Happy, joyful, content with life. Not just special, unique in a very special way. “Such a sweet soul” is how my sister describes her. Yes, through and through.
A snippet of a love story I said, maybe just the very beginning. I’m not ready to write the years between that spring day I we picked Omi up and today. They’ve been filled with joy, with healing, with love. Someday I will tell Omi’s story as she is so worthy of knowing. The will of a being to overcome her past and live a purely joyful life is something worthy of sharing. I’ve learned much from her.
This week that beautiful, big heart of our sweet Omi gave out. Omi, my sweet, sweet Omi has left this earth. We are sad, yet filled with the joy that was Omi. I am grateful, so grateful to have known and been loved by her. She will be with us forever.
I encourage anyone who has the love, time, patience and space in your home, to let yourself be adopted by a rescue dog.