As a family, we love animals. The first thing the Big Guy and I did together as a married couple was adopt a gorgeous brindle boxer puppy. We named her Saffaron and she was our first little girl; our first dip in the parenthood pond. We were young and in love and we adored this runt of the litter with the giant personality. She stole our hearts from the moment we picked her up to play with her. It was love at first sight.
Over time, she grew from the tiny puppy who could get lost amongst the blades of grass into a rambunctious, if not compact, version of her parents. Always loving and loyal, she would fiercely defend us if anyone even hinted that they might hurt us. She was doted on constantly and anywhere we went, so did our Saffaron.
I remember in those first years of marriage when finances were tight and we were moving frequently to places nowhere near anyone we knew, those trying first years full of the growing pains of married life, on those nights I’d find myself crying over the uncertainty, Saffaron would jump in the bed and lay her head on my shoulder and gently kiss my face, as to reassure me that it would all be alright. She made me smile.
On September 11th, while I sat alone in our small apartment in Greensboro, North Carolina, watching the footage play on a constant loop, trying to make sense of the world falling down around me, out of my mind with worry because my husband was working in Allentown, Pennsylvania and having no way to reach him because all the phone lines were tied up. There our Saffaron sat, always at my feet, my constant companion.
When we had our first child, Saffaron was aware of the shift in the hierarchy that inevitably comes when pet parents become parents to a tiny human for the first time. But Saffaron never let on that it bothered her at all, as I am sure that she noticed the drop in one on one time she got with us. She welcomed both of our girls home, each time, as if it were the Big Guy or I.
She loved them fiercely and in a big way. They learned to crawl by chasing her. They learned to cruise by grabbing hold of her back. They pulled her ears, chewed on her face and slapped her away and started her on the regular but she did not care in the least. She never showed her teeth, nipped or even barked at either of our girls, even when they were laying on her like a pillow or hurling baby dolls at her. She took it all and loved us unconditionally. She taught us how to care for little people and love with our everything. She taught us to be vulnerable and open and when the time came, because of her, we were better parents.
In 2012, 2 days before she turned 13, the week after our youngest started Kindergarten, 2 months after I suffered my miscarriage and again there she was at my side as I wailed and cried in the most primal way. She was not afraid. She got us through with her unwavering love and devotion.
On August 17th, our Saffaron died of complications due to pancreatitis. We had taken her to the vet and we knew that she had developed pancreatitis but she was fine and then one day, she was very ill. We lost her very quickly. It was heartbreakingly devastating for all of us. She was our first “daughter” and to lose her was one of the worst things to watch happen and to have to helplessly watch your children experience that loss was more painful than words can describe.
I thought I would never want another dog because the pain was so enormous but our girls, felt the loss and needed to feel that void of companionship and love that only a dog can provide. A few months later, our girls fell in love with a Victorian Bulldog puppy. I remembered that same feeling when first laid eyes on Saffaron. She made our lives better just by being in it. I could see it in their eyes, they were smitten and by that point there wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do to take away the pain in their face each time anyone said Saffaron’s name. That was the Christmas we brought Lola home.
The love is deep and real between our girls and Lola. She’s still a puppy and not as docile and low-key as Saffaron was but she will get there and I love watching the relationship form between the three of them and slowly, I can see the hole left by Saffaron’s passing being filled with Lola’s love. Dogs are not just man’s best friend, they are unconditional love in fur so please cherish your pets and keep them up to date on their vaccinations and well-visits.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of K9 Advantix® II. The opinions and text are all mine.