My whole life I have felt a strong connection with animals. So many times those were the only connections where I felt unconditionally loved. Growing up we had lots of pets. And as soon as I was old enough to get a job, I rescued every stray I could find in the town where I lived. I would get them fixed up and find them a permanent home.  At the height of my rehab efforts, I had quite a large number of dogs! Thankfully my parents never said no to a rescue.

When I was 15, my parents decided we were going to get a chihuahua. Well, as soon I saw that little face, my heart melted. I had 14 amazing years with my faithful sidekick, Rosie. She saw me through those rough teenage/ college years and even moved home to Maine with me. I just assumed that she was my once in a lifetime dog, that no one else would measure up. But then  Noah came along.

Noey was the epitome of a loving Golden Retreiver. He never met a stranger and was such a jolly old soul. He melted hearts wherever he went. The day after I got Noah, I was in a pretty bad car accident and it took months for me to recover. Noah would snuggle me close when I was sleeping and he licked my tears every time I cried. That silly goofball made everyone’s day brighter,  not just mine. He was the light of my life for 13 years. After he died, I was heartbroken. Thankfully I had two more babies to look after and share my grief.

Paco, the chihuahua mix, truly is my emotional support dog. If I’m sick, or if I have a panic attack, even when I have a migraine, he will not leave my side. He will come from anywhere in the house and lay on my chest in a way I can only assume feels like those weighed blankets folks talk about. Paco came to me when he was just a baby. He had been horribly mistreated and had a lot of anxiety. He has mellowed over time, but he is wary of anyone not in his “pack.” It’s ironic that Paco is so good at soothing and comforting me because he can be so nervous himself. Even with his little quirks, he’s incredibly loyal and loving with those who manage to gain his trust.

And then there’s little Lola, my tiny angel girl. She is honestly the sweetest, most loving creature I have ever known. Anyone who’s met her would agree. She has a way of making everyone feel like that are the most special one! She’s also very silly, which keeps me laughing.

I could write for days about all the animals who have saved me from myself and have loved me better than a human can. I’ll have to save the others for a different day. Here are some candids of my favorite loves…


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