Happy Tail: Nigel is a loving bonus for his family

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When a dog dies, people often hesitate to get another one. They know they can’t really replace their pet, and they’re not sure they want to go through the heartache again.

Chris Kowalewski and her husband had lost two pets in a two-year period, and she was experiencing these common reactions. “My husband works the night shift though, and I was having a hard time sleeping at night since our dog passed. I started looking at Petfinder and cried every time I looked at all the photos,” the Oswego, IL, woman says.

Nigel's brown eyes are hard to resist.

Nigel’s brown eyes are hard to resist.

One dog, in particular, caught her eye. His name was Nigel, and he was listed on Petfinder by Placing Paws of Illinois in Libertyville. She looked for his listing again the next day, but he was gone.

“About a week later, I was still looking, and there he was, back up on the site,” Chris says. Her daughter is in a gymnastics program across the street from the shelter, so she decided to drop in to meet him. “They brought him into the room, he flopped on my feet and rolled on his back. I knew instantly he would be coming home with us.”

Her husband met Nigel the next day, and he agreed with her assessment, so they brought the kids to meet the pooch.

“My son was having loyalty/guilt issues about loving another dog,” Chris says. “He wouldn’t pet him or pay much attention to him on the car ride home. Once we got home though, it was impossible not to love Nigel.”

Nigel has fit right in. “The weirdest thing is that he has the perfect mix of our previous dogs’ personalities,” Chris says. Nigel hasn’t replaced their former dogs; he is another furry bonus for the Kowalewski family.