Happy Tail: Fox Terrier lightens an emotional burden

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Bert Peal was teetering on an emotional brink after his best friend, Bullett, a Weimaraner, passed away. The Byron, GA, man has renal disease, a condition he has had since birth. For forty-some years he has coped with the disease and a prediction cast over him when he was a child that he wouldn’t live long. His dog helped him cope — and then Bullett died. He was crushed.

“The next business day, I told my boss that I needed to retire for medical reasons,” Bert says.
“I got so depressed I didn’t even want to get out of bed. I was going over in my mind again and again how much I had lost and what I could no longer do.”

Ladybug is on high alert for her favorite game of "Kick the Ball."

Ladybug is on high alert for her favorite game of “Kick the Ball.”

About a year later, he pulled himself together enough to look on Petfinder for a new pet. Georgia Canine Rescue and Rehabilitation in Cochran, GA, had recently taken Ladybug, a Toy Fox Terrier, from  animal control, which had picked her up as a stray. Later they learned she had belonged to a dog breeder, but when the people went on vacation and left their dogs untended, she had escaped and lived on her own for several weeks.

“This was a match made in heaven, arranged by God himself,” Bert says. “In those early days, she stayed constantly by my side both day and night,” he says. “She was never judgmental or demanding, always patient and loving, giving me kisses several times a day, and everywhere that I went, she was with me if she could go. And when she couldn’t go, she would dance for me when I returned.”

Ladybug has been with him for six years now. “My dialysis machine beeps loudly when I wake up and start the disconnect procedure,” he says. The sound brings Ladybug running to his side, and together they face the day and whatever it brings.

“She rescued me every bit as much as I rescued her,” he adds. They both were in need and came together at just the right moment.