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I’m writing this on September 15th.  This is a day we remember for 2 reasons.  I hate that two years ago today was the day I walked in to find that we had be the victims of a home invasion that literally wiped out our home, but thankfully left our little Pepper and Lucky unharmed.  And then there’s the really great memory!  In 1997 our first Sunshine came home.  We met her the day before at a pet rescue and knew from our first glance at her that she would be our “ray of sunshine” for years to come.

And she was, bless her.  From the four of us down to the day care kids she both watched over and played with-Sunshine was one of those dogs that you just wept with happiness at having-loving, gentle, protective and well, truly the Sunshine of our lives until the moment she left us on September 18th, 2011.

Pepper howled and cried, we sobbed and for years there was no way I could look at a golden retriever or Labrador without welling up and having a lump in my throat the size of a grapefruit.

Then along came Lucky.  Physically her complete antithesis.  Not 70 pounds, but 6.  Not floppy ears, golden fur with white markings but perky ears, full bred Chihuahua who needed me to champion her.  Lucky’s name fit her as well.

We were Lucky Adam and Sam found her before she was either killed or frozen that cold day.  She was Lucky that we were in love with her before we knew what was happening.  We found each other and it was heart-swelling and mind-boggling.

Yet, I still couldn’t bear to throw out Sunshine’s favorite ball that I dragged from California.  I still can’t bear to throw out her collar and leash.

Steve and I had discussed the fact that our wonderful Pepper was now 13 and if we didn’t get another pup now and waited that Lucky would then be too old to accept another dog. Yet, we hesitated stating the usual reasons:

It’s a big commitment.

What if the dogs and Pepper can’t get along.

When we go away, will it be fair to ask the kids to “hotel” the 3 fur babies plus their own growing family?

What if there’s a problem?  Can we afford to take care of another little one?

And then came that day 3 weeks ago.  “Edie” as she was dubbed wasn’t a Goldie mix.  She’s a Chihuahua/Italian greyhound mix.  No she doesn’t have long fur and no she didn’t come house trained.

Yet, her ears fold down the way Sunshine’s did, her white markings on her head, toes and tip of her tail are the same as her predecessor and instead of a hearty bark, she howls-yet, her big brown eyes complete the reasons we decided to keep the spirit of Sunshine going by giving her this wonderful name.

As I’m writing this, she’s on my lap-something the “original” could’ve never done!  LOL, her head would’ve been all that fit!  But, we love her sense of humor, her gentleness with all the grandkids, her friendly calm demeanor and her wanting to be loved.

Rescues are really the best breed.  They know that you picked them.  And if you‘re worthy, they will love you to the moon and back.

We know because that’s all Steve and I have been lucky enough to be the pet parents of-they want to please, they want to love and want to be loved.

When we rescued Sunshine #1, I made the comment that “no matter what the weather, we will always be lucky enough to start our day with a bright ray of love.”

Every pet has their own personalities, problems and wonders-just like we humans, but that said, on this day of remembrance, I now like to say, “Here in the Nadel household, we are “Lucky” enough to start every morning with a good dash of “Pepper” and that burst of “Sunshine” that we need to get through our day.”

You know, I will probably cry, but maybe it is time to throw the moldy ball and the dusty collar and worn leash in the garage into the trash.  I’m not promising mind you, but it’s a big step to just type those words.

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