The Sweet Soul Who Helped Save My Family

To help raise awareness for local animal shelters, a group of creative and inspiring bloggers are getting together for our first annual Hometalk Thrift Benefit for Sheltered Animals Blog Tour.

If you're not familiar with Hometalk, it's a home and garden website that brings together professionals, bloggers and anyone interested in all things home. It's like Pinterest without the hair and nails. Plus, it's free!

Thrift Benefit: Did you know many communities across the country have thrift shops that sponsor your local Humane Society or animal shelter?

Shelter Animals: There are so many animals in need. Shelters do so much with so little.

For my part of this blog tour, I want to tell you about my Gabby ~ she's the absolutely adorable black doggie {second from the left} in the collage above. 

A few years ago my family was going through some very rough waters.  At that time, we decided that it would help our boys to have a pet.  They needed some extra stability and in our eyes, under the circumstances, a dog was the perfect way to give that to them. I knew I didn't want to go the route of a pet store or a breeder {though that is fine and my precious Pomeranian was from a pet store} but this time I wanted to 'save' a dog, one that might not otherwise have a chance and I wanted my boys to be a part of that process.

We told the boys and picked a day to go to our local Humane Society.  We went in, looked around and saw so many precious pooches but none that really caught our eye.  We left a bit disappointed, stopped to get a bite to eat and my oldest son {the quiet, wise one} asked why we didn't stop and look at the black dog on the end of the first row....the one that hadn't barked and just stood by the fence wagging her tail each time we passed by.  I vaguely remembered that dog but because she was so quiet, I didn't really notice her.  She didn't jump up and down as we went by, she didn't bark, she didn't do anything spectacular, she just stood there and wagged.

We decided to go back and take a look.  When I saw her and really looked in those golden amber eyes, my heart melted.  We asked to 'see' her and into a room we all went.  She visited with each of us almost like an excited hostess welcoming us to her 'home'.  We found out her story.  It was not a pretty one.  She had been removed from her first home because she was not being fed, was being left outside and was literally starving to death.  Her second home was a bit of a mystery but from there she ended up back at the Humane Society {for the second time}.  A third family came along and adopted her but their toddler kicked her and punched her.  {She never bit back or even so much as growled} and once again, she was back for the third time at the Humane Society.  I was hesitant to adopt her because of her 'past' but something about her eyes and just her led me to believe it would be okay and she was meant to have a home with us, her last and forever home.

We started the adoption process that night but because of the time {it was getting late} we had to come back the next day to finalize everything.

We left each of us sad that we couldn't bring her home that night.  We went to a local store and bought her a collar {my oldest son insisted on her having a pink one that said Princess}, leash, bowls, a brush and food....and waited.  The next day couldn't come soon enough.  We arrived at the shelter as soon as they opened and left with our Gabby Girl.  Gabby was the name she already had and it fit.

The year after we got her our family went through even harder times but through each trial Gabby was there to comfort us, to look at us with those beautiful eyes and to lick us with her pink and black tongue {she was a Lab-Chow mix} and to put her paws on our lap as if to pat us and let us know it would all be okay.  Over the years she never once growled, never once nipped or did anything even remotely aggressive.  She rarely barked and it was only if she needed to go out and no one noticed.  She did eat a small box of Christmas candy once {and lived} but that was the worst thing she ever did.

She was the perfect family dog.

A few weeks ago a tumor that we had been told was a fatty tumor began to bleed and wouldn't stop.  We took her to the vet and were told that she had cancer and that there was little we could do to help our precious girl.

Tuesday, October 1st, was her last day with us.  It was one of the hardest days I can ever recall.  We made the choice before pain and other complications set in to have her put down.

Thinking about my Gabby Girl, I thought of how we didn't save her, but she had a hand in saving us, in getting us through the tough times.  She never met anyone that wasn't a friend.  She was a gift beyond anything that money could possibly buy...and we all miss her terribly.

If we get a pet again, we will go the shelter route.  To me, there would be no other option.  There are so many wonderful animals just waiting to be loved and to give the ♥endless love♥ that they have within them.  I will be forever thankful to God for bringing us to that particular shelter on that particular day and to that particular dog, our little Gabby Girl.
Blog Tour: The group of creative animal loving bloggers listed below sharing our animal related posts in a blog tour.

Hometalk Thrift Benefit for Sheltered Animals Blog Tour starts Monday, October 14 and goes through Friday the 18. Here's a chance to meet new bloggers and many of their animal family members, get creative ideas from thrift shop finds, or read about the wonderful animals that share our journey.

Here is the schedule.

Monday, October 14

Country Design Style
Deja Vue Designs
Weathered Pieces
Dogs Don’t Eat Pizza

Tuesday, October 15

One More Time Events
Fresh Idea Studio
The Crafty Woman

Wednesday, October 16

Lilac and Longhorns
Stow and Tell U
Meegan Makes

Thursday, October 17

Pennywise Blog
Plum Doodles
A Nest for all Seasons

Friday, October 18

My Soulful Home
Designers Sweetspot
Cupcakes and Crinoline

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  1. Christina says:

    Oh what a beautiful story and what a precious dog!
    I'm so sorry for your loss- is there anything more heartbreaking?
    Thanks for sharing and what a great reminder to opt for shelter a pet!

  2. I'm so so so sorry MB. Crying for your loss. But Gabby was an incredibly lucky baby to have had you and your family. You know she's playing happily now!

  3. Mary Beth I am writing this with tears in my eyes. I recall when this happened as I believe you posted on our FB group, but to hear the full story of Gabby was so moving. She was meant for your family & your family meant for her. Thank you for sharing...

  4. Mary Beth thank you for sharing the poignant story of Gabby. {wiping away tears} I purposely wanted your post last on the blog tour list because I knew it would be the perfect last post to read. Someday maybe all people will realize it's in the animals that share our journeys nature to benefit our lives. They ask for so little in return. Thank you for giving Gabby a family and a beautiful life. ~ Jeanette

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much, Jeanette ~ I was so glad that I was able to share Gabby's story for the HomeTalk Thrift Benefit. Gabby meant so much to our family and I hope that her story will hopefully help someone to choose to adopt a Shelter pet.

      Mary Beth

  5. Amy Renea says:

    awww...i love that your son's quiet soul connected with hers and that was the deciding sad that you had to say goodbye. I know the sadness of losing cherished pet -- especially one who has given so much. Thor was our "guard cat" when we had infants. he would sit by their cribs and come and meow at me if the baby was crying and I didn't know it yet. We are sad he isn't here for this baby 🙁

    1. Mary Beth says:

      I am so sorry that your Thor isn't around for your new addition ~ it is amazing how much a part of the family a pet can become. They are love dressed in fur.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. Hugs, Mary Beth

  6. Julie {Lilacs & Longhorns} says:

    Oh Mary Beth, was a sweet, sweet and sad story about your Gabby Girl! I'm so sorry for your loss. What a precious animal and I'm so glad you were able to share her story with us! You have a furry angel watching over you now. 🙂 Blessings, Julie

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thanks for putting the smile on my face ~ my furry little angel...that fits her personality perfectly!

      It has been great to be on this tour with you as well.

      Have a wonderful week.

      Hugs, Mary Beth

  7. Pingback: Hometalk Thrift Benefit for Rescue Animals -
  8. Therese @ Fresh Idea Studio says:

    Oh how sweet it is...the love from a family pet. Sad your Gabby girl is gone now but so grateful she blessed your family as she did. Thanks for sharing her story today Mary Beth. It's been lovely being on the blog tour with this wonderful group of bloggers.
    Cheers to you

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by and reading my little Gabby's story ~ it has been wonderful to be on this tour with you as well.


      Mary Beth

  9. Amy @ StowandTellU says:

    This is the most touching story, I'm tearing up. That your son connected with her on that level must make you feel so proud. It sounds like she did so much for you all, but I have to add that I think that the fact that she finally found her true home is an amazing gift that you all gave back to her. They look up to us and count on us and ask for so little in return. Thank you so much for sharing her story and so glad to be doing this benefit tour with you ~ Amy

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much, Amy, for reading my Gabby Girl's story. She was such a very precious part of our family and we were so blessed to have her. She always made me feel warm and loved.

      It was a joy to do this benefit with you as well.


      Mary Beth

  10. My passion is working with homeless cats. To see them blossom is such a joy.
    Thanks for bringing sheltered animals issue to attention of your readers.
    Also, remember a lot of humane societies are like ours, we don't have a shelter but still need supplies and spay/neuter $.

    1. Mary Beth says:

      That is so wonderful of you to work with homeless cats, Gail. Thanks for the reminder about local Humane Societies ~ the need is so significant and what they provide is such a gift to the community.

  11. Diane | An Extraordinary Day says:

    What a beautiful story, Mary Beth. I am so sorry that you had to say good-bye to your beloved Gabby Girl. I know from experience how incredibly difficult that is. Sharing your story now for this wonderful cause is a blessing to all. [hugs]

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thanks so much, Diane ~ I still miss her so very much. Thank you for being so kind, as always, and I'm sorry that you have been through the loss of a precious pet as well.

      Have a week filled with blessings.

      Hugs, Mary Beth

  12. Kerryanne @ Shabby Art Boutique says:

    I'm sure this must have been a very difficult post to write Mary Beth. Obvious Gaby was a very important and well loved member of your family. I'm glad that you each brought the other love and happiness. I believe dogs have a way of knowing when you need them.
    Loved your photos of your precious Gaby. Thanks for sharing them.

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much for your sweetness, Kerryanne. I believe the same thing...that dogs have a way of knowing and our girl was great at giving love.


      Mary Beth