This week we interview Michele on making the decision of bringing home another dog, Teddy Fluffington, five months after Toshie passed away, here is her story.
1. Firstly, how would you describe Teddy Fluffington?
Oooh …where do I begin. Teddy is super friendly, curious, kind and incredibly gentle with a fantastic sense of humor. He is affectionate, loving and very smart and trainable. Teddy is also a sensitive boy and needs security and routine. He loves going out in the car and on long walks to meet different animals and people. He thinks everyone except big dogs are his new friends and lets them know this by wagging his whole body and smiling. We love him very much and are so proud of him.
2. You brought Teddy home 5 months after your beloved Toshie passed away. Did you or your family think that was too soon?
It was perfect timing for us in hindsight. My two girls and husband were very strong about insisting we get a puppy immediately but I held off. I wasn’t ready and felt like I was betraying Tosh just thinking about it. Eventually I saw the sense in getting a puppy in the middle of summer. Toilet training is no fun in the rain! We put our name down with a breeder of Sydney Silkies (like Tosh) and we were delighted to be told that our puppy was on the way. Fortunately for us the pregnancy was false and Teddy was advertised on the Internet the next day. As soon as I saw his advertisement I knew he was the one!
3. What are the benefits of having another dog sooner rather than later, after the passing of a dog?
For me, having a fur baby to love and take my energy and time was a real blessing. I am at home by myself a lot and Tosh left an enormous space when she passed away. Having Teddy gave me something to do and focus on and most of all he gave me purpose. I tell him everyday that he is the best thing to happen to me in a long time.
4. Do you think less about Toshie now that you have Teddy?
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her. I still miss her very much but I have so much gratitude for having had her and the lessons she taught me. Even though the pain of losing her is still very real it doesn’t impact on how much we love and adore Teddy.
5. A lot of people are reluctant to get another dog because they feel the next dog won’t live up to the one that has just passed. Are your feelings towards Teddy the same as Tosh, do you compare Teddy to Toshie?
We knew that Teddy wouldn’t be the same as Tosh but it didn’t stop me comparing them both a lot at the start. I think it’s a normal thing to do and I just let the thoughts come and go but it wasn’t until Teddy had developed his very own personality that they mostly stopped although there are a few ways that they are similar and Teddy does a couple of unusual things that Tosh used to do which is lovely for us and makes us laugh. How we loved Tosh is different to how we love Teddy because they both have required us to love and nurture them differently. Toshie was rescued by us at six years old. She had been kenneled outside all her life and only let out to chase the neighbors Jack Russell off the property. She was matted, flea ridden and had digestive problems from parasites. She didn’t know how to play with toys or any normal commands. We were never able to rehabilitate her completely and she remained very fearful of other dogs and human feet that moved quickly around her. From all this trauma, Tosh developed into our guardian angel. Some people will think that this is very strange but she truly looked after us all. She was very aware of our emotions and wellbeing and did everything she could to comfort and care for us if we needed it. She was like this until her sudden death at sixteen years old.