It’s been nearly 9 months since we said goodbye to our 14-year-old labrador, our only pet. Coming home to an empty house has been an adjustment. Catching myself scold the children for leaving the back gate open has been an adjustment. Walking stealthily in the middle of the night to avoid tripping over the dog has been an adjustment. 

It’s all been an adjustment. 

But we adjusted. That doesn’t mean that we moved on, we just started to quietly adjust to life without this silent, but much loved, part of our family.

However, sometimes the grief catches me off guard. 

Like the time I was in the Indianapolis airport at six in the morning, preparing to board my flight home on a business trip and I saw the drug dog in the screening line. There I was, standing in line, sobbing because the dog looked “exactly” like mine. And because he was on duty I couldn’t go over and pet him. 

I looked like a blubbering mess. I’m surprised I didn’t get added to the no-fly list based on my screening-line behavior. Ridiculous.

The boys were ready to welcome another pet immediately, but my husband and I were still recovering from the loss. 

Dang, that was painful. The thought of walking into that kind of grief again sounded like crazy talk. Why can’t these pups live forever?

Well, a few months ago, I started toying with the idea of bringing a puppy into our lives. 

….The boys are perfect ages. They can run and play with him now. They may even help.

….It’s almost summer vacation. The boys and their dad will be home all day. It would be the perfect time to train a pup. 

We spend all of our free time at baseball fields, most of which are pet-friendly

So I started looking. 

And last week, a friend shared this post on Facebook:


And I was hooked.

She was a rescue pup, being fostered through Dolly’s Legacy Animal Rescue near Lincoln, NE. She was dumped at a shelter in Missouri. This shelter will contact Dolly’s Legacy when they have animals in need of rescue who are unable to find a home. She and three other puppies were flown to Lincoln until they were able to find homes. 

When we told the boys about her, my husband was still a little hesitant, as he’s still beat up about losing our first dog. 

When he reminded them of this, our oldest son said, “Dad, don’t you think 14 years of joy is worth a few days of sorrow?”

Decision made.

So on Thursday, we all climbed into the truck and drove out to meet “Daffodil.” And we were in love!

Puppy love

And on Saturday, after a day filled with ballgames and weekend events, we drove out to bring the newest member of our family home. 

And she’s been the sweetest addition we’ve had.


All four puppies found homes on Saturday. 

Judy Daniell

Reader. Writer. Runner. Loser of things. Lover of Grace. Mama to 3 crazy fun boys and wife to an amazing man. PR by day and Social Media by night. She is the editor at and you can find her occasionally blogging at