Two years ago today, I met Tyler Small Paws in Phoenix Arizona.
My sweet Bailey had crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on January 15, 2010. Bailey was my heart dog. She was 13 years old when she crossed after having finally lost the battle with cancer.
I wasn’t sure I was ready for a new dog in my life when Small Paws Rescue contacted me.
I first saw Tyler in a Small Paws Rescue newsletter. It was this photo, from his shelter intake record. I could tell that he was not well–can you see it? Tyler had been found on a street in Phoenix with another puppy. Both puppies were starving and both puppies had parvo virus.
They were on death row within hours of being turned in to the shelter, because that was the shelter’s policy with parvo dogs. But the shelter knew about Small Paws, and someone telephoned the Small Paws Team Leader for Arizona–who turned out to be Tyler’s Guardian Angel. He got both puppies to a veterinary clinic, and Small Paws paid for their hospitalization.
Tyler’s photo haunted me.
At the end of May, 2010, I was still working through my grief for Bailey. But with thoughts of moving forward I had put myself on the Small Paws puppy list. At Small Paws, puppies are reserved first for people who are grieving. About a month after Tyler was rescued, I got an email asking me, did I want to adopt a puppy?
When I realized that it was the little parvo pup that had already been living rent-free in my head, it was a no-brainer! Plus, I was already on my way west on a business trip. With a little extra money, I was able to re-route my flight home to stop for a night in Phoenix and pick Tyler up from his foster mom (God bless you, Mikele, for all you do for the Fluffs!). This was meant to be.
Tyler was a skinny scrap of a pup. He was very underweight and his hair was cut very short to make it easier for the dogtors to deal with his illness. But I didn’t mind how he looked. From the first moment, he was so sweet and loving and I marveled that a creature who had received such a terrible start in life–abandoned, starved, sick–could still have the capacity to love. I get teary-eyed when I think of how he cuddled up to me that very first day, and trusted me to take care of him. I won’t betray that trust.
I think Bailey sent him to me.
Here’s how Tyler looks today….
He only weighs 8-pounds, but he’s the living heart of our home. I love you Tyler.
~ * ~
I am heartily sick of the weather–some days it’s like early spring, and then we’re suddenly back in the ice age again. Tyler, on the other hand, is having no problems coping. I guess I would have no problem too–if I could be cozy in bed and snooze the day away!
For the past few years, we’ve used the same PSAs with a new voice-over at the end to advertise Iams Home 4 the Holidays–and frankly, these PSAs are classics! Unlike other TV ads that make you cry because they’re so sad, these PSAs make you cry because they’re so happy! It has become a tradition for me to celebrate these ads. Please grab a tissue and watch how the real reward in adopting a pet, is when the pet adopts you!
Ah! and now I’m misty-eyed! I love happy endings!
I just realized that even though I encouraged everyone to vote, I never made a post about what we ended up naming our new future VP of Canine Communications (he takes over the job in April 2012). By popular vote, his name is
And here are some photos of him in action at a recent event at our office (Take Your Child to Work Day, July 15).