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by Laurie Mann

Our Ted was a very special dog,  he was a rescue,  but  as I look back
Ted was the one who rescued us.  From the moment he entered our lives,
we laughed more,  loved more,  and just enjoyed our days so much more
than we had before he came to us.

Ted arrived at our door on very short notice.  I received a call from the
shelter saying they had a Bichon and would I like to meet him....I said
"of course",  but I had no idea what a Bichon was!

They were going to be at our home in twenty minutes!  I was so excited!
We had just finished dinner,  a yummy homemade pizza.
 I quickly cleaned up the table and anxiously awaited their arrival.
I had butterflies....I had waited a long time for this phone call.

The door buzzer went off... they were here! In they came!  My eyes
connected with Ted's and I felt an instant bond with him.
We went into the living area,  and sat down, and Ted came
over and lay beside me and bellied up for a tummy rub.
I was in love, and so was my husband Mark.

I commented on how loving he could anyone give up on a
dog like this. I thought to myself.   This is going to be our dog!

Our Ted had been returned to the shelter,  a smaller private one,
four times. The homecheck lady said, "He is not house trained,
and he has done some naughty things"...I said "How could this
angel of a dog be at all bad!"  The lady went on to list the things he
had done that had caused him to be returned.
He had pulled the tablecloth off a table to get at a chocolate cake;
he had a duvet/pillow party at another, he was too big for one
lady who saw him; and he had such severe separation anxiety
that he would empty the moment he was left alone.
He could not be crated and this was a big problem for the shelter.
They were at their wits end with him.  She warned me to
keep him leashed and tied to my waist so he would
not do anything naughty.

The lady went on to say they could not keep him at the shelter,
and would I please keep him for a week even if I decide not to
keep him so they could think of what to do with him.
She said If I decide not to keep him she would pay me for caring
for him for that time.

I was gazing at this angel of a dog with disbelief listening carefully
to what she was saying.  She said she would call me in a couple of days
to see how things were going,  and left Ted with us.
We were on cloud nine!

How in the world could this angel be such a bad boy!  No way!
I  had Ted next to me on the couch and held his head gently and made
him a promise that if he liked it here,  we would never give up on him.
I said "Ted"...."you're home!"

I thought he was so beautiful!   I didn't know that Bichons
were supposed to be white,  Ted was orange and had not
much more than 1/4" of hair. His paws were damaged,  not badly
but you could tell he had been scratching to get out of somewhere,
probably a crate at the shelter.

I had to know more about this breed of dog and off to the library I went.
 I found several books and brought them home to devour....and
devour them I did!   I  saw photos of beautiful Bichons and realized
that the dog in front of me was not perfect in a lot of ways.
but that didn't matter at all!
This was our dog and we loved him!

As it turned out  Ted was a gentleman.....he greeted our cat
Tofu and seemed to really like our home. I think it was the pizza smell!
I waited for days to see this bad behaviour surface
but. you know. it never did.  Ted was an angel.

 The lady called me three days later... she sounded ready for rejection...
her voice was a little shakey, and she asked how things had been going?
I said this dog is wonderful!  We couldn't be
happier. Thank you so much for bringing him into our lives!
There was a long moment of silence on the phone
I think she was in shock! I said this dog is great,  he
hasn't done anything wrong whatsoever; he even respects our cat,
and hasn't pottied in the house at all.   She said she would
call me again the following week.

I  grew out Ted's coat,  and learned to groom myself,  because Ted would
not let the groomer get near him with clippers or scissors.
She actually called me and said "Come and get this dog. He won't let me groom him".

In a couple of months Ted was looking more and more like those beautiful
Bichons I saw in the books. I  took him to obedience and he was so smart!
We were developing a tremendous bond.  In a short time,
I had him jumping through hula hoops, and doing all sorts
of fun tricks ... he was such a great dog!
He loved everybody,  and his personality began to shine.
I was so proud!

I had to show him off to the rescue I called her and had her
come over to see us. She could not believe her eyes...that this was the same dog....
we showed off bigtime...I was beaming and Ted was beaming.
Words cannot express the sense of love and accomplishment that I felt.

My love for Bichons grew as did my thirst for more knowledge about this
very special breed of dog.

Thank you Ted,  for being part of our lives,
you taught me so much and I thank you for that
I will never forget you my special angel.........

Life is far too short,  live each day as if it's your last.

Until we meet again Ted.....I love you.

Ted went to the Rainbow Bridge September 21st, 2002