Emma has come to stay.

For over a year I debated whether I should adopt a dog… made pro and con lists…talked with people.  I told myself all of the things everyone is thinking: responsibility, schedules, the two cats.  But a dog would be good for Boris.  Companionship.

I changed my mind, and then I changed it again.  I had a poster of Kisu, our only dog ever, framed and hung it in the family room.  But that wasn’t enough.

Then one evening  I read an article about companion dogs and Alzheimer’s patients.  Boris needed a new interest, a friend.

So I decided to adopt a rescue Labrador retriever.  I contacted an organization and after a lengthy interview and tour in our home,   after my veterinarian and references were checked,  we were “approved.”  But five months later  I was still on the waiting list, having been turned down  three times because we didn’t have another dog,  children, or a pool.

I couldn’t wait any longer, so  I decided to tour all of the area shelters,  and that is when I found Emma.  Every dog at the kennel was barking wildly, but Emma just stood there,  her big, sad brown eyes looking at us.  She was recently separated from a litter of puppies, so her nipples hung down and her tail curled under her.

Emma had just arrived from Georgia,  rescued by a local woman who makes monthly trips down to the horrible gas chamber kill shelters to rescue as many dogs as she can. (See link)  Emma had been tied to a tree with five other dogs,  scheduled that day to die.  Instead, she made the 13-hour car ride to New Jersey during hurricane Irene  (watch “Take Me Home” on Emma’s Link.)

No, Emma’s not a lab.  She might have some lab in her,  but she’s “just an old Southern hound,”  to quote my mother.   She points at birds and rabbits, digs holes for her bones, and  doesn’t like the mailman.  In our eyes, she’s the most beautiful dog ever.  Fifty pounds of love.  As I write this, she is lying on the floor against the sofa where Bo is napping, his hand on her head.

Riding in the Car Together

They walk together,   sit together,   go in the backyard together.  Emma’s so happy you can see the change in her eyes.  But Bo can’t remember where we got her,  when we got her,  or what her name is.  “How old is she now?” he asks regularly. And I say it again, “She’s four.”

Home at Last
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10 Responses to EMMA

  1. Annamarie says:

    What a beautiful story. I’m so glad it turned out that you got Emma–and that she’s brought such joy to your lives. She’s a sweetheart. Wishing you all the best!

  2. Carole says:

    It is amazing to read of animal stories relating to above story of Emma. In the nursing home, Comstock here at Quincy, we have an animal society (mostly dogs) who come and visit the residents and the joy and delight of those residents when they see the dogs coming in their rooms.

    What comes to mind is a lady who is a member in my church, now at Colestock, had decided she had enough life on earth and wanted to die. She decided not to eat anything and was sleeping all the time. Our minister brought in one of her cats and put the cat on the bed. Muriel must have felt the cat’s fur and meow, opened her eyes, and was delighted. She is now eating again and awaits the cat’s visit. Many of these folks just want more attention and love. And animals know just what to do.

    Kisu was a wonderful pet at the time. Now Emma is taking over!

  3. Anna Fay says:

    She’s beautiful! I’m sure the cats will come around soon.

  4. Marko says:

    What a great treat for all three of you! Unconditional love. Glad to see she and B have bonded so quickly.

  5. charlotte guarino says:

    Lovely, heartwarming story. Emma and Boris look like they’ve been friends forever.
    You, too, seem very happy, Nancy. Aren’t you happy you waited for Emma?

  6. Mimi says:


    Another wonderful story!!!


  7. Greg says:

    Emma has added another heart to your family.
    Keep the memories alive.

  8. Kathe Shakespeare says:

    Your story, beautifully written, I might add, brings tears to my eyes. Two, in so much need and through you, they have found and are there for each other…..!!

    Fondest regards, Kathe S.

  9. Karen Phillips says:


    When I left your house yesterday, I saw Boris and Emma walking together and experienced a little tug at my heart. Emma is an incredibly sweet dog and well worth waiting for.


  10. Mari Sargent says:

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!!


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