Twelve years ago today, in the midst of one of the greatest periods of grief the Dude and I would experience in our adults lives, we said yes to a dog named Sherman. I had been trying to carry out a successful pregnancy for over a year. My father in law, step father in law, grandfather, grandmother, and god child all died within 18 months. I was on my third miscarriage (there would be 4 more) and our beloved dog Stella Blue was stricken with kidney disease and living out her last months here on earth. Life was chaotic. We were in crisis mode and each and everyday felt like treading water. October is always an interesting month for us. We have purchased our last two homes in October, both the Dude and kiddo have late October birthdays, I contracted my first book deal in October, cars, vacations. Everything seems to happen now for us. It's a wonderful and very full month. It was no surprise when the Dude came home from an outdoor work event with a grainy photo on his flip phone (remember those) of a fuzzy little dog the size of a small loaf of bread. "His name is Sherman," he said, "like the tank. What do you think?" Adopting a second dog was not on our list of things to do that year. Like I said, we were in crisis mode and barely surviving. But one look at this little fuzzy guy and my heart melted. "Let's welcome the chaos," the Dude said. And we did. Sherman arrived to us 8 weeks old on this day 12 years ago. He was the cutest little thing I ever did see. If you've met Sherman, you've heard his full story. It's dramatic and I'll save it for another time, but for now, he's an incredibly healthy 12 year old dog with a mild seizure disorder and neurological damage that occurred prior to his rescue that had left him with an inability to clearly read social signals. He barely has an aggression center, which makes him literally the sweetest dog on the planet. Currently, he is the only remaining companion from the days before our daughter was born. He is also the angel who helped us get through some serious grief. He has been there for us more than what we could ever provide for him. And this past July, he welcomed a new little buddy to the pack. Another fuzzy little bread loaf named Busy. If I've learned nothing else from grief, it is that there is no other way but through and getting through it is much better with a dog. Our current grief equation is, just add dog. Rescue a dog. Then another. And if necessary, another. And cry it out together.

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