A mother of two young girls found herself unexpectedly widowed after her husband was killed in a hit-and-run accident.
Some people might say that one can’t patch a broken heart. Yet, Emily Taphouse learned that a family can, at least, start to heal with the help of a pet or two.
“Telling her that her dad died, and also that she wasn’t able to see him, was almost worse than the accident itself,” Emily told The Dodo.
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We added a new buddy to our brood! This is Juno. She is 5 years young, and has the happiest tail we have ever met. She was abused the first 4.5 years of her life, but through it all still remains trusting and loving. All she wants is a lap to snuggle on and someone to hold her paw. Fern is madly in love with her. We love her oh so much and can’t wait to make her life one that she loves.
Emily decided to try to give her family a new start. They moved into a new home closer to the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and added an adorable puppy bulldog named Fern to the family.
The girls took to the furry new family member immediately. Emily watched as the smiles on her daughters’ faces returned.
“It’s like I could feel a patch be placed on my heart,” said Emily. “I watched as my girls squealed and played and loved on her. She changed everything.”
But Emily sensed that Fern was lonely, too, and decided to see if she could remedy the situation by finding her a canine companion.
One day, Emily was looking on social media and saw that her friend had tagged her in a post about an abused bulldog named Juno. The amazing thing was that despite her troubled past, she hadn’t lost her “trusting and loving” nature.
She figured I could help find [Juno] a home since I’m always trying to help find homes for animals who need them. I took one look at her and said, ‘Yeah. ME!!!’ I just knew. Her foster mama, Victoria, told me she had been abused and neglected. I was expecting her to be timid, aggressive or frightened. Instead, we sat on the floor to meet her and she happily laid her 74 pounds directly across my 30-pound 4-year-old.
Emily learned that Juno’s abusers used to hit her whenever she got on the furniture. So, when they got her home, Emily called her up on the couch, and with that she looked like she had found “a place in heaven.”
In no time, the new bulldog had stolen their hearts, especially June’s. Emily said that, for the two of them, it was “love at first sight.”
“June cares for her like she’s a small puppy, she asks her if she’s OK if she can get her anything. She puts blankets on her.” Emily said.
Now, nearly two years after the passing of Emily’s husband, June’s dad, their hearts are finally healing, much thanks to the playful energy of Fern and the steady, calm comfort of Juno. They give their human family the strength they need to go forward.
There was a time when I wasn’t sure I was going to survive this. I wasn’t sure I wanted to. Therapy, medication, all of it just didn’t seem enough to get me through this. I can say with 100 percent honesty that the combination of these dogs and Hazel and June have done more for me than any medical professional has. They are light and healing in the sweetest packages.
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