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  • Tim van den Berg

Rescue a dog and feel the love

Updated: Dec 5, 2021

For months I’ve been thinking about introducing my 2 dogs Peanut and Butters as they both represent a tale of an ESA (Peanut) for a man going through divorce after a 25 year marriage (me!) and a lesson about gratitude presented to me daily by Butters (my rescue.) A recent experience I witnessed on Carmel Beach spoke to me with such endearment about the power of canine companionship I knew it was time to share with you. 7 years ago I was freshly divorced after 25 years and in talk therapy going through the standard male mid-life crisis. I allowed my ex to keep our cavalier spaniels as she was also keeping the house as I scrambled into an apartment. My therapist recognized the extreme and sudden “empty nester” I was (with my 3 kids up and away.) He suggested I take in a puppy for companionship and caretaking and behold I found a maltipoo at 6 weeks (and $600) and my daughter named her Peanut. Peanut was spoiled rotten as she joined me on my photography adventures and travels throughout the west coast. Hotel rooms, campouts, hiking from Malibu to Marin, SF to Seattle. Peanut is an incredibly smart and expressive dog. She and I enjoyed some marvelous years traveling together or huddling in bed every morning, but soon I found a new job as a Life Coach and started heading into a counseling center to work. Leaving Peanut alone was simply not an option. I scanned the rescue sites and found a poodle-mix who was found walking along highway 101 in Salinas. He was in the shelter for weeks and his time before "terminating" was winding down. After a meet and greet with Peanut and I and a cost $60 from https://www.narfrescue.org/ the decision was easy. My daughter and I thought uo soe names for him and Butters was the choice. Peanut and Butters started a wonderful relationship that continues to this day. What became apparent to me rather quickly was the deep spirit of gratitude Butters possessed. I now owned a selfish, spoiled “the world revolves around me” maltipoo and the most selfless, sweetest “have I told you how much I appreciate you today?” havanese-poodle mix Butters.

The story that occurred recently which I thought you would enjoy took place on Carmel Beach where I bring them every morning. I came upon an elderly woman sitting on a large driftwood seat with a small dog next to her. Peanut and Butters both went to greet her and her dog as they normally do. We engaged in some talk yet I quickly noticed she was sobbing and she


went on to tell me that her 13-year old terrier mix was dying of kidney cancer. I offered some warm words of support and continued on my walk. With Peanut running out in front of me checking out the sea kelp beds per usual, I realized Butters was not with us. I looked back and saw Butters sitting down next to the woman and her terrier. I called his name but he stayed put. Peanut and I continued on for 1/2 mile or so then turned back around eventually coming upon the trio still sitting on the log. The woman with such tenderness told me through tears that Butters was the sweetest dog she had ever met.

Butters read her sorrow. He stayed put at her side. Absolutely serene. Not everyone buys into the spiritual side of canines, and that’s fine. Not everyone has experienced a Butters.

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