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In 1999, my two beloved canine companions (Bernadette, a 10-year-old St. Bernard, and Meggie, a 14-year-old Aussie) died within five months of each other. They had seen me through divorce, a difficult move, and a lot of grief and readjustment.

It took me almost a year before I could even think of letting another dog into my home, my heart. Finally, I started looking on the website of Second Chance at Love, a local no-kill rescue organization. And, there she was! Her warm, melt-your-heart eyes nailed me and would not let me turn away.

Bonnie and her brother, two of eight pups born to a homeless mom, had been adopted out together. But, it didn't work. And, over the first year and a half of her life, Bonnie had lived in five homes, including a prolonged stay at a kennel.

When Bonnie came to live with me, she was loving, but definitely cautious. During her short life, she had learned not to trust people who offered her a "forever" home. We both worked very hard at being comfortable with each other, at bonding, at trusting one another. It was a difficult time but, with the help of an animal communicator and some deep soul searching on both our parts, we made it through the process and learned to love and trust each other unconditionally.

Bonnie celebrated her 10th birthday on March 6, 2009, and she and I have shared life, love, and a home for almost nine years now. What a blessing she is! She gets me out on the hiking trail at least twice a day, shares life's routines, and snugs up with her head on my pillow each night.

Every day with Bonnie is a gift. She's the love of my life, the light in my soul.

Paso Robles/Heritage Ranch, CA

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