In my past posts you’ve seen photos of our dogs. One of them, Echo, always stands out because her looks are so unique. That’s what drew me to her when I saw her adoption photo in March of 2014. Here’s a little back story about how she came into our lives.
Echo was a double merle Great Dane, born deaf to a so-called backyard breeder in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Being unable to sell her, she was supposed to be shot or drowned in their backyard, along with at least one other sibling who was born just like her. Thankfully they had a guardian angel.
After ending up with a someone who took Echo in as a free BOGO puppy, that person decided she didn’t want that “useless dog” anymore (her words) and posted her for free on Facebook. “Someone take this dog or it will be put down in 24 hrs!” Thankfully someone from a Great Dane Rescue saw that post and a volunteer went and got here to safety.
We had been on a wait list for a special needs dog with that same rescue for a few months, wanting to add a third dog to our pack of 1.5 year old Great Dane sisters. When I read the message from the coordinator about Echo I instantly fell in love with that scrawny little pink-nosed puppy.
We chose to adopt her after discussing the matter for only a very short time. I knew she was meant to be ours! So, only two weeks later I was on my way to pick up Echo in Baton Rouge, our two other pups in tow. And I just couldn’t wait to hold her. We had an instant connection and she became my heart dog, and I her person. She was my little white shadow, following me wherever I went and she fit right into our family and home, like it was always meant to be that way.
In 2015 I became pregnant with our daughter Jennie and we kept saying that Echo will become our little one’s best friend one day. And we couldn’t have been more right. Echo loved to snuggle with my baby bump and, after I gave birth, was always right next to Jennie. The two of them seemed drawn to each other and had this special bond that needed no words.
When Jennie became more mobile their connection became more and more obvious. She would crawl or walk somewhere and Echo followed close behind.
I would post photos and videos of them together and our family and friends kept saying we should send them to the news or a magazine. Little did we know that only a few months later a news agency would contact us about publishing the story of their friendship and the local news came out to our house to do a story about them as well. Who would have thought?!
Jennie walked Echo by herself when we went on our daily walks together and the two of them always walked right next to each other, keeping a comfortable pace.
But Echo didn’t just love on her sister Jennie. She also went to therapy dog training, visited local nursing homes, volunteered with me for our local shelter and for a local organization that helps veterans with PTSD. Being around people and spreading love while getting lots of attention were always things she absolutely loved.
Sadly, Echo passed away in March of 2017 after a battle with cancer that we were unaware of until it was too late. She was strong for us as long as she could, not showing that a terrible disease was raging inside of her body. Her passing left a gaping hole in our hearts and not a day goes by where we don’t think or talk of her. Jennie still talks about her as well and has several photos and artwork of Echo with her in her bedroom.
Our big camping vacation in 2017 may have been Echo’s all time favorite trip ever. She enjoyed the outdoors so much and would lay outside of our camper for hours on end, just soaking up the warmth and sun while enjoying what was going on around us. I am so grateful for all the memories we made with her and because of her. Hopefully Jennie will never forget about her. And maybe some day we will be ready to open our hearts for another special dog, when Echo sends the right one our way.
If you are interested in learning more about dogs like Echo and opening your heart and home to a Great Dane in need, check out Keller’s Cause here http://www.kellerscause.com as well as OZR Great Dane Rescue by clicking this link http:// http://Ozrdanerescue.com/about