Three years ago Vanessa Stralow was attacked by her 200 pound Akita named Beau.
“It happened out of nowhere,” Vanessa recalls. “We were playing on the floor, then I got up to go to the kitchen, he walked up and ‘BAM!’ attacked me.”
She was hospitalized for three days and sustained injuries on her arm. Although her physical injuries healed, the attack left a permanent scar in her mind.
“Two months after the attack I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),” said Vanessa.
Vanessa and her husband Randy are dog lovers and both grew up with dogs. But after the attack, Vanessa was unable to look at a picture of a dog without becoming distressed. She saw a therapist weekly to help cope with her PTSD.
Randy couldn’t talk about dogs around Vanessa, let alone own one again.
“I felt lost not having a dog,” said Randy. “I would ask Vanessa periodically about getting a dog and she would get mad. It caused problems in our marriage. There was never any hope in having one again,” he said.
Randy found another way to get his puppy fix. He would spend part of his day at a dog training facility to be around dogs. There, he fell in love with a Samoyed name Rigby and began training him to help his owner.
“One day she asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I looked her in the eye and said ‘a puppy.’ I liked the doodles and told Vanessa ‘let me just show you what they look like.’”
Randy pulled out his iPad and showed Vanessa a picture of Beauty, a black Goldendoodle puppy that was posted on PurebredBreeders.com.
For the first time in almost two years, Vanessa considered getting a puppy. She saw Beauty’s pictures and “just knew.”
“She said ‘should we get her?’ and I nearly fell off my chair!” Randy recalls. “That made me really happy. It brought us back together.”
Randy and Vanessa picked up Beauty from the airport on December 22, 2013. Their homecoming was more than love at first sight, it was the beginning of a new chapter.
“She was the first dog I ever kissed and touched after the attack,” said Vanessa.
The moment Vanessa laid eyes on Beauty, she knew this tiny puppy would completely steal her heart.
“She was kissing Vanessa’s face like they were long lost friends,” said Randy. “The day we got [Beauty] was the day Vanessa made a 90% improvement. She’s a different person now.”
Vanessa no longer has to see a therapist and Shiloh is with them everywhere they go. Shiloh’s loving and magnetic personality attracts people all the time. Eventually, Randy plans on having her trained to become a service dog.
Purebred Breeders LLC is dedicated to helping loving families find healthy happy puppies. The bond between Shiloh, Randy, and Vanessa is a powerful example of just how much a furry friend can bring a lifetime of unconditional love and happiness.
Shiloh and Rigby Tie The Knot!
Randy introduced Rigby, the Samoyed he helped train, to Shiloh and they instantly bonded. They began having play dates, and eventually had a doggie wedding.
Did you know Shiloh loves getting her fur blow dried?
Photos and videos courtesy of Vanessa Stralow.