Posted by: notsofancynancy | April 22, 2013

The Dogs Who Loved Me Series, How Trouble Saved My Life

How Trouble Saved My Life


The year was 1981; I had just come out of an eight year relationship that was not only abusive, but also included a heavy drug addiction. I had hit rock bottom. There was three months of lonely solitude. I was depressed and not eating. I dropped to 118 pounds on my 5’10 frame. I was in so much emotional pain I didn’t think I would live and really I did not even care if I did. I knew in order to survive that I would need to make some changes in my life. Then on September 16th of that year I woke with an idea. Being my birthday I would go to the dog pound and bring home a new friend, this would be my birthday present. It would be my way of starting over, a clean slate.

I arrived at the pound and went inside to see what was available. In the first cage I came to was this little tiny dog. She was white with brown spots. Her legs were so short that her back end had to sit like you would if you were sitting side saddle. She had one ear that was “broken” and one ear that stood straight up. Her brown eyes were the saddest eyes I have ever seen. She was adorable and at once I knew this is why I had come. I didn’t want to dismiss the other dogs there after all I had only looked into the one cage. As I walked from pen to pen my mind kept going back to that first little pup. I rushed through the rest of the kennel and back to that first cage becoming so afraid and a little panicky that someone might take her before I could get back. Twenty minutes later I walked out to my car with my new friend.

Two days after I got home the little pup got sick. I took her to the Vet and he gave me medication for her and told me to get some children’s cherry cough syrup, I could also offset her coughing by getting her into the bathroom with the hot water running to produce steam, thereby breaking up the congestion in her chest. He gave her a fifty-fifty chance to live. SHE NEEDED ME!!!  I decided not to name my small friend, in case she didn’t make it.

I spent every hour of the next few weeks by her side. Her coat under her throat was red from the cough syrup. She coughed a lot, so much that it was hard for her to catch her breath. I thought she was going to die. I would hold her and rub her neck hopping to calm the cough. Finally the third week she started to get better. I was so wrapped up in her that I had forgotten my own problems. I knew in order for her to survive I would have to be healthy and so I started to take better care of myself. It took a full two months until she was well enough to be a puppy. My little friend would make it!! I was ecstatic!! It was then I realized that I too would make it. I had put on five pounds and was on the road to recovery. I would name my friend Trouble that is what her name would be.

That was 32 years ago.  My best friend passed away in August of 1999 at the age of 19.  Trouble provided me with many years of companionship, and helped me through many rough times.  She was always there when I needed a shoulder to cry on.  She was always there with her funny antics and cute tricks, and she did a lot. For instance you would give her the command to jump up and while in the air I would shoot her, “Bang.” She would fall to the ground with her tail wagging. Then you would say “Dead dogs don’t wag their tails,” and she would lie still, acting dead. She had many other tricks but this was my favorite.

She loved me unconditionally, without any questions.  I really believe that if it wasn’t for her I would have just given up, because until she came into my life it had no meaning.

I know she will be waiting at Rainbow Bridge, and I can’t wait to meet her and cross that bridge holding my little friend close to my heart.  I miss you Trouble!

Trouble was cremated and her ashes are memorialized on a hill top overlooking the desert she loved, with a friend named Sideshow Bob who passed before her.  I made a rock headstone that says,

Trouble’s Headstone

Bob and Trouble were buddies, good friends, Watch over her Bob,  until were together again. Rest In Peace Trouble 1981-1999.


  1. What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful dog. Thank you for writing this.

    • Thank you for reading it. She was special! I miss her dearly

  2. What a wonderful tribute. It’s very moving. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. What a wonderful story I’ll bet Trouble would like it. Thank you very much.

  4. That was so special to read… thank you for sharing!!

    • Thank you for commenting! It really means a lot!

  5. Comfort comes in many shapes, sizes, and breeds!

  6. That is such an amazing story on so many levels. Thanks for sharing, what an incredible journey for you two.

  7. So often, the rescuer is the one rescued. So glad you had a little Trouble in your life. 🙂

  8. What a lovely story. Sorry for the the loss of your special friend.

  9. What a touching story Nancy and a beautiful tribute to Trouble.

  10. Wonderful post, Nancy. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Absolutely beautiful. I’m so glad you found each other and had 18 years together. Remarkable!

  11. Oh thank you for this post!

  12. What a special girl, thank you for sharing her with us.

  13. What a fabulous girl! Just love dogs with broken ears 😉

    • I love that she had one of each. It certainly made her special!

  14. she took away your troubles all right. Lovely story and you were saved when you made the impromptu decision to get a dog for your birthday.

    • Thank you! It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

  15. One of God’s greatest gifts to us is the companionship of dogs. Glad you were so blessed. Wonderful story.

  16. So beautiful, your story of Trouble and how she saved you. They love us so much, I believe they come here to help us. Blessings

    • I believe they are angels God sends us when we need them! I was so blessed to have her.

      • Mine helped me out of a hole too in 2001. Showed me what real love was all about!

  17. SOB, I know you are telling a happy loving story but it sure hit a cord. That kind of companion is a god send. I know this story, my details differ but I had a dog Jasper who got me thru some terrible days. It’s wonderful you saved each other.

    • Sorry to make you cry but I know it is a good cry. I am glad you had Jasper!

  18. You really touched my heart with this very personal story, Nancy. My stepson struggled with addiction, and his best friend “Roscoe” got him through about 18 years of the same kind of mutual support. Roscoe passed a couple of years ago and we all grieved horribly. We knew what that friendship had represented. Trouble–what a fabulous name, and such a loving friend. oxo

    • It was hard to lose her and I had to make the decision to do it. It was just another lesson I learned, about quality of life. I have had many dogs come since her but she is the one who holds my heart. I say as I am sitting with my laptop on my lap along with two of my current dogs sitting on me…. I think that is why I rescue my dogs and I do so in her memory.

  19. What a tear-jerker, notsofancynancy. Indeed… Dogs fulfill a tremendous void – known or not – for so many people. They bring so much joy and laughter…but to have them leave you is so traumatic.

    We can see your love and appreciation for Trouble. A very moving story.

    • Thank you Mustang Koji! And thanks for the wonderful email with the working dogs. They always make me tear up because I understand the connection the handlers have when their dogs and I know they make war easier for them. I know Lefty picked several dogs during his time overseas. Although he was not able to have them long I know the time he spent with them was better because of them.

  20. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE!!

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