Last week we highlighted the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi and the blessing of our pets. We asked for anyone to tell the story of their pet. Here are two of the responses we got:


Tess & Mitsie

I have a pet story that definitely makes me wonder if she is a type of angel…

Mitsie fell into our laps when I was turning 14 and getting ready to start high school. I was an awkward kid who had trouble making friends, and I was very nervous.

We had never had any pets and would probably never have had that experience if it weren’t for my dad running into a woman at the hospital who was very troubled. My dad asked her what was wrong, and she told him that the doctor was telling her that she needed to come for a procedure and would be in the hospital for a few days. She was saying that there was no way she could do that because she had a dog at home and no one to take care of it. My dad told her to go ahead and make the appointment, that we would take the dog.

Well, she never came out of the hospital, and the dog stayed with us. We’re not sure how old she was. Maybe not much over a year. The woman said she got her from the humane society and that she had been through some trauma. Mitsie was always high-strung. She barked at anyone who approached the house. The UPS truck made her nuts. But she loved the heck out of us. I remember how it would consume her whole body in rapture when we would come home from school. Not just her tail, but her whole backside going back and forth. My little brother and I just adored her.

She was a source of unconditional love. If you’ve had a dog, you can probably relate. It’s humbling how much they love you no matter what you do. She always showed us that love, but before she died, she wanted to make sure that we knew.

And this is where the story gets kind of weird.

I was living with a friend in Orlando. Mitsie was still living with my family. Again, I’m not sure how old she was when we got her, but she lived with us for 16 years. She was old, and she was not healthy anymore, but she was still so loving and happy to be around us. There was never discussion of putting her down. My brother, bless his heart, took care of her in her last months. He stayed up with her the night she died and held her. (Oh boy, here come the tears.)

I was asleep in my bed in Florida. I knew she wasn’t well but didn’t know it was her time. I had a “dream”—but so clear, that Mitsie came to me and said, “I will always love you.” It didn’t seem weird that she could talk. That’s all she said. It was so vivid. I woke up crying and couldn’t stop. My pillow was just soaked.

That morning I got the call that she had passed the night before. I can’t tell you… I am getting goosebumps writing this right now. She wanted me to know that—to have everlasting comfort in that. And I do. It is such a special kind of love, and it is so important to me.

I’ve never had another dog. She still fills my whole heart, and I am so blessed to know and have that love as a life-long companion.

-Tess Bondavalli


Mary & Shasha

I rescued Sasha from an abusive situation 3 years ago and she has become my best friend! I was walking doing my normal 3 mile exercise a year ago and fortunately she was small enough to go under the trucks wheel as I got hit by a truck! I was not so fortunate, as I got a concussion, back and wrist injury. Those injuries delayed the writing of my book: Silence Isn’t Golden – which is the story about my life which I finally got published! I am so thankful for Sasha being there for me along this journey as I had said “no more pets” for 20 years – since I travel so much and 2 previous dobermans were killed while I traveled!

-Mary Shelton


Do you or the children in your life have a favorite children’s book about a pet or animal? Let us know.