As hard as it was to lose first my father, then my mother and sister, I was not prepared for the emptiness and despair that beset my life after the loss of my beloved Cherie. I give much credit to the love and support I got from my immediate family, our friends and neighbors, but I have never felt so alone and lost.  I hated being alone but didn't want company either.  I was one mixed up dude. During Cherie's long period of illness, she and I talked often about my life after she was gone and she always encouraged me to get another dog. I lost my cat Quincy during the time of her illness and was now alone in a home way too big for one person.  Finding a dog sounded like a good idea.

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Love at first sight. My first meeting with Karmer

Several month's after Cherie's death, I started making inquiries with regional adoption and rescue agencies.  I had it narrowed down to a couple of promising leads, including a rescue dog that came to this country as part of a plane load of Golden Retrievers that were running loose in and around Istanbul, Turkey.  He was a solid black mixed breed that was included in the shipment as an afterthought because of his close friendship with one of the retrievers.  The local rescue agency arranged for a "meet and greet" at my home on June 26, 2017.   That first meeting went very well.  Karmer (the name given to him while in quarantine in Turkey) and I hit it off very well.  Two days later, the adoption agency dropped him off at my home and in my care.

For a dog that spent the first 2 years of his life living in a forest near Istanbul and another 6 months in quarantine, kennels and a brief stint in a foster home, he was remarkably well behaved. The adoption agency left a crate for him to sleep in and for containment when I left the house.  He gave that crate a wide berth and his first night was spent at the foot of my bed.  I walked him frequently and he showed good manners on the leash and did his business during our walks.  The first major test came when I left the house for 3 hours to play soccer.  I had dismantled the crate and stored it in the garage and he was free to roam the house.  This was our first separation since he arrived in my home and he cried a little when I closed the door behind me leading to the garage.  I brought a friend back with me after our game and we found a very excited dog waiting for us.  No mess, nothing was disturbed or broken.  He is very sociable and loves the company of people and other dogs.  I joined the local dog park where he made lots of new canine and human friends. "Everybody loves Draco".  Yup, that's the name I gave him in honor of another dog named Draco that belonged to a friend.  I knew the other Draco for 8 years or more before he passed away just a couple of months prior to my dog's arrival at my home.

As I write this, Draco has been with me for seven month.  I love this dog.  Getting him was a good move.  He could never take Cherie's place but he does fill much of my time, he is an extremely sweet boy, and he has done so much to curtail the despair and gloom in my life.  I also purchased a camper trailer, which we hope to put to good use once the weather gets warmer again. We've also started taking hikes in the regions parks, something we both enjoy very much.

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From the least in the East, to the best in the West... Draco is adjusting to "the good life".

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