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Paws For Love Tyke and Karen Coffey

This is the love story as told to me by Karen Coffey, mama of Tyke, the Collie Crossbreed from Bradford, England.

Tell me about the first time you met Tyke, when and where was it? How did you feel and what made you feel that way?

I used to work at some kennels where we took in RSPCA dogs. My daughter worked there as well. We looked after all the dogs. There were two other ladies we worked with to bring the dogs back to right. We’d feed them and bring them back to good health. Tyke was brought in one day; he was about 2 years old. As soon as I saw him, I fell in love with him, and I looked after him. He was in bad shape. His previous owner broke his jaw, how terrible. So I looked after him to bring his confidence back. I walked him; I fell completely in love with him! I asked if I could adopt him, they said, “Of course!” He was there a couple more months. I’d take him home at night to get him used to me. For two years it was hard work. He’d get out, and he got into everything. I had to lock my doors because he would get outside, but the day came when he knew he was safe with me and he turned out to be an amazing dog,

Thinking back, how would you describe Tyke’s personality as a puppy? And as an adult?

I didn’t know him as a puppy, but from about two to four he was very naughty and mischievous. He’d get into bins and cupboards, but he learned later to give me his paw, and he played ball with me. He became so loving and affectionate, he stood at my door crying just so happy to see me.

And now how would Tyke describe your personality, Karen?

He’d say, “I was a fantastic Mum, kind and loving, and always there for me, always!” I even took Tyke when I went to work. I was always there for him and he for me.

What did you learn from Tyke?

He taught me how loving he was. There is no greater love than what a dog can give you. Even when I was sad and down, he’d look at me, and it was love! A dog's love is amazing!

What are the top three things you always want to remember about Tyke?

1. if I cried or I was sad, I remember when I lost a relative, he jumped over to cuddle me. He knew I was down, and he came to comfort me.

2. He protected me. There was a guy coming toward me, Tyke thought he was going to attack me! Tyke began running to get in front of me, and I told Tyke to stop! He did, lucky for that guy because Tyke was going to get him!

3. He always came to work with me. I drove my car to collect money from people. I took him with me to keep me safe.

When did Tyke earn his wings?

September 13, 2019

When did you join Paws?

Sometime back in 2016.

Do you remember how you found Paws?

I had lost two others before and someone told me about Paws.

What has or is helping you get to the other side of grief? What advice would you share with someone who recently started grieving?

It’s Paws without a doubt! Reading about everyone else made me feel like I wasn’t alone! All of these people on Paws going through the same thing! What helps me is that every time I lose one, I go rescue another, no, not a puppy, I rescue an older dog. I rescued Benjy after Tyke. I went looking to give another a brilliant life just like I gave Tyke. Another member of Paws, Kelly Hill really helped me through my grief. She lost her doggie two days after mine. We started talking over the loss of our babies and that really did help me, and we have now remained really good friends and turn to each other for comfort.

Where are you now in your grief?

Slowly getting there, some good days, some bad. I look at his pictures, I think of him as I’m driving around. I am slowly getting better.

Using your spiritual and intuitive mind,

If I could get a message to Tyke from you, what would you want to say? What would you want to let Tyke know?

I want him to know that I want a big sign to let me know he’s here! I am ok and I will see him one day and I want him to be happy. Is he with my other dogs who have passed on?

And if I could get a message from you to Tyke what would you like to know?

How much I love and miss him and I'll see him one day. Be happy and safe, that will do for me.

Is there anything else you would like to share with your Paws Pack about Tyke?

He was my absolute world, oh to even have an hour with him once more.

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