Here is our story: Our family pet of over 15 years, Packer Jr., (our second Lhasa Poo) had developed diabetes. His disease progressed rapidly and we lost him the summer of 2012. Packer Jr. was special, he was loved well and he loved us back more! Since our family had grown and the kids were now living on their own my wife, Cathy, and I decided we would not get another puppy.
It seemed that only a short time passed when I began looking on the computer to see what puppies were available. I found this male puppy, but he was black. I thought he would not be a good choice because being black I would step on him at night and when we hike in the woods he would be too hard to see. I did call the phone number and talked with the breeder, Mary Pat. No decision was made, "let me think about it and I'll get back to you," I said.
The following weekend we had a family gathering of the whole family, Cathy brought up the topic that I had been looking at puppies online. Our kids, spouses, grandparents and even Cathy started encouraging me to get him. I hummed and hawed to try and dismiss the conversation when the kids asked, "do you have her (Mary Pat's) phone number?" I said, "yes, why?" My son said, "would it be OK if I talk to her?" Not thinking much of it I handed him my cell phone and he redialed Mary Pat's phone number.
When Mary Pat answered Brian introduced himself and simple said, "we want the puppy for our Dad!" I could almost hear Mary Pat's response, "I am so glad you called, When I had talked with your Dad I knew I wanted this puppy to find a home with him but it had to be his decision. I hoped that he would call back!"
Mary Pat lived in Illinois and we lived in the northern part of the UP of Michigan, many miles and hours separated us. As Brian talked to Mary Pat she offered to meet us at her family's home on the Wisconsin/Michigan boarder the following weekend as she was headed up there for a visit. Two hours away from us! My daughter, Katlin, and her friend said they would make the trip to get "the puppy" for me. When Brian hung up the phone it was a done deal. Sheepishly, I tried to humbly say, "no," but even Cathy encouraged the kids to get "the puppy." "But he's black." I said. Cathy said, "call him, Regie, after Regie White of the Green Bay Packers!" So it looked like the puppy may already have a name too.
When the next weekend arrived. While Cathy & I, my parents, my granddaughters and the rest of the family sat around a nice August day campfire Katlin arrived with a little black bundle of fur. The O-o-o's began as she placed him in my lap. My heartbeat excitedly as we began to bond. I announced, "his name is Packer Regie White III, honoring his namesake, Packer!"
Packer III's quiet demeanor, friendly nature and obedience started me thinking about the hospice program supported by our church. I joined Lake Superior Hospice as a volunteer with the intention of providing pet visits. First, Packer III had to become a certified Pet Partner. In June 2015, I attended a class provided by Pet Partners. Two months later, Packer and I passed their strict testing program and became Pet Partner Members!
We have assigned hospice patients we visit, we visit the Powell Township School I work for and we have done a fishing trip with a Jacobetti Veteran's wish.
the people love the interaction and Packer is a perfect Pet Partner's pet!
I am an active member of Lake Superior Christian Church. When I reflect on this story I often wonder if God used his mighty grace to bring us together because He knew the work He had for us to do. I think so.
John Bolm & Packer Regie White III