Rather than seeking therapy or taking medication, Emily and her daughters Hazel and June decided to adopt a dog... Shortly followed by a second one! Their lives were turned upside down when the 'head of the family' passed away in November 2016. Two years after the tragedy, their smiles returned.
Emily Taphouse and her daughters, Hazel and June, received devastating news in November 2016. Husband and father Korey died suddenly in a car accident. Hazel, who was only 4 years old at the time, found it really hard to come to terms with the news. As Emily recalls when speaking to The Dodo, telling her daughter that her dad was dead and that she'd never see him again was almost as bad as the accident itself.
It was then that the heartbroken family decided to change their life. They moved to Grand Rapids in Michigan and, most importantly, they decided to adopt a British Bulldog puppy named Fern who proved to be a therapeutic life-saver.
This was really the case for Hazel and June. The two girls quickly fell in love with their new pet. "I watched as my girls squealed and played and loved on her. Fern changed everything."
A second arrival
As she grew up, Fern began to get bored when Hazel and June weren't there to keep her company. So Emily decided to add to their brood. But choosing a friend for Fern was not an easy task. "It seemed that all the dogs we found in shelters and adoption groups were not good for small children, or kittens, or were too old..." Then one day, Emily saw a Facebook post about another bulldog called Juno, who was up for adoption, but had a complicated past.
Juno's foster mother, Victoria, said she'd been abused and neglected. Emily expected her to be shy, aggressive or scared. Instead, when they sat on the floor to meet her, she happily plopped her 24 kilos onto 4 year-old Hazel's lap! Love at first sight... For a second time.
"These dogs have done more than any health professional."
Juno quickly settled into her new home. She even took over the family's sofa and clearly loved her cosy corner. Since then Juno and June have become inseparable. They do everything together. "June takes care of her like a little puppy," Emily confirms. “ She asks her if she’s OK, if she can get her anything. She puts blankets on her.”
In short, Fern and Juno are a match made in Heaven. Fern's energy helps to pick up her human family, while Juno is calm and serene. Even the family cats have fallen for Juno.
Although Emily will never forget the loss of Korey, 2 years after the tragedy, she was able to move on. “There was a time when I wasn’t sure I was going to survive this. I wasn’t sure I wanted to. Therapy, medication, all of it just didn’t seem enough to get me through this. I can honestly say that these dogs have done more for me than any health care professional." If one thing's for sure, these two lovable dogs have helped to heal their family's broken hearts!