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  • When I was working at the rape and sexual abuse center as an art therapist, I rented my downstairs apartment to a friend's sister and her boyfriend as a favor to my friend. They went to the animal rescue center and got a little black lab puppy, that they kept outside. My friend called me a couple of weeks later and said that her sister's two daughters were coming in from Florida and that they had moved to Tennessee because the boyfriend had molested them. The sister had lost custody of them and that's why they moved here and the boyfriend was not allowed to be around them.

    I was a mandated reporter and so I went downstairs and told the sister, that if he was around the girls I would turn her in to the department of children's services. She got very angry with me and I stood my ground.

    I came home from work the next day and she and the boyfriend had moved out and I called my friend and told her. I kept the puppy and named her Sheva after a previous dog that had died because an unfriendly neighbor had poisoned her . Sheva was a wonderful dog and I grew to love her dearly.

    When my friend died at 42, I went to the funeral and was talking with her uncle and his new girlfriend. The sister came up to me and started spouting out some rude things to me. I said it's good to see you again and I thank you so much for the gift of Sheva and she is a wonderful dog. She calmed down and said it was good to see me too and that she was no longer with the boyfriend she was with back then.

    Sheva lived to be 16 years old until she could no longer walk and get around anymore. Last night I had a dream that I needed to go downstairs and walk her and feed her. It was a very dark, damp place and there was a man screaming at me that he was going to kill me. I was afraid and Sheva and I left and went upstairs. When I got upstairs, Sheva was not with me. I woke up crying.
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