Shared by, Melissa Oszustowicz
I first met Patch in 2011 at a Small Dog Rescue event. He was sitting in a crate shaking. The volunteer asked if I would like to hold him and I could not resist. As soon as I held him, my heart melted. There was something so calming, warm, and kind about this little guy. The volunteer then started telling me his story. She said his name was Patch, he was 11 years old, and blind in one eye and mostly blind in the other eye. They rescued him from a hoarding situation in Tennessee 3 years ago and he had been in foster care for 3 years. While the volunteer was telling me this story, Patch stopped shaking and fell asleep in my arms. I looked down at him and I fell in love.
It was so hard to leave Patch that day since I knew in my heart the likelihood of adopting him was low. My mom was really struggling in her battle against cancer and I had already had 2 dogs and 2 cats. My mom was living with me at the time and I came home so excited to tell her about Patch. I knew she would love him, but I also new she was really sick and what laid ahead was going to be really hard for all of us.
The next day I wrote Small Dog Rescue and explained the situation. It was heartbreaking to write to them saying that I could not adopt Patch now, but I was hopeful in the future I could and would. From that day, I thought about him on ever walk. I wondered how I would walk three dogs and I thought about how my two older cats would deal with another inferior specie!
A number of months later, my mom died. She was everything to me and I had been her caregiver for 12 years. The day after my mom died I had this strong belief that I needed and had to have Patch in my life. There was something about him that was so magical, healing and kind. I waited until after my mom’s funeral to contact Small Dog Rescue and I was beyond overjoyed to know he was still looking for a forever home.
On Tuesday November 15, 2011 his foster mom came over to our house and brought Patch. It was amazing, my dogs and cats, were cool with the little guy and he acted as though he had lived with us forever. Over the next couple of weeks while we adjusted to our lives without my mom, my dad who was now living with me, started taking care of Patch. Patch would sit with my dad all day and keep him company. Patch brought comfort to my dad who was struggling with the death of my mom. He also brought so much laughter to our house with his little dances and his funny expressions. We started calling Patch our one-eyed moonshiner since he came from the hills of Tennessee.
Patch has not only touched our family’s lives, but he also befriended a little six year old girl up the street who was finishing up her cancer treatment. The first time she saw Patch, she asked about his eyes and I told her he was blind. She looked at Patch and said, “that is alright, I’m different too.” From that day on Patch and this girl have been great friends. He attends her soccer, softball and hockey games and he is often times selected as the team’s mascot despite the team being called the Butterflies! When Patch had his eyes removed due to retina degeneration, his little friend was there to take care of him and feed him treats.
I have always loved and appreciated Patch’s cuteness, kindness and funniness, but it wasn’t until I lost my little, Frodo that I truly understood why Patch was in my life. Frodo was a dog that I found while I was living in Hawaii. He was my best friend and companion for 16 years. Frodo was always by my side during very dark days and when he passed away I did not think I could breath again. The pain I felt was so intense.
Patch through his kind heart understood and still understands how my heart has broken. He is always by my side now and comforts me when I am crying and feeling so alone. Patch and I are on a new journey together. A journey without Frodo and journey that will be filled with lots of love, laughter, and blessings. He is truly a magical little angel.