I didn't grow up like most of the kids I know.
While families spent their day playing with a golden retriever in their back yard, I was watching my dad catch baboons, bring snacks home and soon became the proud owner of two squirrels.
My name is Candice Bodington, and my animal life was pretty crazy.
My dad, Shaun Bodington was the chief inspector of the SPCA for 13 years and my childhood felt like an animal theme park, it was such a blessing now looking back.
As I grew up, I had many more animals flood into my life, but it was only this year I finally got to be a real fur mom.
We adopted little Bailey at 6 weeks old from Anti Animal Trafficking, he was honestly the light of so many people's lives. I had a few friends joke about how he had more friends than humans #lolsies.
Sadly our little Bailey angel passed away after 16 weeks of having him in our home to a liver defect that ended up poisoning his entire body. He was so little, but so loved.
After his passing, I didn't really think too much about getting another puppy as I was in grieving, but I couldn't get my fingers off the gram, scrolling through other pups needing a home.
Zoro aka Vader looked up at me through a screen and I swear its just like human love, you just know, this is my fur child.
I didn't wait too long afterward, to be honest, we got him the same week I found him.
Vader is, CRAZY! haha, but I love him with all my heart.
And I think it's similar to when humans have more than one child. The love is never lost to, or less than, it's just a different kind of love. A love that gets me out of bed in the morning, a love that gets me outside even on the heaviest of days.
Losing an animal is never easy, holding Luke in my arms as we mourned Bailey was single-handedly the most heart-wrenching experience in my life, but Vader brought so much love and light with him that it allows us to see the good in every situation.
If you have ever lost an animal before, please know that any way you choose to grieve is okay! There is no right or wrong way to deal with a loss, however, know you are not alone, and if my story sparks anything in you today, I hope that it's the willingness to let love back into your life.
If you want to follow mine and Vaders adventures you can follow us on @candibod or @vader_bod on Instagram.
All my love,