Very few things can mend a broken heart or a troubled mind.
For James Xuereb the answer seems to always be the same, a loving friendly dog as a pet.
In a recent video that has taken the internet by storm and touched the heart of thousands, James receives a Bichon Frise as an early birthday gift.
The video shows the moment daughter Jaleen hands her father a car as he sits unwittingly on the couch.
The photo on the card is almost a dead giveaway — a photo of a Bichon. But what’s written inside and the story behind it brings the 52-year-old man to a heartfelt cry.
It read: “Hi, my name is Lumo and I am a boy Bichon. No, I am not Nemo, nor could I ever be Lucy, but my mommy brought me to bring you some happiness back into your life. So, as we walk in this journey of life together, may we create our own wonderful memories and reclaim the beautiful memories that you had with Nemo and Lucy. Love, Lumo.”
What brought out such strong emotions from James?
Thirteen years ago James was suffering from a very bad state of depression. It seemed there was nothing that could bring him any joy in life. According to his daughter Jaleen, his wife Wonda brought him home a Bichon frise puppy named Nemo. There was an instant connection between the two and James quickly fell in love with the little pooch.
“He had an attachment to him. He leaned on him for anything and everything,” says Jaleen of their relationship.
Nemo quickly became James best friend and was like another one of the kids to him.
Two years later, the family decided to get Nemo some company, so they brought Lucy home, another Bichon.
Unfortunately both dogs suffered from a congenital heart defect which is pretty common in small breeds.
In August this year, Lucy 11 sadly passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest. Two weeks after Lucy had passed things went from bad to worse.
Nemo’s health was deteriorating. His lungs were filled with liquid and he had a hard time breathing. The Xuereb family had to make the difficult decision to put down their 13-year-old companion to stop his suffering.
“My dad was on edge,” Jaleen recalls. “He didn’t want to talk about [Lucy and Nemo]. He would leave the room if we did. Or he would start crying.”
With the loss of both pets, Xuereb’s family tried all they could to make him feel better.
Eventually Wanda decided it was time to get a new dog. After much research she found Klapman-Flett’s Bichon Lovers in Simcoe, Ontario.
In October a new litter arrived at Bichon Lover’s, so Wanda and her two daughters, Jaleen and Jade decided to pay a visit to the breeder to meet the new pups.
“We went back in November to make our pick,” Jaleen said. “When we walked through the door, one came up to us and kept pulling on my mom’s pants.”
They instantly fell in love with a pup number 25 who continuously kept coming up to them playing and tugging at them.
“That’s how we knew.”
Next came the card, the heartfelt cry, and tiny Lumo.
Lumo’s name is a testament to the family’s fallen — L-U for Lucy, M-O for Nemo — the two whose deaths were too much to bear.
All thanks to Lumo, James is now finally back to himself and is able to talk about Lucy and Nemo and smile.
Watch the video below to see the emotional reaction from James as he reads the card and meets Lumo.
Do you have an emotional connection with your pet? Let us know in the comments section on facebook.