Perfectly Imperfect Little Wicket
Wicket was perfect, and he was mine from the moment I saw him curled on his bed at BARCS, unresponsive to any attempts at interaction. At first, I was hesitant since he was about nine years and how bad he looked. I was worried I wouldn’t be good enough for him—but I knew that I would love him unconditionally and would do everything in my power to make sure Wicket was healthy and happy for his golden years. He clearly needed love, and I loved him immediately.
When I brought Wicket home, he smelled terrible, looked miserable and was unsure of himself. I can’t even imagine the situation he came from given his appearance and health at the time. To start, he had patches of hair missing, and what hair he did have was oily, matted and mangy. He was significantly underweight, with his spine and ribs painfully obvious, and he had a skin infection. His nails were so long that a few were growing into the pads of his feet.
When I brought him to his first vet appointment, the vet estimated that he was at least 13, if not older. He had double ear infections, the worst the vet says she’d ever seen in 30 years of practice. He had very few teeth remaining, all in horrible shape. His knees were bad and would pop in and out of his sockets at times. His eyes were cloudy, and I would soon realize he was 75% blind and completely deaf as well.
Some of my family thought I was crazy at first. My sister even wondered if he was alive when she first saw him given how he was so quiet; he also didn’t respond to voices and didn’t move from his protective, curled position in his bed. But Wicket would soon amaze everybody.
I can still remember the first night I brought Wicket home—how he kept climbing into boxes or paper bags despite the fluffy blankets laid in a quiet area of the apartment (boxes would continue to be a favorite sleeping place of his in addition to his bed). He was quiet and kept to himself at first. However, within a couple weeks, Wicket would sit near me—not touching, but close enough to monitor me. He would get closer and closer until he was pressed against my thigh as I sat on the couch. The first day he sat touching me, I felt so incredibly honored and lucky that he chose me as his person.
Wicket would always keep me in his limited sight. When he couldn’t find me, he’d bark at regular intervals until I came to give him pets or snuggles, and then he’d resume his position by my side. He was my little protector. Always there for me, no matter what. No matter his own limitations or ailments, he was always checking on me.
Over several months, I was blessed to watch Wicket flourish; soon, he began to actually play and run. It was incredible! He was incredible. Caring for Wicket, earning his trust and love, helping him to heal, snuggling him and playing with him… I don’t really know how to explain the extent of the connection I had, and continue to have, with Wicket. But I can say that he saved my life. We were both in very dark places when we met, but we made it out together, day by day. We saved each other.
I lost Wicket eight months after bringing him home. It was sudden and totally unexpected, and it broke my heart. But I am beyond grateful for the time I had with him, for the opportunity to earn his trust and love and loyalty, for the chance to be his, to help him heal and be happy and playful, something that hardly seemed possible our first few days together. And I am forever grateful for his unconditional love in return, his company and steady presence by my side that helped me heal, gave me strength to continue, and allowed me to see the brightness of the world.
I will always love Wicket unconditionally. He was mine and I was his. I’m so incredibly grateful for every moment we had, and for the way he continues to fill my heart and put a smile on my face.
What more can I say? Wicket was perfect.
Written by adopter Abby Broadhurst. This story is part of a series featuring underdogs for #GivingTuesday 2019.