After losing their beloved pet, this family never thought they could feel THIS happy again.
The loss of a pet is not something one can just “get over;” it truly is losing a family member. The grieving process is different for everyone. Some people are afraid to move on by adopting a new pet, knowing that they may have to endure this pain once again. It’s devastating, when fear robs you of potential happiness.
For the Garecht family, nothing could have prepared them for the loss of their first child: Boris, a boxer who was both loving and smart. He learned how to open the child gates so he could lie on his brothers’ beds while they were at school. Boris’s passing split the family in half. John, the eldest son, took the loss the hardest and had no desire to move on and adopt another dog. His mother, Mary, felt the same. But his brother and father, Greg and Eric, felt moving on was the best thing for the family.
Finally, enough time passed and John voiced he was ready, that it was time to open his heart up to another dog. His parents immediately began looking. Eric came across a video from the Fredericksburg SPCA website of the three “cutest boxer puppies” that were available for adoption, beginning at noon on November 17th. It seemed like destiny!
Mary Garecht arrived at 8 a.m. She was third in line. A man named Carl had arrived at 6:15 in the morning, and another woman shortly after. The three excited prospective puppy adopters hit it off, and talked about family and work while they waited. They also talked about why they wanted a puppy.
At 9:45 a.m. Eric checked the SPCA page before joining Mary in line, and learned that one of the foster parents (who had first dibs on adopting a puppy) decided to keep one. That meant that there would only be two puppies available. For the Garechts, third in line, that meant they were not going home with a puppy. It was devastating.
Mary Garecht fought to hold back tears. Bringing herself to be there, to open her heart again after such a great loss, only to leave empty handed, was just too much to bear. Then something pretty amazing happened. Carl had been so touched by the Garechts’ experience, their love for Boris and their profound sense of loss, that he gave them his place in line. It wasn’t an easy decision, but Carl knew in his heart that this family was meant for a new beginning with a new puppy.
The Garechts were shocked, and deeply touched that someone who hardly knew them could do something so kind.
After Carl left, more people began to wait in line for the shelter to open to adopt other pets. While waiting there, the Garechts couldn’t help but share the story about Carl, this modern day hero who had truly changed their family’s lives.
Later that day, the boys were surprised with an early Christmas present. They were overjoyed! Eric and Mary were eager to share the story of the generous stranger with their sons, who put the Garecht family and their holiday wish, before his own. The entire family wanted to thank Carl, but finding him wasn’t easy. They took to social media and began to share their story, asking others to #belikeCarl. The story was shared, and shared, until finally a heating and air conditioning technician named Carl Clary was asked, “Is this you, Carl?” He was stunned! His simple act of kindness had truly started a movement!
Once Carl learned what they had named the puppy, well, that was all the thanks he could ever need.
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