Gil Grooms remembers the moment that his life began to plummet into a depression, it was December 11th, 2016 and there was a knock at his door, an officer of the law delivered some awful news to him…
His 23-year-old son, Zachary Grooms had sadly been killed in a crash, the police described that a drunken driver pulled out in front of his motorbike…
The father of three really broke down, Zachary Grooms represented far more than just a son, the two o them were best mates too, especially in recent years!
After that fateful day, there were many mournful dark days ahead of him, he literally had to gather his strength every day to be able to get out of his bed each day.
Thankfully he had another best friend too, his yellow Labrador, who would, of course, cuddle up to him, nudge him with her nose.
He also felt a responsibility to her too, because she had to be looked after properly, Chloe is her name, and she was adopted just three weeks before his son’s death.
Chloe was a real focus, something to concentrate on to make it through the day, each and every day…
He said about her:
“When I saw her, I just thought this dog has had a rough couple years, I want to make sure she has a good life. That’s all I was thinking about.”
He was not just a father, he was also a massage therapist and at 48 years old he really didn’t feel like he should outlive his son, it was so hard.
However, Chloe, who he adopted at the Charleston Animal Society’s annual chili cook-off was the only thing that was propelling him from day-to-day. He remembers when he saw her initially, he walked back and to form the cage four times before the text his son about her!
His son at the time was really insistent that he adopt that Labrador, then they all filled out the papers to adopt her and then Chloe was at home with them!
Both father and his son, Zachary adored her and worked so hard together to gain her trust, amazingly Gil Grooms really saw that Chloe was his emotional support straight away after the crash that claimed his son’s life.
“She was always there. I could just reach my hand over and touch her and she was always by my side.”
In fact, his story won a 50,000 grant for the Charleston Animal Society from the Petco Foundation’s Holiday Wishes campaign, how amazing, something great came out of such a tragic and sad situation, but a legacy for his son also!
Gil really is a private person but thought that the grant, not only was an honorable legacy, but it respected his son’s memory too.
Alexis, his oldest daughter said that her father really spoils Chloe more than ever, really more than any other dog he has owned! She felt great that he had a friend to support him and be there for him every minute of every day…
She said: “She’s been a lifesaver.”
Gil Grooms said finally about the adoption of Chloe and when it happened: “I really believe that it was a gift from God.”
Please SHARE this awesome and inspiring story with your friends and family, dogs really are a gift from God!