We are so excited to become first-time doggie parents. I did all my research from petfinder.com, and found an adorable young dog that we want to rescue from a local group. They have brought her to a pet supplies store for an adoption day, and we can't wait to get there and meet our new doggie baby.
As we walk into the store, I recognize our dog right away -- she's being walked by another couple! No! You can't have her! We are very anxious as we see this other couple pet, cuddle and walk *our* dog. Finally, she is available. We meet her, and she's just beautiful. Long, puffy light-colored fur. Bright eyes. The perfect size -- about 35 pounds. A great dog. She could win a dog beauty contest.
We go over to one of the rescue group volunteers, and she starts asking us lots of questions...
Do we have any other dogs? No, this will be our first.
Do we have any other pets? Yes, a cat.
Do we have any children? No, not yet. But I'm pregnant with our first!
How do we plan to train the dog? Do we have a fence? How often can we walk the dog? What kind of food will we feed her? How much space does she have outside? And the questions go on and on...
Gee! And I thought we were ready for this!
After we get through the gauntlet of questions, she asks which dog we are interested in. We point to the beautiful dog I found from petfinder.com. The other couple is over by her again. GO AWAY people.
The rescue volunteer shakes her head. "I'm sorry. I don't think that dog is a good match for you. I think she'll become jealous of a small baby. We should find you a dog that will do well with kids."
What? But we found the dog we want. She's adorable!
The volunteer walks us over to another crate, and introduces us to a slightly larger dog named Annabelle. She's black with some brown markings. I have no idea what kind of breed she is, but she's very excited to see us. We walk her -- no I mean we are pulled -- around the store a couple of times. She is in love. Her eyes beg us to take her home.
The volunteer explains that Annabelle will do very well with children. She is actually a "return." A rescue dog that was returned to the rescue group after the family could not make it work.
This doesn't sound good...
Annabelle was happy at her first home until the family decided it was time to get another dog. A chihuahua. A yappy chihuahua. And Annabelle did not like this new housemate. The family decided to keep the yappy one, and send back poor Annabelle.
However, this meant if we wanted Annabelle, we had to promise to never get a second dog. (Not a problem -- we really only wanted one.)
I ask, "Would our cat bother her?"
"No, actually Annabelle is currently being fostered at a cat foster family's home. That way she didn't have to be with other dogs."
We looked back at those loving eyes on that young black dog. A dog that was currently stuck in a house full of cats.
And she was ours.
Anyone figure out her breeding yet? Like most rescues, she's a mutt -- a Rottweiler mix mutt.
She is now 11. Over the years, we've figured out that she does like -- actually love -- other dogs, and loves to play at the dog park. But she is territorial about her house. She needed a lot of training, and probably didn't get that at her first home. She's a nervous Nelly with a lot of strength and energy. At first, only my husband could walk her because she would just pull and pull. She nearly pulled my arm right off. Now, my 7-year-old can walk her.
She also loves children. When my kids were babies, I called her "mom #2" because she would worry when they would cry. She adores the kids, and tolerates a lot from them.
Last year she had a back leg amputated because of a cancerous tumor. But, she keeps on trucking.
I hope this inspires people to consider rescues when they look for a pet. And sometimes the most beautiful looking animal may not be the right one for your family. It may be the one that was someone else's reject.
This post was brought to you by Mama Kat's writing prompt, "Tell about how you met your best friend." Hey -- they say your dog is your best friend.