At the age of 25 I decided I wanted to adopt a dog. I had always had dogs growing up, but I had never had a dog of my own, and I was missing that companionship. My mother was also allergic to dogs, and because of this we only ever had poodles. I wanted a “real” dog. Yes I know that poodles are real dogs, but I didn’t want a frou frou dog. I wanted something rugged, something a little big but not huge, and something with fur, not the curly poodle hair. I had an idea of what I wanted, but I knew that I would know when I saw it.
So I made a trip to my local SPCA where I spent time wandering around, looking at all the dogs that were available. But that day no one really stood out to me. I decided to come back another day, see if anyone new came along that seemed right to me. I did this every weekend, and daily I looked on the SPCA’s website to see if anyone new popped up, and that’s when I saw him- Jack.
He was described as being full of energy, needs lots of attention, and was super playful and loving. This sounded wonderful to me, and I couldn’t wait to go to the shelter and see him. I tried desperately to not get my hopes up in case he was already claimed when I got there, but I couldn’t help myself- I was in love with Jack before I even met him.
As I got out of my car, I practically ran to the dog side of the shelter to see if I could find him. And then when I rounded the corner I saw him, and was so excited that I was finally going to meet my new dog! Then I looked up and my heart sank- a sign above his cage that said “adoption pending”.
My heart sank. I couldn’t believe it, I had finally found the perfect dog for me and he was already claimed. I was ready to just leave and come back another day, but I decided to take one last walk around the shelter to see if there was anyone else new I hadn’t seen before. That’s when I came upon Mickey; a German shepherd mix, or so they said. And actually it was pretty spot on when it came to the coat color and texture, but he had the body of a basset hound and the head of a Shar-Pei. He sounds bizarre, but he was so unbelievably adorable. His cage card said he was good with other dogs and cats, and was shy but friendly. He approached the door wagging his short stubby tail, and licked my fingers through the cage. His soft brown eye looked deep into me, and something inside me wanted to meet him.
I went to the front desk and asked if I could meet Mickey, and they brought me to a room where we could say hi to each other. The girl who brought Mickey to me told me he had been at the shelter for quite some time, and that he had been previously returned twice. This was a red flag to me, so I asked why he was returned. The first time was when a family left him unattended for an entire day without crating him and he destroyed their couch. The second time was when he was adopted by an older man who had a hearing problem, and always spoke loudly, and the tv/radio turned up loud, etc. Jack was always cowering in a corner. They now know that he doesn’t like loud noises. Essentially it just seemed like the two previous homes just weren’t a good fit.
After hearing his story and spending time with him, I knew why I had really come to the shelter that day- not for Jack, but for Mickey. I was elated that I finally was going to be leaving the shelter with a dog as my passenger, instead of leaving alone.