I’m a dog person. I don’t know if there’s another name for someone who is absolutely obsessed with dogs, but I’m that. I can spot a dog from blocks away, and I will change my route just to get a chance to pet them. My boyfriend is the same way. It’s become a running joke between Jeremy and I that we greet all the dogs we pass on the street, and never say a word to their humans.
I think all dog people (or at least all the dog people I’ve met) have that one childhood dog that started it all. Clarke was mine. Clarke was a mutt– a wonderful mix of beagle and who knows what else. We got him when I was three, and I don’t have any memories before him. He was with me from pre-school to high school, lived in three different homes with my family, and he was there when we lost my dad to cancer in 2009. He lived to a ripe old age, and when we put him down two weeks before I left for college, I felt like my childhood was officially over.
I wasn’t able to have a dog during my four years of college, and never felt ready for one in Chicago. I either didn’t have the time, the money, or the apartment for one. I wanted to make absolutely sure I had enough time and resources to dedicate to my pup, as I take the role of dog mom very seriously.
When Jeremy and I officially decided we were moving to California, apartments that didn’t allow dogs were automatically off our list. When we signed our lease, we tried to pay the pet deposit right off the bat, and our landlord was all, “Chill- you don’t even have a pet.” We’d been anxiously awaiting moving into our new, dog-friendly home though, and we were READY!
Yesterday, we officially began our search. We knew we wanted a pup that loved people, loved other dogs, and could be active with us. I want it to cuddle us at night and run around with us in the day. However, first and foremost, we wanted to rescue. To be honest, it blows my mind that people buy dogs from breeders and pet stores. There are so many amazing dogs in the shelters that need good homes… but that’s a rant I don’t want to get into right now.
Finally, I wanted a dog that was older or had special needs. I know that sounds crazy. But my mom, the QUEEN of crazy dog ladies, has taken in pooches with all sorts of qualities that make them “unadoptable,” and it’s always seemed so rewarding. I wasn’t sure if my pup would be 10 years old or missing a leg, I just knew that I would recognize our dog when I saw him or her.
Yesterday we visited the Front Street Animal Shelter. They’re having an incredible event where all cats and dogs are free to adopt! When we got there, we saw a sweet little chocolate lab, listed as 1.5 years old, and the only note about him read, “I am cross eyed.” I had to know more. His availability date was listed as the following day, so we went home and planned to go back.
We arrived at the shelter at 11:30 today, half an hour before it opened, and there was already a line forming. I tried pretty hard to stay calm, but I felt like this dog was meant to be ours. I was insanely nervous that someone would swoop in and adopt this boy before we could. I kept whispering to Jeremy, “Think good thoughts. Visualize getting this dog. Stay positive. We will be good dog parents. If he’s meant to be ours, he will be ours.” Naturally, Jeremy rolled his eyes and smiled.
At 12:00 exactly they opened the doors, and Jeremy took off. Everyone went through the designated doors to get inside the kennels, and Jeremy- my man, my love, my MVP- went through a back door we’d eyeballed the day before. In his own words, “It’s one of the first times I’ve broken the rules.” Either way, he was able to snatch up the designated kennel card we needed to meet this dog.
Friends, this dog is a gem. He didn’t have a name yet, so we decided on Henry*. He licked our faces, and sprinted around the fenced meet & greet area like a champ. His eyes are definitely a bit wonky and he certainly has vision issues, but we will learn the extent of those once we take him to a doggie ophthalmologist. We signed some papers and made it official- Henry Williams-Hogeveen is coming home next week! Poor guy has to have a little surgery before then…. #NutsBeGone.
*LOL- we’d debated dog names for months, who are we kidding?
Henry, we are READY for you! We cannot wait for the adventures we are going to have together, and the ways you are going to change our lives for the better. We have been so eager to meet you, and we are so happy you’re ours!