I have always had dogs growing up. I’ve always been around them and loved them. But they have never really been just “my dogs.” They were the family dogs and technically were my mom and dad’s babies.
I have always wanted a dog of my own. I remember nagging Zach hours on end about buying a puppy. My puppy of choice would be a Golden Retriever because that is what I have always had.
Zach refused to get a puppy. He said a puppy would be way to much work. He was right. We would have to potty train it and teach it proper manners and tricks. I was upset that we would not get a puppy, but of course, I was not going to let that stop me from getting a dog.
Emily Baker, a friend that worked at Nemacolin with Zach and I at the time, always talked about Fayette Friends of Animals, an animal shelter that was always looking for the perfect families for their many different dogs.
The thought of adopting a dog, seemed weird to me at first. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about having a dog that I didn’t have as a puppy, whose past life I didn’t really know anything about. It was scary and I was unsure.
I started following the shelter on Facebook anyway and started paying close attention to the many dogs they posted on the website. They were all so adorable and were almost staring me in the soul telling me I had to bring them home. Some of their stories were heartbreaking. Quite frankly, I would have adopted them all.
After about a month of seeing the different dog posts, I went back to Zach begging him to go with me to the shelter to “just look” at the dogs. Obviously, I was going to make him let me get one, but I just needed to ease him into it.
………He finally agreed.
The drive to the shelter was the most antsy I have been in awhile. I was feeling the dog fever, and I was so excited to interact with all the dogs and hopefully find one to take home.
After looking at a few dogs, Zach finally caved. It must have been the way their cute eyes stared into his soul. “Fine, we can adopt a dog. But it has to be one that is trained and pretty calm.”
That is when I saw Duke, who was than Romeo.
He was handsome. He was calm. And his eyes were the dopiest and sweetest I have ever locked with.
He was the one I wanted. I didn’t even need to continue looking at any other dog. I went into the shelter, ready to fill out the adoption paperwork. There was no hesitation. It was happening that day.
After filling out the paperwork and walking out the door, I could not stop thinking about Romeo. I could barely sleep or function.
“When will they call me?” … “I really hope I get him.” … “Why is this taking so long?”
Finally, after four long days of anxiously waiting in agony, I got the Facebook message I had been waiting for.
“Romeo is officially yours. You can pick him up on Monday.”
Sunday I spent preparing things for Romeo at the apartment. I got him toys, I got him food and treats, and we bought him the comfiest bed we could find. I set it all up for him so he would feel at home as soon as he walked through the door.
Monday felt like forever away…..But it finally came, after what felt like a century.
We drove to the shelter, filled out more paperwork, and finally were able to call Romeo, whose name we changed to Duke, ours.
The lady working at the shelter that day thanked Zach and I for giving one of the dogs a home and than opened the door to bring Duke out to us. He ran to me and jumped up on me, giving me hugs and kisses. It is like he knew that moment that we would be inseparable.
“Duke is already loving on his mom,” the lady said.
Hearing her say that filled me with such joy. I finally had a dog of my own and I was completely in love with him. It didn’t matter that I adopted him and it didn’t matter that I did not know about his past life. He was perfect and he was exactly what I had been waiting for.
Today marks six months since bringing Duke home. The best six months of my life.
In these six months, we have had to chase Duke down the street four times, have had to buy him four different duck stuffed animals, and have had to change his food five times. He is high maintenance.
He has also worked his way from being on the floor or dog bed to now sitting on the couch like a human and lying on the bed like it is his. He is completely spoiled and he is completely loved.
After six months of being with Duke, I can honestly say that adopting a dog was the best decision I have ever made. Dogs, like Duke, give you something that not many people can give you. They give you unconditional love. The kind of love that some people search for for a lifetime. He loves me no matter what and he loves me a lot. He even loves me when I kick him off the bed or couch, even though he may snub me for a kiss just that one time. How many humans can you say that about.
There is no greater feeling than coming home after a long day at work and being greeted by his wagging tail and sloppy kisses. His hugs are also great. And when I’m feeling down, all I have to do is cuddle up next to Duke and I automatically feel joy and happiness. No human being can make you feel that good. Dogs are special. Duke is special.
Adopting a dog was a great decision. I fall more in love with Duke everyday.
If I can suggest anything to my readers, it would be to adopt a dog. Save a dog and bring them home. Because you’re not only saving them, but you’re also saving yourself.
October is adopt a dog month. So make the plunge and go to your local shelter. You won’t regret it. I know I didn’t.
I know that I am writing this blog post from my perspective today, but it is a special day. I’ve had the pleasure of loving my adopted dog for six months. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I found my Romeo, and we lived happily ever after.