I have never really been a dog person. We had dogs when I was little, but they were outside dogs, kept on a leash in the yard, and I was allergic to them, so I didn’t have a particularly close relationship with them. I’ve never been that fond of dogs. My allergies mean that animals usually make me sick, and I’m a bit of a neat-freak, so I’ve never quite understood the allure of having an animal live in your house.
Mark, on the other hand, comes from a family of dog lovers. He had many pet dogs as a child and always imagined he would have them as an adult. Marrying me, he kind of had to let that go. I never wanted dogs. They seemed messy and smelly and like a lot of work.
Over the years, though, my kids have been begging for a dog. My kids love animals. They stop and ask to pet every dog we encounter. This Christmas, a dog was at the dog of everyone’s list. And then, my friend Jessica adopted a dog and started posting instagram photos of her baby napping with their new pup. It was completely adorable. I fell in love looking at her #theoandbeau. (So did the rest of the world.) So I started to research. I didn’t like the idea of being the one family member standing in the way of a loving pet relationship.
I found a few dog breed options that were small and that wouldn’t mess with my allergies. But I also knew I wanted to adopt a dog, rather than buying one from a breeder. So I started scouring our local pet rescue sites looking for some of the breeds I thought would we could handle. Havenese, Yorkies, Bichon Frises, Poodles . . . I was surprised to find that many of these expensive dogs found themselves abandoned at the pound. So every couple of weeks, I would look at the pet rescue photolisting. One day, this little gal caught my eye:
I saw these pictures and was totally smitten. I knew that THIS was the dog we were supposed to have. In order to adopt her, we had to attend the Pet Match Rescue adoption event at a local pet store and bring our entire family. I knew that my kids would be insanely disappointed if we visited with a potential pet and then didn’t get her. So we developed a big ruse . . . we went to lunch next door to the pet store, then pretended to “happen upon” the pet store and wandered in, and then we just so happened to visit with this dog. Meanwhile, I had the application in my purse.
The kids visited with the dog for a really long time, and she was so sweet with them. I can’t explain it, but it’s like time froze a little. It was such a sweet moment. Each of them BEGGED to take her home, but I told them I didn’t think she was for sale. As we were visiting, the Pet Match Rescue volunteer told me that there were over 30 other families there to apply for this dog. So I didn’t think we had a chance. I asked Mark if we should maybe consider some of the other dogs there, but he said no. “I want all our energy going towards this dog.” I agreed.
We walked up to the application table and I let the volunteers see the kids, and then had Mark usher them away to look at the cats. I explained to the woman at the table that I didn’t want them to know I was turning in an application, because they were so in love with the dog and I thought they would be crushed if they knew it was possible and didn’t happen. And as I told her, I started crying. WHO AM I? The non-dog person is getting emotional over a dog she just met. I handed off the application and met up with the kids and Mark was like, “Pull it together, man!”
Later that night, Mark and I went to a play and I accidentally left my phone at home. When we got home, we had a message from the Pet Match Rescue staff. I figured it was good news, and she told me to call her no matter what time, so I called her back at 10pm. They had chosen us!! Mark and I were giddy. I could not wait to tell the kids. Here’s how they reacted:
And less than 24 hours after meeting her, she was in our home! The Pet Match Rescue staff encouraged us to give her a new name, since she had been abandoned and renamed by a foster family and then renamed again in a short failed adoption match. So, after much deliberation, we named her Roxy.
She was an abandoned stray so her breed is not documented, but the folks at the shelter believe she is a Yorkie/Maltese mix (sometimes called a Morkie.) I know this is a rather expensive breed, and I asked the pet rescue folks why someone would spend so much and then abandon their dog. I was surprised to hear that this happens quite often. Here is a picture of our dog at the high-kill pound where Pet Match Rescue found her:
The shelter said she was 3 years old, but the pet rescue volunteer think she is closer to one year old. We’ll be making a vet appointment to try to get a clearer picture. She’s about 8 pounds and a great size . . . small enough for the kids to hold her but not so small that she’s fragile.
One benefit of having adopted an older dog is that she is already potty-trained, and past a lot of the spazzy puppy behaviors. I have to say, the transition has been really easy. She spends most of her day sitting at my feet, and she’s just as sweet and loyal as can be. She follows me around the house and just wants to me as near to me as possible, and she is so good with the kids. She just may make a dog-lover out of me.