In my last post, I told you that many things have changed dramatically in my life since my last publish. Other than getting married, a new (and cuddly) addition has joined our family! This new addition has inspired me to create a new section in my blog called The Dog Files, where I will talk about the new happiness in my life and new journey together.
Since my husband and I started dating, we wanted a dog. I have always been an animal lover and had cats growing up, but I have always had a love for dogs. I even had one when I was little but, with her husky/collie coat and my asthma, it was not a good mix at my young age. Not surprisingly, though, when David and I moved, I was looking for the opportunity in order to get one. However, I did not want a little puppy. I wanted a shelter dog.
Why did we want a shelter dog? Well, for practicality. In our minds, we could choose a dog that is already trained so that we did not have to train a puppy in an apartment that is carpeted. We also thought we could choose a dog based on characteristics of our choosing, thereby making the entire dog-owning process a little simpler. More importantly, I realize that shelter dogs are many in number and often forgotten. I feel horrible for any dog that has to live his life in such a way, without any human love. I wanted to be a part of improving the life of at least one dog, even though it is such a little part.
I had begun looking at the PetFinder application once in a while, my eyes peeled for the dog perfect for our home. I told myself and my husband that, when I could find a job, I would get a puppy. That would be my reward.
And, I lucked out. I got a job (I will explain in a future post this other change), and so I began looking at the PetFinder app more often. One evening, while sitting on the couch and TV on in the background, I was looking and one dog seemed perfect for us. This dog’s name was Ted. He was a terrier mix, a golden colour, and looked calm. As soon as I saw him, I knew that was the dog I wanted. I applied immediately. Once a week I would call the shelter, asking them about our application status. Finally, one day, the woman on the other end of the line said we were approved, although we had to wait. Ted had a heartworm problem, you see, and he needed to have 6 weeks of treatment before we could meet him and take him home. So we waited.
The shelter where Ted was is called TAPS No-Kill Animal Shelter, located in Pekin, IL.
All of the workers were so nice to me every time I spoke with them, and they were equally as nice when we went in to finally meet Ted. David had already arrived and, when I walked into the room where David and Ted were “meeting”, I noticed the big problem. Ted was too big for our apartment. When I inquired about his weight, I was told he weighed 45 pounds. That was not going to cut it in an apartment with the weight restriction being 25 pounds.
I was heartbroken. Ted had every characteristic we wanted in a dog. He was calm, playful, he would follow us around. He didn’t bark. I felt horrible that we had to meet a dog and then leave him there in the shelter. We explained to an employee our situation, and she said that Ted already had a list of people who wanted to adopt him, and that he would not be there until the end of the week. Phew. But she also had good news for us. Since our application was already approved, we still had 8 weeks to adopt another dog and, if we wanted to, we could go to the dog section and meet others. The only condition was that we would have to choose a dog that had no waiting list, or be placed on a waiting list for them.
I didn’t really think that we would get a dog that day. Thankfully, TAPS is a popular animal shelter and many people want to adopt dogs in our area. It seems that you have to apply for a dog as soon as their name is put on the website if you even want a chance at taking them home. Let’s just say I was not expecting to meet another dog that we would fall in love with that day. But my husband, noticing that I was upset, convinced me to go there with him in hopes of finding our new forever friend.
We walked the aisle, looking at all the dogs. It was so sad. Some looked so desperate, many were barking, and some were sleeping. The first dog that caught our attention was a small black dog with an underbite. He looked at us so intently in the cage, not making a noise, not barking like the other dogs who seemed fearful of all the new faces walking in and out. He walked up and jumped on the door, trying to reach us. My husband looked at the name listed. Pierre. I thought it was funny that he had a French name. What a coincidence. We were later told that the name was given to him by TAPS since they had no idea what his name was. The retrieved him from a high-kill shelter in St. Louis so that he would not be euthanized. We returned to the entrance and my husband looked at Pierre again, who was about to be taken out on a walk. He kept looking at us through the bars.
“What about him? I like him. He looks so cool”, my husband said. I was still a bit disappointed because I was excited about Ted, but I told him to ask whether there was a waiting list for him.
Once outside, an employee told us there was one application submitted, but it had yet to be approved. We could be placed on the list, she explained, and asked if we wanted to meet him. We said yes and waited until he came back from his walk. Once he came in, he looked so happy. He would jump on both of us, looking for love. He seemed like such a sweet dog, one we could see coming home with us.
Better news arrived when the TAPS employee decided that, since the previous application was not yet approved and the person on the list applied for multiple jobs, that we could take him home that day if we wanted to. After (very) little discussion, we decided to take him.
Ten minutes later, we were driving home, Pierre in David’s car with me leading the way home in the other car. I couldn’t believe it. We were taking home our new best friend. It wasn’t the dog we had went for but, as everyone knows, life has a funny way of leading you to where you have to be, and who you have to meet. And it seemed that this dog who would have been killed in St. Louis, with the French name, was the one for us. Or maybe he chose us when he jumped on the cage begging for our attention.
This is the beginning of our journey with Pierre. If you would like, follow our journey, and get to know our lovely new pet! In the future, I will include training, dog mishaps, and travel journeys with him. He is definitely a character and we want to share him with anyone who enjoys it!