We interrupt your regularly scheduled program…
to share a couple personal stories of mine. As many of my friends and family know, I love animals and am a huge supporter of rescuing, especially dogs. What many people don’t know is my first dog, April, is approaching her 10th human birthday (70-something in dog years) on 7/9/2015. So in her honor, I thought I would share her story:
I got April from the Vanderburgh county humane societ in Evansville, Indiana. It is a full indoor facility (much like Rancho Cucamonga’s facility, where I live now) with an outdoor play area.
I remember it was a Friday. I was looking into owning a dog in Evansville because someone at work had mentioned their friend had husky/lab puppies that might need homes and I had been preparing since July about getting a dog. I had looked on the humane society’s page SEVERAL times. In fact–I had seen April’s litter mates and her on the page only a month before. I had been over to the facility and played with a husky named Honey Bear who I know had gotten a home a few short weeks after my visit. I had also played with a yellow lab I cannot remember the name who was a little too crazy for me.
I remember walking past her kennel. She was in the puppy area where I had seen Honey Bear a couple weeks before. She jumped and wagged her tail like crazy, tried to squeeze through any hole in the door and made her little puppy cries saying “please, me! Me ! ME!” I walked around the other kennels, walked to the front desk to find out that you register a dog across the street at the city animal services and then asked if I could take a dog out to play for a minute–knowing that it would give one dog a moment of freedom. Trust me–I wasn’t even thinkking about bringing home a dog.
So walked around the kennels again on who to bring out and again, this little brown speckled puppy kept jumping and wiggling and whimpering. So I asked if I could take April out to play. They got me a leash, lead me out to the play pen and let me hang with her for a bit.
Now–typically when I did this– a dog would get so excited that they would run (no, more like leap and bound) around the pen for about 15-20 minutes and then come sniff me for a minute or two and go back to running around, almost as to say “yay!…wait-thank you… YAY!” With April it was not the case. She kept close to me, almost scared of the outside world. I walked calmly to the center of the pen, sat down on the red bark scattered around and just let April walk up towards me on her own terms. This was probably the best thing I could have done. And April, small little ball of fluffy cuteness, came up to me, gave me a quick sniff and curled up right next to me. As close as she could. Practically in my lap. It was adorable. I was in heaven. I could have stayed right there with her forever.
But unfortunately I had to return her to her kennel. She jumped and got so excited. I felt so horrible leaving her there. And she had watched all of her brothers already get adopted– i didn’t feel comfortable. So i walked back to the front desk and talked to the lady about how wonderful April was and how much I wanted a dog. She said “well, it costs $90 and you need to take her to get shots in about a month. But if you want-you could take her home today.” So I said I would think about it and walked towards the door. Except when I got to the door, i stopped. I had told myself many times that if I ever got to the door and couldn’t walk out the door because of a dog, I knew I should take that dog home. And that’s what happened. I got April, I had two hours to get home, get a kennel, grab food and toys and a collar and leash before getting ready for work. Actually–I called and got a delayed start time so I could get dog food and get April settled at home before I go to work.
So that’s how I got my puppy girl. She was 3 1/2 months old and the shelter told me that she was perfect for an apartment and after my late shifts I would come home, walk her and lay on the coach when she would lay in front of the sliding door, watching squirrels and birds. For 2 months it was just us. Enjoying life.
Here is us right before we left Evansville for California
And now almost 10 years later, April looks at me with those same puppy eyes and paws me with that same paw telling me I’m hers and she’s mine. I have loved every minute with her and I would never leave her. In fact-I remember filling out the application for her and it asked what would happen if I moved. I laughed, not knowing how dog adoption works, and asked the clerk “seriously?–um.. GO WITH ME.” I guess that was the right answer. She was/is/will always be part of my family. All my animals are. And April will always hold a special place in my heart because she was my first.