John Scalzi’s Weekend Assignment is about a subject I could probably do an entire journal on:
Weekend Assignment #9: Post a picture of one (or more) of your pets and entertain us all with tales of animal fun.
Last summer I adopted a dog from a local animal shelter. She was about three years old, the vets guessed, and had two four-month-old puppies with her. The puppies looked like little furballs…very cute. They were all terrified.
No one at an animal shelter knows for sure what happened to the dogs they try to place in new homes. And for this dog, that was no different. She was found wandering the streets with her two puppies, desperately searching for food and water. She was probably abused at some point along the way because she was afraid of everyone — even me — when I first got her.
As is often the case in an animal shelter, the two puppies were quickly adopted. The adult dog sat. And waited. Alone. Scared.
I saw her picture in a newspaper ad the shelter had run, and I did what no would-be animal owner should do: I fell in love with the picture. It’s generally a bad idea. You have to look beyond the dog’s appearance and consider the breed, the animal’s individual quirks, health problems, etc. But I saw her picture and I was hooked. I met her in person, with my cocker spaniel in tow. He liked her from the start, but he’s an “in your face” kind of dog, and she wasn’t quite ready for that, so she snapped at him a few times. The people from the shelter assured me that she was merely defining boundaries to him and that this would pass. It did. (Who says dogs can’t think!)
After taking time to adjust to a new home, a new playmate and a new owner, it didn’t take her long to realize she was here to stay. She began to come out of her shell, and she was quick to claim an end of the couch. She’s one of the most loving dogs I’ve ever owned. She’s perfectly content to just sit beside you. She doesn’t demand a lot of attention, but each moment you spend with her is met with what appears to be pure appreciation. (I’d heard that shelter dogs SHOW you that they appreciate what you do for them because they know how bad things can get when they have no one to take care of them…it’s true.)
What I like most about her is her smile. Not all dogs can completely pull off a smile. She can.
And just so that I don’t get accused of playing favorites…since I do have to live with these two, here is a little equal time for my cocker spaniel, who wishes to remind me that he can also be cute when he isn’t getting into trouble: