When my husband, Drew, and I agreed to allow our two daughters to "bring home a dog" in 2010, we had no idea that act was going to lead anywhere except to having a family pet. Let me be clear, we thought it was going to be a one-pet-and-done act and nothing more! Little did we know that we couldn't have been more incorrect in our thinking if we had tried.
In early fall of 2010, our girls approached us about getting a dog. Our first reaction was, "What? A dog? WHY???" We had just bought our house on a tree-lined street, we had poured our heart and soul into renovating it to the way we wanted it (and I believe it turned out beautifully), and we weren't exactly thrilled about letting a dog come into our home and tear it all up. And, besides that, our girls were extremely active in school sports, community activities, 4-H, and they both had jobs. We couldn't understand why in the world they would want to add to their already-busy schedule with more work.
Well, it's safe to say that the girls were nothing shy of persistent. They did their homework to find out what dog they wanted, where we would get it, what it would be fed, who was going to take care of it, and on and on and on. Although impressed with their due diligence, Drew and I were still not sold...fully. Then one night in late October, I was home alone watching the movie Strangers. I love scary movies, but for some reason this movie truly scared me, perhaps because it could actually happen. That did it for me, and I was sold! We were going to get a dog if for nothing more than to give me a sense of security when I was home by myself.
Just a few days later we ended up going to the Franklin County Humane Society to get our first family dog, Bear. Bear was a beauty, solid black except for a tiny speck of white on the tip of his tail, and he was the one getting chased and pummeled by his two sisters in the HS play yard. He was going to be our's, and we took him home. We had him groomed, we took him to get his first round of immunizations and de-wormed (yuck!), and we enrolled him in puppy training at PetSmart. As the trainings progressed, we noticed that Bear was something special. He listened rather well to our commands (except for a few "attitudey" moments), he was catching on to what he needed to learn, and everyone was drawn to him. We were quickly becoming proud pet parents.
The months passed, Bear completed intermediate and advanced trainings, and we were beyond thrilled to call Bear a member of the family, not just a pet, and certainly not just a dog. It was common to sit on the couch and have Bear snuggle beside us as we watched a movie (and, yes, certainly all those scary movies), it was common to watch him sidle up next to us and stop for a quick belly rub, and it was common to see Bear look up at us with his big brown eyes, somehow telling us that he knew we saved his life. That look was incredible. It's as if we could see into his soul and know what he was thinking. Bear was rescued. Bear was loved and gave love unconditionally. And Bear found his forever family. THAT is why we rescue...it means so much more than just "bringing home a dog."