This is Stella. She’s the first pet that my husband and I have had together. We rescued her from a shelter. See, I love dogs. I really love them. All kinds, all sizes – I love them all. Truth be told I just love animals in general, but I have a really soft spot for dogs. My husband on the other hand – he’s not much of animal guy. He tolerates them, but if things were left completely up to him we would live in a pet free home. But, bless his heart – he put his preference aside and we decided to get a dog. It’s one of the most wonderful things he’s ever done for me.
We tossed around the idea of going through a breeder. There were a few breeds that I had in mind. Ones that were not prone to shedding, were family friendly, medium sized…….ones I thought would be good matches for our lifestyle. But I kept seeing the commercials about the animal population and how so many animals have to be euthanized every day and how shelters are bursting at the seams with animals that need to be adopted. So we took off one Wednesday afternoon to the local animal shelter just to have a look.
As we walked into the dog wing my immediate reaction was sorrow. The first thing I saw was a large pit bull mix with the most gorgeous bright blue eyes I had seen on a dog. And they were staring up at me with such a huge amount of sadness that it broke my heart. She just looked so forlorn. At that very moment I knew that even if we didn’t find our new family member that day that eventually we would find them at a shelter. I knew that from then on my pets would be shelter rescues.
Over my shoulder, my husband’s voice said, “hey, what about this one?” I turned and I saw this dog that looked like a mix between a coyote and a wolf…..and as we walked to her block her tail was wagging. We went through the process of being approved for adoption and we got to spend some time with who the shelter had deemed “Foxy”. She was friendly and rather calm and she was a shedder – a HEAVY shedder. Her paperwork listed her as a Shiba Inu/Collie mix. Both prone to loads of shedding. But, my husband – the guy who doesn’t really like animals – liked her. And she liked him. Within minutes of meeting her, she was lying on his feet.
We drove home and talked about her. Was she the right one? We found her really quickly. Were we making a decision too fast? Should we look around a bit more? No, we knew. She was the right one. She was going to be ours and we would call her Stella.
The next morning we tidied the house so she would be impressed when she got home, we stopped by the local PetSmart to get bowls and a collar and all the pup paraphernalia that we needed. We made it to the shelter and claimed our new 3-year-old family member.
She is beautiful. She stays right with us, she very rarely barks, she loves to take walks…..she’s perfect. She does shed – a lot at first, the whole shedding the winter coat thing – but now no more than any other dog. I really think she loves us. And she makes us happy. There’s something very soothing about a dog lying next to you.
I don’t think that at the time my husband realized what he was doing for me. Dogs are a lot of work and they’re not for everyone, but they are definitely for me. He gave me a wonderful gift – and she is ours.