Rescue dogs are a cause that are very close to my heart. I grew up with dogs my entire life; most of them came from a pound. I can never remember a time in my life when my family was dog free for more than a few months. When I went away for college, it was a big adjustment for me. No wagging tail to greet me when I got home, no dog to accompany me for walks, nobody to comfort me if I was upset. It was a pretty lonely feeling, but being a college student who was constantly moving from one internship to another I wasn’t in the right place in my life to have a dog.
That all changed in my fourth year of school. The wonderful man who I had been dating moved in with me. We had a place of our own, plans of settling down, and a more steady income. He shared my passion for animals and also found his years away from his dogs difficult.
We started talking about getting a dog and began perusing ads and rescues, but not very seriously until I was about 6 weeks from graduation. I had been looking at the local humane society website and came across a small lab mix named Angel. We headed over to meet her and I fell in love. She was 45 lbs of pure energy and love. She would be a bit of a handful, but fancying ourselves as patient potential parents we applied to adopt her.
The phone call came the next day, I knew it was too soon for them to have approved me and my heart sank with the news that a family who had applied two days earlier had already been approved and their dogs are adopted out on a first come first serve basis. It was disappointing but they assured me that our paperwork would be approved that afternoon so the next process would go much faster.
I hung up the phone, and Nathan began searching their site for any other dogs I might like. After some encouragement I went with him to visit what was listed as a border collie lab mix named Luther. I’ll be honest, I thought he was sweet sitting in his cage quietly wagging his tail at me, but with the sting of disappointment left over from Angel I didn’t give him my full attention. I walked away from the cage and headed down the hall and all I could hear behind me was this frantic woofing and howling. I turned around to hear the kennel attendee say something along the lines of “what’s the matter buddy, you’re usually so quiet”. Curiosity got the better of me and I turned around and walked back to his cage and he calmed down, almost instantly, excitedly wagging his tail. I couldn’t leave him there. He was calling out to me, he picked me and wanted me to be his Mom.
We took him out to the visitor area just to be sure, and within five minutes, we were. We filled out the paperwork and brought him home three days later only to discover that he didn’t answer to the name “Luther”. We spent a half hour that night sitting in the living room saying random names until one, Jack, finally peeked his interest.
The first few months with Jack were hard. We realized that no matter how much we loved our childhood pooches, our parents were their primary care givers. It was now up to us to make the decisions – vets, training methods, food, rules, grooming, etc. And on top of that was the realization that Jack was not like the energetic toy driven dogs we were both accustomed to. He was a quiet, nature loving lone wolf who didn’t even know how to play. It took a lot of time and patience for all of us, but with some work, and a lot of love we eventually figured out how to bond and connect. We got to watch the quiet dog from the pound flourish in to our sassy, goofy, sweet, playful boy. He still loves nature, and can be a bit of a lone wolf but now he’s happy to have us along on all of his adventures, and we couldn’t be happier to join him.