Tuesday, October 23, 2012
My First Adoptee
The year was 2008. I had just graduated from college earlier in May. I was beginning my grown-up life working a full time job figuring out which path to take in life, but one thing was missing in my life since I had moved away from home to start college: a dog.
I had always been around dogs. It was so very hard for me to live at school for four years without the family dogs, Elwood and Hunter. Every chance I got, I would go home to visit my parents and get some quality dog time. I also visited my brother and sister-in-law and my four legged nephew, Toby. As much as I loved all of these dogs, I wanted one of my own more than anything. And that dog was much closer than I thought.
One day, I was talking to my sister-in-law when she asked me what I thought about the chocolate lab my mom found for adoption. WHAT?!?!?! Why was I not told about this? Oh my goodness! There is a lab for adoption? Who? Where? Well, my mom had refrained from telling me because she knew I wouldn't be able to say no. She was worried I might not be quite ready since I was working a full time job and living alone. Well, my dear sister-in-law didn't know I was in the dark, and I was so grateful she had filled me in. I immediately went to my mom and wanted information. A lady my mom knew through work was looking for a new home for her one year old chocolate lab, Cooper. She and her husband had a small child and another one on the way. With two full time jobs and two children, Cooper didn't get much attention. Although he had the basics of food and shelter, Cooper needed more. His family was good enough to see this and set out to find Cooper a better home and a more fulfilling life.
I immediately sat down at the computer and started e-mailing this lady as to exactly why I would be the perfect mom to Cooper. I told her all about my love for dogs. I went through all of our family dogs as well as the dogs I had taken care of for others while on vacation. I went through my job history and assured her Cooper would have the best care and more love than any other dog. I also told her how my wonderful brother and sister-in-law had agreed to help watch Cooper on the days I had to work late, so he wouldn't be in his crate all of the time. I of course sent her photos of me with all of my beloved family dogs. I must have impressed her because I got a response that Cooper was mine!!! I can't even begin to tell you how exciting it was to get that e-mail! Now all I had to do was set up a date to pick up my new dog.
The date was December, 29, 2008. I will never forget this day. I had on jeans and a yellow Purdue sweatshirt. I grabbed an old Scooby Doo blanket for the backseat of my car and the leash, collar, and toys I had bought a week earlier. My brother had agreed to go with me to help bring Cooper home. Home!! To my home!! Oh, what a wonderful thought! It was a two hour drive to pick up Cooper. I was a bundle of smiles the whole way. We finally made it to Cooper. We pulled up and knocked on the door. A very nice family greeted us. And then a dirty Cooper jumped on us and greeted us! Oh he was adorable. The lady asked us if we were still interested after meeting Cooper. YES!! Oh of course I still want him! He is adorable, muddy pawprints and all. So we loaded Cooper's crate into my car, put the blanket down for him, and opened the door for Cooper. He jumped right in, happy as a clam. He was just going for a car ride. He had no idea he was headed to his new life with his new mom. My brother drove my car for me so I could pay attention to Cooper. I gave him his new toy I had bought him. What a happy dog! He was in the back playing with it when I heard a squeak from the toy. Oh, my baby squeaked his first toy! I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that squeak brought tears to my eyes! Cooper was mine now. My boy. My dog.
My brother was wonderful enough to stay with us long enough when we got back home to help give Cooper a bath. Cooper was not used to baths at the time and was 76 pounds of "no thank you, I do not want a bath!" It is amazing how much dirt can hide on a brown dog. Fully washed and dried off, my brother left us to get to know one another. Cooper of course had no problem worming his way into my heart. It took about two seconds. We watched some tv on the couch and then headed to bed. He of course slept in bed with me. I imagine it was the first night he had ever spent outside of his crate. And what a wonderful ending to a perfect day!
That was the beginning of our wonderful life together. Adopting Cooper was the most wonderful feeling. I can't even describe it. Sharing your home with a dog in need of your love and affection is the greatest thing you can do for that dog. Please, adopt your next best friend today from your local shelter or rescue group! You won't regret it!