October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and we here at HLAW love our pups! So much so that when we asked for submission from our Ambassadors on the subject we got more than enough. But as October comes to an end, so does our series. Today is the last in our shelter dog series. But stay tuned because we’ll have more to come periodically throughout the year! Today we welcome Ambassador Sierra to the blog who tells how she has been blessed not once, not twice, but three times!
Shortly after being married, my husband and I moved into our very first, military-issued home. We moved boxes, had fingers covered in dustings of newspaper ink, shared pizza and beer with friends (aka the moving guys), and were up to our eyeballs in bubble wrap. We discussed where we wanted our future furniture to sit, what rooms we would buy rugs for, and that we wanted to become a family of three. We decided that after we had unpacked everything we would go to the local shelter and look for a dog to add to our lives. Then Monday came and my husband came home with orders for a four month TDY. Worst part: he had to leave that week, and he was leaving me with all the packed boxes to unpack myself.
Well, my husband wasn’t too happy to be leaving me by myself, in a new state, new town, new neighborhood, and new home. He insisted that we adopt a dog ASAP so that I would have company while he was away. Better yet if the dog added protection to our home.
So we drove down to the shelter and stumbled upon a female Kelpie named Shadow. As soon as my husband saw her, I knew we would not be leaving empty-handed. He was like a pile of mush.
So I read her short bio, attempting to bring some reason into the mix. Her card stated that she had been relinquished by her previous owner for unknown reasons and that she was good with cats. I found myself pondering why someone would give up this cute dog. It could have been that the owner lived in an apartment complex that didn’t allow pets, or that she was an escape artist (assuming that was where her scars came from), or that she had an affinity for chewing on things until they were completely destroyed (she completely devoured, in under a minute, a Christmas tree toy), or it could have been that she was anxious around other dogs to the point that she rivaled a hyena when she barked/whined. No matter these reasons, she found a place in our hearts immediately.
And just like that Shadow became Kaida (Kay-dah), my best friend, my great protector, my personal space heater, and my favorite hiking buddy. Which was too bad when my husband came home. Because, the dog he had picked out, was now my dog. And now he wanted his own dog too.
So we put our names on the list at the shelter, asking for a Siberian Husky or herding dog breed. We didn’t hear anything for months and then one day the phone rang. There was a litter of eight puppies, Siberian Husky-Australian Shepherd mixes that needed homes. Once again, we found ourselves driving down to the shelter.
The decision this time was more difficult. Which one would we choose? Did we want a boy or a girl? We decided to narrow it down to three and then bring Kaida to visit them. It made the most sense to let her choose her new brother or sister.
And of course, she picked the craziest little fur ball of the bunch. Holly, a female, who we renamed Mieshka (Mee-shh-kah). Mieshka was the cutest little puppy, a fur ball full of energy and plenty of things to say… she is half Husky after all. But, boy did she try our patience. She was an escape artist, snapping through a steel cable and running after an antelope in the middle of lunch-time traffic. That was the first time I knew what it was REALLY like to be a worried dog-mom. I was hysterical until we found her. She was also a little slow on the uptake concerning learning new things, a running joke of ours still today. It took forever to potty train her, and after two years, she has finally learned the difference between paw (right paw) and shake (left paw). And there isn’t a day we regret adopting her. She is the best cuddler, a great conversationalist, a wonderful friend and playmate for Kaida, the queen at climbing rocks and long distance hiking, and awesome at playing chase around our kitchen island. I especially love playing this game with her, she goes frantic!
And here is where the story should drift off into happily ever after. I mean, isn’t two dogs enough? Three would be absolute chaos. However… do you see where this is headed? I sure didn’t… two years after our first adoption we were surprised with a late night text. One of our closest friends was being forced to find a new home for their little puppy. Their current and long time fur-friend wasn’t getting along with the new addition.
For once, my husband’s response was no.
But, this didn’t last. In fact, he turned the tables and started pleading with my sentimental side. He wanted her.
And just like that we found Nora, an Australian Shepherd-Border Collie mix, moving into our home and making room in our hearts. She even managed to creep into Kaida’s and Mieshka’s hearts, all the while stealing their toys out from under their wet noses.
Nora loves to play with her big sisters, pick up all their bad habits, come to work with mom and play dog for all the students learning how to be vets (I work at a vet hospital), and going on walks with her mom, dad, and crazy sisters.
At the end of the day, feeling wore out and tired, there is nothing better than coming home to three of the best “rescue” dogs in the world.
These three wild ladies rescue me and my husband every day with their bouncing energy, booty-shaking tail-wagging love, and amazing personalities. We can’t imagine our lives without them.
I hope you are lucky enough to be rescued by (a) shelter dog(s) too, someday!