Happy Monday! I’m doing something a little different on here today and participating in a Love Stories Blog Hop! So, if you’re here from Jamie’s blog, welcome to my world!
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m sharing a love story on the blog today. But, it’s not going to be about my husband (sorry babe – your time to shine will be next month) or our daughter (sorry chick – your time to shine will be in April). No, I’m going to be a little bit quirky and tell a love story about puppy love…literally. Hope you enjoy!
“I want a dog.”
Those four words may seem innocent, but when my husband said them to me, just two months into our marriage, they struck fear into my heart. He grew up with dogs and felt like he was missing something in his life by not having one. I had never had a dog and really didn’t even like them much, to the point of nearly being afraid of them.
“Uh, okay,” I replied.
I thought the he might put the notion out of his head, or that maybe he meant let’s get a dog later on, but just a few days later, we were on our way to a shelter in the next county after he discovered that they had an Australian Shepherd puppy for adoption. When we got there, he was disappointed to discover that the puppy had already been adopted, and the shelter had not had time to update their website. I was secretly relieved until he suggested walking around and seeing who else was up for adoption.
Browsing a shelter can be heartbreaking, even if you are not an animal lover. Many dogs have a hopeful excitement that you can see in their eyes whenever you linger for a second at their kennels. I could feel my cold, non-dog loving heart start to melt just a little bit.
We looked around at all of the dogs for adoption, and we couldn’t find one that seemed to be a good match for our family. Many of them were older or had been surrendered because of behavioral issues, and we thought that those might not be the best choice for our first family dog, especially because of my lack of experience. We were about to leave, but then the shelter volunteer showed us a crib located next to the cat room. That crib was occupied by a little brindle puppy with white paws named Rocket.
“Let’s take him outside and see if he likes us,” my husband suggested.
He had never worn a collar or a leash, so our first adventure was getting him ready to take out to the play area. Once he was safely outside in their fenced in yard, we unclipped the leash and found out why they named him Rocket! My husband immediately fell in love with him and started tossing a ball to him. I was still unsure about the whole getting a dog situation, so I stood a little bit away from them. Rocket must have known that this was his grand audition for his forever home because he ran up to me and darted under my floor-length skirt.
“He’s saying that he chooses you,” the volunteer said.
In that moment, I was hooked. As he struggled to figure out how to escape my skirt’s prison, I could see our future, full of walks, snuggles, and playing. Three days later, Rocket, renamed to Koopa (although Rocket is his middle name, used often when he is in trouble), became an official member of our family.
Having a new member of the family was a huge adjustment at first. There were crate escapes, items destroyed, and many, many middle of the night wake ups for potty breaks. We had to learn how to train him to be a good canine, and he had to learn how to live with us. It was a learning process for everyone, but we slowly adjusted.
Now, nearly five years later, I can’t imagine life without him, nor can I really remember why I was so indifferent towards dogs. He’s a big, goofy, playful boy who’s fiercely loyal to us. I’m glad I (reluctantly) said yes to us getting a puppy because now our daughter will know what it’s like to experience the unconditional love of a dog. Plus, maybe her toddler energy will finally be a match for our Rocket dog!
Thanks for reading my canine love story! Now, hop over to Helen’s blog to read her love story!