Meet Tucker. He’s our fur baby that we adopted around Christmas. We happened upon adoption by accident, and I hope that by sharing our story, maybe it will encourage someone else to adopt, too.
This weekend February 12-14, 2016 is PetSmart Charities National Adoption Weekend. Call your local PetSmart to see if they’re participating, and then go take a look. You may just fall in love.
My children have wanted a dog for years. I have a fondness for dogs and had always wanted one growing up, too. I remember the longing I had and how badly my heart wanted one. A boyfriend ended up giving me a dog my Senior Year of high school. I didn’t get that much time with him as I left for college across the country soon after, so he essentially became my mother’s dog. I knew that if our family was going to get a dog, I would need to be ready, because a lot of the responsibility would fall on me.
This past Christmas, the pleas came again. I felt my heart soften since my youngest was out of diapers. My husband would give me the side-eye. He could tell I was wavering. Where was the solidarity? He’s not a fan of animals, doesn’t hate them, but doesn’t love them. I certainly did not want to bring a dog into the house if he wasn’t on board.
Christmas was nearing and my then 8-year-old was wishing, dreaming, and praying for a dog. It was the only thing she put on her Christmas list to Santa. It was the only thing she would say she wanted whenever anyone asked. We took all our girls to the Dollar Store to pick out little presents for their sisters. My 8-year-old requested that her sisters get her supplies for her new dog. I kept telling her, “You’re not getting a dog.” She replied, “Yes, I am. I have faith I’m getting one.” Well that’s like a knife in the chest. Thanks a lot.
So on Christmas Eve, I get the grand idea to buy a dog, wrap it up, and surprise the kids on Christmas morning. Best mom ever, right? Well not knowing any better, I google pet stores. I run to the nearest pet store that sells puppies, and I was pretty shocked. Puppies in unsanitary conditions, lots of chaos, I hear negotiations being made in the next visitation stall. I was not getting a good feeling. On top of that dogs were over $2000 which included “tons of stuff.” I went home to discuss it with my husband, and we returned to that pet store later. I couldn’t find any other place to get a puppy quickly. It was Christmas Eve for crying out loud.
Well the puppy I had been looking at before was sold. My heart sunk a bit. We looked at another dog, and once again, it didn’t feel right. I wanted to rescue a dog from this crazy puppy store, but I didn’t want to purchase one to support the business. So we decided to wrap a box of dog treats and tell my daughter she would get a dog..just not on Christmas.
On Christmas morning, I saw her run down looking for the dog. I saw a bit of disappointment in her face when she didn’t see one. All the kids started to open their presents and she finally opened her box of dog treats. I saw the smile come, and she looked at me, and I told her she would be getting a dog. She leapt up, did a victory dance, and hugged her sisters. There were many squeals (as little girls sometimes do), and lots of questions. “Where’s my dog?” was the most common.
We decided to research together, and I eventually came upon an organization called Texas Little Cuties Rescue. She decided she wanted to rescue a puppy instead of going through a breeder. My daughter has allergies, so we were trying to find a dog that didn’t shed too much. I looked up some breeds, and we started looking through pictures of available dogs. Each picture included a brief description. We saw Tucker (Jethro at the time), and immediately felt a connection. We knew we wanted a male dog, for my husband’s sake. He needed some male blood to bond with. I then had to fill out an application and wait.
Tucker’s foster mom wrote me and answered all the questions I had. What is Tucker like? How does the adoption process work? Does he shed a lot? She told me the story of how he and 2 siblings had been abandoned and were found walking along a busy street the day before Thanksgiving.
We arranged a time for me to meet her at a local PetSmart where Texas Little Cuties often has adoption events. I was able to meet Tucker, and I knew I wanted to adopt him. We finalized the adoption, I filled out papers, signed a contract, paid my fee, and he was part of our family! Tucker’s foster mom was so kind and walked around the store with me, helping me choose things and answering even more questions. When you adopt a dog through Texas Little Cuties, shots and neutering are included in the adoption fee.
It’s been a month and half, and Tucker has settled right in. I have been surprised how helpful all of the girls have been. They walk Tucker, help me bathe him, pick up all his poop, play with him, feed him, and even clean up his accidents. It’s been a good lesson on responsibility. He loves to snuggle and give kisses to little girls he notices are sad. That being said, we’ve had to make adjustments around the house, and dog-proof things. At times I’ve felt like I have a newborn. Part of that is also because we chose a puppy. Owning a pet is hard work, but the rewards far exceed the inconveniences.
Please consider adopting a pet through PetSmart, through a local rescue organization, through your local animal shelter, or any reputable organization. Do your homework. Ask ALL the questions. They don’t want these pets to come back to them, so they want to find good matches. So many pets need homes and families. They are abandoned, abused, unloved. This story of Bobby broke my heart. Read Bobby’s story here.
That face. With all of this attention, I heard that people are working on adopting Bobby (hooray!), but not all dogs can receive national attention.
Save a pet’s life; be his hero. He’ll return the favor.