Local Mom Lobbies Hard to Adopt a Dog
Offering a shelter animal a forever home renews everyone’s spirit.
I want another dog. I want one so much I can hardly sleep at night. Whenever I try to accomplish something productive, my body involuntarily floats over to the laptop and my fingers autopilot me to the Angels Among Us pet rescue website. No shortage of adorable pups there!
My husband isn’t thrilled with my new obsession. He spouts all manner of logical reasons why we don’t need another dog. His main argument is that 15-year old Jack the Wonder Dog would be heartbroken by having to compete for our attention. I disagree, because I have enough room in my heart to smother 20 dogs with love and devotion. And Jack gets pretty bored hanging out all day with two retirees. He could use a sibling, don’t you think?
Throughout our long marriage, I have been known to unexpectedly come home with new pets. Jack the Wonder Dog was one such surprise, followed by goldfish Cosmo and Shorty, then P.J. the cockatiel. Each time I entered the door with a critter and accoutrements in hand, my grouchy spouse would grumble and whine. But guess whose neck P.J. cuddled against each night to watch TV on the couch? And rest assured: I was not the one who caused Jack to gain five pounds last year by feeding him way too many biscuit treats throughout each day.
I have been known to overrule or ignore my husband on more than one occasion. But this time I’m trying very hard to honor his wishes, no matter how unreasonable he is being. Trust me when I tell you how difficult this is.
Let’s face it; life is too short to delay some gratifications. Yes, I encourage my teenage son to thoroughly think through matters before making important decisions. Yes, I counsel against impulsive choices. But I’m 54. I survived a career surrounded by very evil people for 31 years. I deserve a dog.
Besides; we need to infuse some puppy love into our home. Our son just returned to college; my husband’s unending chemotherapy dominates our days; we watch way too much television. What better medicine than a loyal hound to dispense unlimited sloppy kisses and unconditional love?
Oh, I hear you. You think I’m rationalizing. Well, maybe a tad. And I confess that I’m also sounding like a five-year old in Wal-Mart, whining - in increasing decibels - for her mom to buy some glittery toy spotted two aisles back. I want it! I need it! I deserve it! Seems that’s the selfish mantra of our society these days.
I do, however, have another motivation. As an animal lover, I follow on Facebook several animal rescue sites and animal rights organizations. Daily they post photos of abandoned and abused pets and critters, some saved by the grace of God and now in need of a forever home. My heart aches to provide that forever home to just one suffering animal. Is that so selfish?
I have been known to scold my friends who pay $1,000 for a commercially-bred dog. The horrendous conditions and practices of too many puppy mills are well-documented. Yes, responsible breeders are out there, but given that 6 to 8 dogs and cats are taken in by animal shelters each year, and that 3 to 4 million of these animals are euthanized in ways that range from humane to barbaric, should we not consider the animals’ needs in addition to our wants?
I want another dog. And once I overrule my husband, I will get one. My new dog will be a rescued mutt, a dispenser of loving kisses. My new dog’s eyes will shine with the light of a recovered spirit. And my new dog will renew our own spirits with every wag of its tail.