No way were we going to get another pet. We already have a hamster and two bearded dragons.
I was firm on this no-more-pets rule.
In 2014, we'd adopted Daisy, a ten year old Boxer. She'd been abused, removed from the home by animal control, and placed in a local shelter. Her age, and the fact that she was...less-than-beautiful...prevented people from adopting her. Their loss was our gain! The shelter kinda made her the office mascot, expecting her to live out the rest of her days there. Yeah, no... We took one look at her adorable face and we knew she had to be part of the family.
We had our girl only ten short months. But, man, did we give her the best days of her life. We showered her with unconditional love, took her to the beach and introduced her to the ocean and wave hopping. She went on an epic road trip with us to Florida and got to meet so many new people who adored her. But, a brain tumor took her from us, and she died in our arms, surrounded by our love. And that's all I can write about her because I'm sitting here crying as I write this. My heart still aches for her over two years later.
It took us a long time to overcome our grief enough to open our hearts and home to another animal. First, we took in a young Boxer, Bishop, but since we don't have a fenced-in yard for her to play in (our backyard is, like, 85% pool and raised deck), she was absolutely miserable. We aren't exactly active people. Sure, we have plenty of love to give, but we aren't active enough for a high-energy animal. She was given to a foster family who had two other Boxers, and she did so well there, they adopted her. I follow her antics on Instagram and Facebook, and know we did the best thing for her. She's happy, and loving life with doggie brothers and a huge yard where she can run and play for hours.
Next, we heard about a family who had a female bulldog, Abby, they needed to re-home. We were told the dog was being attacked by another of the family's pets, and that she had a bladder issue -- but it was totally under control due to daily medication. No problem! We can do daily medication. We picked up the dog that night because in two days the family was leaving for Disney World. We did notice she was 'leaking' a little, but chalked it up to her being nervous. That night, she curled up on our bed as if she'd been with us her whole life. The following morning I woke up, literally, in a pool of her pee. Omg, it was gross. Apparently, the actual story was that the owner wanted to pass the dog off to someone else because Abby needed expensive bladder surgery. Which we couldn't afford. We were still paying off Daisy's gum surgery on a credit card we'd maxed out on that procedure. Also, maybe a bit selfishly, we were furious that the owner had the money to take her family of four to Disney World but not to get her dog the surgery it needed. We returned the dog the the next day -- after having to keep her outside until the owner got home from work because she was leaking urine everywhere.
We hadn't given up, though, and this time, figured a cat might work out better. So, we went to the Popcorn Park Zoo and Animal Sanctuary and adopted Bo. He lasted about a month. We were told he was found in a van, and that was it. That was the extent of his backstory. We took him home, and he settled right in...for about a week. His behavior went from playful and loving to dominating. He stopped cuddling with us, and starting playing too rough with Tyler, who was six at the time. She's also a tiny peanut of a kid, and each day, Bo would jump at her, getting higher with each attack. I was terrified he was going to gouge her face. But, we held out that he was just overcome with the change from being in a shelter to a home. I took videos of how he would put all four paws on Frankie's arms, trying to balance on him, and bite his wrist. Around this time, he also started to make this weird, meowing sound that was almost a whine as he attached my husband's arms and hands. It got so bad that Tyler had to walk around carrying pillows as shields to protect her from the cat. I took pictures and videos to Popcorn Park to gain insight into Bo's behavior. A volunteer confided to me that he was never properly socialized, and had actually been returned once before. I was livid no one had disclosed this important information prior to us taking him home. After one particularly close call with Tyler's face, we were forced to return Bo to the shelter. When I had checked in on him weeks later, I was told they adopted him out to a couple without kids.
You can imagine how done we were in trying to find our girls a pet. But, like the suckers we are, we found ourselves back at the shelter where we'd found Daisy. There, we met a nameless Mini Pincher/Chihuahua mix. A Chipin, as they're called. The little guy, only 2 or 3 years old, had been abused and dumped on the street like trash. He shared a similar story with our Daisy, and my heart shattered into a million pieces. He had to come home with us.
And that's exactly what happened.
We named him Jack. Jack Skellingtion the Dog, to be exact.
We've had him less than twenty-four hours (hence, why new designs weren't listed yesterday), and although he's terrified of us, and everything around him, in only a short time, he's already a little love bug. We understand it's going to take him time to trust us, and come to realize no one will hurt him. He inches toward us, crouching, wagging his tail, desperate for love...love we are eager to give him. When we take him for his walks, he runs home, excited to get back in the house.
Maybe those other animals were meant to cross our path. Bishop, so she could find her forever home with that nice family who gives her what we couldn't. Bo, so the shelter could properly place him in a home without children where he could be the king of his castle. And Abby... I don't know what happens to her. I hope her crappy owner gave her to a family who can afford to get her the surgery she needed. I wish it could have been us, but we simply lacked the money to provide her with the care she needed. She's a good girl and deserves a family who will worry less about going on vacation, and more about her health.
And now we have Jack, a little dude who was damaged by his previous owner. But damaged is not broken. I should know. Hurtful things in my past damaged me. Guess that's why I feel a kinship to him. Frankie and girls have quieted my demons. Together, we will quiet Jack's.