A small friend of mine once greeted me with these words---"It's my gotcha day and we're going out to a Korean restaurant to celebrate!" Your what day? Gotcha day he said. It's not his birthday, it's the day that his adoptive family got him---hence his Gotcha Day! What a terrific day to celebrate, I said. I love adoption. My mom was adopted. I know several people who have adopted. These families are whole. They celebrate the fact that someone was missing and reached out to fill that vacancy in the family. Adoption is a beautiful thing.
Now I'm moving on to another kind of adoption. I am not comparing apples to oranges here. I want to talk about the adoption of animals. I am in no way equating the adoption of animals to the adoption of humans. Just wanted to clarify. There are some similarities, though. Our house and our family unit have been missing something since Chester died. I began secretly searching the internet for sheltie puppies. I even contacted a breeder and found out that a litter would be available around Christmas time. Perfect! No need to do any Christmas shopping for the family, I thought. I could already see the Christmas picture in my head. Gracie snuggling up with our new furry puppy. New town, new house, new dog. Then I started asking the difficult questions. How much? Yikes! Are you kidding me? That price was about eight hundred to twelve hundred dollars more than we had ever paid for a dog. Even if I skipped lattes and lunch ( I mean going out for lunch, silly) for the next two months I did not foresee this happening. I felt sad and a sense of relief as the same time. Maybe my dog days are over.
Then my husband had the brilliant idea to look at rescue dogs. Here we go. We contacted the woman who runs the organization and began a daily conversation. Lots of pictures, lots of heartbreaking stories. Who to choose? Scott and Gracie left the decision up to me. He had to work and she had school. I told them, I'm going for one, but may come home with more! They said that they trusted me. I thought, big mistake. I arrived at the sheltie rescue. Couldn't believe it. This is minutes from where we used to live in Appleton. Why didn't I know this when I lived here? Of course I didn't need or want another dog at that time. She started bringing out dogs for me to see. I was in love with everyone. This caused me great heartache. After seeing six dogs and falling for them all, I chose two. I chose a male dog named Bailey. He is such a lover. He spent his first year and a half in a chicken coop. He and I hit it off immediately. Then the inevitable happened. I chose another. Sweet Pea is her name. Health reasons caused her family to give her up.
So last Tuesday was gotcha day at our house. Two dogs were delivered to my house. It already feels like they have been here forever. We weren't trying to replace Chester. He and Winston just taught us what it feels like to have wonderful pets in our lives. And we knew that we had more love to give because of that. So some might say, are you nuts? Ms. Simplify, huh!? Remember, I have always said, if you love something, it's worth having.
©2010 Ann M. De Broux