Much of the function of our house revolves around our animals. We are not really one of those families that have separate furniture for their pets, monogrammed bowls or gourmet food, but we take our responsibilities as pet owners seriously and make sure that when we are not at home – day trips, vacations, etc. -- that they are still taken care of.
Both of our dogs are from the local animal shelter. The first one we got was for my daughter. Well, you know – the pet you get FOR your kid, then it ends up being YOUR pet… Anyway, it didn’t start out that way. Originally, my husband, son and I went to get what we wanted – a big dog, a real dog. This was not what my daughter wanted, which was something purse-size and cute, so she chose not to attend the selection of our newest family member.
If you have ever been to an animal shelter you know the routine. All of the pets are irresistible (except, I shall note, the reptiles, which I will always maintain need to be in the wild), and they all have cute names, sad faces and touch every sensitive fiber of your soul. Yes, I always want to take them all, but then 1) You remember the food/poop volume issue, and 2) You lay your eyes on “the one” and that’s it.
For me, it was a very tiny dog, which surprised me more than anyone since we’d gone there to get a big, dopey one. But there he was with some ridiculous name I cannot remember, skin and bones, wagging tail and those love-filled eyes. I was smitten.
When I showed the “chosen one” to my husband and son they initially thought I was kidding. The cats at the shelter were bigger! Yes, I could see that, but this little guy spoke to me, and I wanted to bring him home to my shelter and fatten him up and make him a part of our family. And so we did.
So, shelter dog, now named Jack, or usually Jack-Jack, is a happy dog at our house now. He’s a family member and gets on our emergency preparedness checklist just like everyone else. He has a crate, a copy of his license and shots, a blanket, a handful of chew sticks and some food and water. From the animal shelter to my shelter, he will be protected. Come what may.