You never know when an animal is going to enter your heart and change your life. Sometimes we choose to bring an animal into our lives. Sometimes they choose us. Sometimes is just seems that life chooses for us and we are both thrown together.
I just read a fabulous story from Joanie Heart in Stuart, Florida about a dog that joined her life when she was sure she neither needed nor wanted one. Her daughter, Chelsea was 10 years old at the time and a cat lover. She and her friend had begged Joanie to take them to the Humane Society where they might spend some time playing with the cats. They only wanted to go to help socialize them, not to bring one home. Both girls promised. So Joanie took them.
Since Joanie was more of a dog lover, she decided to find a dog to walk. She spotted the Labrador mix right away. She approached him to introduce herself and offered the flat of her hand to him. He immediately rested his chin firmly in her palm and made a moaning sound that Joanie literally felt in her heat, it felt like an arrow piercing it. So she decided to take him for a walk.
He was a very nice dog and Joanie loved spending time with him, but did need a dog. She was proud of herself for leaving without taking a dog with her. She kept thinking about the sweet mutt though. She had nicknamed him "Woofie" So that the other dogs could call him by name, she thought and then chided herself naming him. No dogs. What could it hurt to stop by to visit him, though? So she did visit, several times.
One day she came in for a visit though and he was gone. Joanie thought excitedly that maybe he had been adopted, but when she asked the girl at the desk, her face darkened. Joanie was told that he was in THE BACK. Joanie cringed, that was where dogs waited to be euthanized.
She went to see him and Woofie created her with that same groan that had pierced her heart the first time. He had contracted kennel cough and would have to be put down before the disease spread. Joanie got them to agree to wait until the end of the day before euthanizing and made a crazy decision, she would be back to get him. With 15 minutes to spare before closing time, she returned to whisk him away to a new life.
A year later, when it was time to renew his tags, Joanie had to return to the shelter because she had lost his paperwork. It was taking them a while to get to her, so she thought she would take a look at the dogs. She knew what it might lead to, but looked anyway and saw a dog that looked like Woofie's mirror image. So she took her for a walk and again the rest was history.
Joanie is now banned from visiting the shelter by her daughter, but in the mean time they have had 10 wonderful years with Woofie and Bootsie as a part of their family. They couldn't imagine those years without them.