Jasper is not our first shelter adoption.
My very first dog was adopted from the Humane Society of Bend eons ago. She was a dachshund terrier mix, all black and brown and white. She was low, but not slow. A runner. The door opened and she was gone. But she always came home, eventually.
As far as I know this was a spur of the moment thing. Dad came home one day and said: Go see her. We did.
This was back when you walked past cages and pointed out the one you wanted. Pretty simple. Not a lot of planning or prep. We picked her out; we brought her home.
The process is much different today. We can keep an eye on prospective pups through the glow of technological light from the privacy of our own comfy chairs. No cages, no smell. Just the happy–and not so happy–faces of pets waiting for a forever home.
Oh, so many choices!
Before our little families more recent adoptions the kids and I spent months watching the ever-changing faces of pets in need of a home. Then one day a new face would appear that beckoned to our very hearts.
Of course, the last two times (with both Gidget and Ryder) we went to see one pet, and came home with another. For one reason or another, the dogs that compelled us to visit the shelter didn’t fit our home. But with a little consultation, we found ones that did.
Not this time.
We went for a dog named Rez, and Rez is the one we claimed.
The first step was making sure Ryder and the new pup would get along. This meant a meet and greet in a play yard. In fact, we spent nearly three hours during three different visits before we made a decision.
I saw “Rez” first. It’s easy to spot a new boarder at Brightside Animal Center, and we never fail to at least look at the face and read the bio. This particular pup was found wandering the Warm Springs Reservation sometime in June.
It was probably those ears I noticed first. And the eyes. But then there was the pink spot on his nose–a little naked spot? I wondered if was recovering from mange.
The timing was rotten. We had guests coming–for the weekend and then the next week. There was no time to go see him. He was a puppy. And guests. And a puppy.
But still those eyes, and the ears!
What was it about him that made him the one? I think for me it was that he had been lost and alone on the reservation.
Several years ago I worked at the elementary school up there. I loved the school, the end of the year pow-wow, and the kids.
But I hated the “lostness.”
The loss of many traditions. The looming loss of their language. The lost dogs that roamed around the school.
Love Me, Feed Me, Never Leave Me
When we brought Gidget home we attributed the motto “love me, feed me, never leave me” to her. (Of course it was actually something Garfield says in the movie )
Rez needed a home. He needed a friend. He needed us.
We needed him.