I really wanted a dog.
One specific one. A wire-haired terrier mix to be exact. I had spent a few months looking at dogs on Petfinder, trying to find the perfect dog that was small enough as per apartment standards, and perhaps one that would not bark. I finally found him.
At TAPS No-Kill Animal Shelter in Pekin, IL, it seems that adopting a dog is competitive. There seems to always be wait lists. Thankfully, they are also picky with the dog owners that they approve for adoption. I applied via their website and, after constantly calling to see if our application was approved, we finally got the word: we were approved. There was just one catch: Ted had heartworm and we had to wait 6 weeks for his treatment to be complete.
As I generally am, I got so excited. We finally found our dog!
Weeks passed and we could go meet the new addition. Except, when we got there, we realized that Ted was way too big. When I asked on the phone, they did not know his weight, though he looked small in the picture. Except he wasn’t. He was 40 pounds and definitely not acceptable for our apartment.
I was devestated. This dog was perfect! He was well-mannered, and did not bark. He was playful and sweet. But, we could not give him a great life in a one-bedroom apartment, and I did not want to force him into that kind of lifestyle. The volunteer at the shelter assured us that Ted had a waiting list and would go to a home within the next few days, and that since we were already approved, we could go look at other dogs. If there was no waiting list, we could adopt that dog.
Like that was going to happen.
My husband and I went to the back, where we saw the room full of cages. Some dogs were barking, and some were lying down, looking through the bars of the cages. It was heartbreaking.
A few cages down on our right, there was one dog there who noticed us and came closer to the cage. He was silent, but then he reached up onto the cage, attracting our attention. His sign read “Pierre”, which is funny seeing that my background is French Canadian. We moved along to see the other dogs and, at the end, we started walking back towards the front. Once we passed by Pierre’s cage again, my husband said “How about this one?”. Still somewhat heartbroken from the loss of Ted, I regrettably said, “Well, go ask then. Most likely he has a wait list.” My husband, full of faith and optimism, asked the volunteer who had helped us earlier.
She informed us that there was one person on the waitlist at the moment, but that their application was not yet approved, but we could still meet Pierre and see whether we connected. Let’s say that did not raise my hopes. We went to a room where we could meet Pierre, and that’s where we fell in love. He was constantly jumping on us, wanting to cuddle. He would run back and forth between my husband and I. He loved us right from the start – with no fear. He chose us.
Even more surprisingly, the volunteer returned and said that the person on the wait list had applied for five other dogs, and that they did not want to deny Pierre a home to people who actually wanted him.
He was ours, and he was coming home!
The universe clearly wanted us to have this dog. We had to wait weeks for our first option, when Pierre was not even there yet. He was from a high-kill shelter in Missouri, where TAPS rescued him and brought him back just two weeks before we met him. It just so happened that the dog we went for could not be our dog, and that there was another silent dog at the same time. And, he clearly wanted us as soon as we passed by his cage. And, on top of that, the person on the wait list had also applied for several other dogs.
If the universe doesn’t guide our paths, I don’t know what does
But it also guided me on another path. It all started with the night of the adoption, when we returned from buying his necessities from the nearby grocery market. As I was unloading everything, a plastic bag fell on the floor. Within a few seconds, Pierre trotted by without a care in the world… and peed on the bag.
That’s the start of another adventure.
Please share with me in the comments your rescue stories! I love to hear how dogs have impacted peoples’ lives in mysterious ways.