When I met Jason, he had a dog, but a couple of years into our marriage, the dog, a Miniature Schnauzer named Buddy, developed a serious autoimmune condition. We took him to a specialist, and tried different treatments, but the condition became progressively worse, and Buddy’s quality of life went with it. In the end, we had Buddy put down because the treatment options were exhausted, and Buddy was constantly suffering. All of this broke Jason’s heart. He loved Buddy, and for years, Jason couldn’t imagine getting another dog because he understandably didn’t want to face losing another dog.
A couple of years ago, Jason’s mom moved out of state, and because she was in transition, her dog, Maddie, came to stay with us. It started off as a temporary arrangement, but became permanent. Maddie was an old girl, 11-years old, when she first came to live with us, so we knew her stay with us was going to be limited. Last January, Maddie started to have some obvious health issues. We followed up with the vet, tried various treatments, and while she had days when it seemed like she was getting better, it was always a step forward, two steps back. On February 28th, my 38th birthday, we awoke to find Maddie had passed away. It was a hard day, made only slightly easier because Maddie was 13 so her death was hardly premature or unexpected. Also, even though our home was her home for the last couple years of her life, because she had been Jason’s mom’s dog for almost her entire life, there was always this sense that we weren’t her mom and dad. I loved Maddie because she was a wonderful, loyal companion, and once she was gone, I decided I wanted to be a doggy mom. I’ve been a kitty mom, and I continue to be a snake and lizard mom, but I had never been a doggy mom. Jason, having liked having Maddie staying with us, decided he was ready to be a doggy dad again.
In March, we started to look for a dog. We talked about what kind of dog we wanted, what we thought we could manage, where we should get it, and how much we were willing to spend. We looked at breeder websites, we scoured petfinder.com, and we visited some local shelters. Finally, I found one that seemed perfect at a local SPCA, a 1-year old Boston Terrier-French Bulldog mix named Piggles, that had recently had puppies, and was hoping to find her furever home. I filled out the application, I got the proof of residence, and the next morning, we made the drive to the shelter, making sure we got there before they opened.
When we pulled up to the shelter, the parking lot was packed, and there was a ridiculously long line of people outside. My heart was crushed, imagining everyone was there to get Piggles. Jason half suggested we not bother, but I insisted we park, get in line, and see what happened. Standing in line, we heard other people talking about being there to see the puppies. After my initial interest in getting a baby, Jason had talked me out of it, explaining the amount of time and work dedicated to training a puppy. Although most of the people were there for puppies, which we hadn’t realized were going to be available, we overheard a young woman ahead of us in line saying she was there to adopt the puppies’ mom, Piggles. Again, my discouragement was heavy, but we decided to stay, see what other dogs they had, and just see what happened.
Once the doors opened and staff started helping people, we learned that there was a guy ahead of the young woman interested in Piggles who was also there to see Piggles, so we were resigned to the fact that Piggles wasn’t going to be ours. When it was our turn, we wandered back into the kennel area, and looked at the various available dogs. We stopped at the kennel with the puppies, just to look, and the girl asked if we had a ticket for a puppy. We didn’t know anything about tickets, and told her so, but she asked if we’d still want to see a puppy. We said that we would, despite the decision we had made to not get a brand-spanking new puppy, so she went off to see what the deal was with the tickets. Thinking we were going to be out of luck without a ticket, we wandered to the back to see what other dogs were there. Since we very specifically wanted a small dog, the choices were limited, so we wandered back towards the puppies. The girl had returned, and said we could hold one if we wanted. There were two females left, a black one and a brown one. We consulted with each other for a moment, before asking to see the brown one, a little girl named Kibbles. We checked her out, talked, and decided that we wanted to get her if we could.
The short of it is that we were an easy adoption. They required that the entire family, children, dogs, and I suppose cats also, had to meet the prospective animal, so there were families standing around waiting for children or animals to show up so they could complete that step of the adoption process. Since it’s just me and Jason, and we had the completed application with supporting paperwork in hand, it was only a matter of taking Kibbles outside into a pen to have a meet and greet to make sure she had a good temperament. We paid the fee, and we left with Kibbles, who we renamed Kaylee.
Today is my little girl’s 9-month birthday. Kaylee is the joy of my life, our little princess, and I love her more than I can explain. Here are a few of my favorite pictures of her, including the first one we took while we were still at the SPCA, and our first afternoon at home in the backyard.