July 22

So today I’m thankful for this little guy I named Chance. I picked him up from a rescue shelter this morning. Although I had been vacillating on whether I really should get a dog, I knew when I saw him that I was going to bring him home. That face. How could I resist it?? I have to admit though, I was nervous going to pick him up. Puppies are a lot like babies, and I remember very well the work involved. Bringing home a puppy changes a lot for me, not the least of which is my routine. So I knew I needed to be ok with that. I was also nervous about upsetting my cat. He’s been a fantastic pet and with me for ten years, so I felt a twinge of guilt knowing that he wasn’t going to be happy. But this first day went well. Even though Chance is still quite young and playful, he’s been amazingly well-behaved, with other dogs as well as my fat cat. Sousi made it clear he didn’t want the dog in the house, even swatting him a few times, but Chance simply ignored him. And tonight when I blocked the dog off in his kennel area, he barked for maybe 5 mins tops. I’m hoping we get through the night without issue. I know there’s a lot of training work ahead, but tonight I’m thankful he’s here.

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July 19

This morning my boyfriend and I went to a couple of animal shelters to look at the dogs available for adoption. He’s in the market for one, although I’ve been considering it myself lately. My kids have bugged me about getting a dog for years. The preference is a Corgi, which I’m not opposed to. However, I cannot justify spending the $800+ to get one when there are so many animals up for adoption at the local shelters. That being said, I’m really still on the fence about getting a dog at all. The time commitment is different from what I have with my cat. He’s mostly content with being left alone, but that really wouldn’t work with a dog. So I’ve been going back and forth on it. Therefore, going to the shelters today was difficult. Our county pound literally looks like an animal prison. Rows of cages back to back in a rather sterile room, no person visible beyond the front glassed-in office where we stopped to get buzzed in to the kennels. And maybe it was simply the fact that I had to stop myself from crying several times, but I didn’t notice any toys or bones or blankets in the cages with the dogs. Just face after little face looking up expectantly as we walked by. Some of the dogs didn’t even bother to get up, some jumped and barked, some just sat with their noses pressed between the bars. It was difficult to look at them knowing that if I was going to adopt, it would only be one. Ultimately, there were a few that stayed on my mind after we left: a 2 year old Jack Russell terrier, a 7 year old Beagle/Boxer mix, and a 5 year old German Shepard mix. And my boyfriend and I both liked a year old Pit Bull with the sweetest face and curious eyes. He’s considering him. After we left the county pound, we checked out an animal sanctuary. What a difference. That place was bustling with people and the animals had blankets and chewing bones and staff coming and going. It still wasn’t fun to see them stuck in cages, but it seemed a much more tolerable atmosphere. And they do an amazing job of using resources such as Facebook to get the animals adopted. Which is why most of the dogs had been adopted; only two were left. I’m grateful today to know that there are dedicated folks out there who help find homes for the adoptable animals and to see the difference that makes. I’m not saying the people from the county pound don’t care, but it sure seems like they could and should do more than they are. Thankfully, the animal sanctuary often takes animals from the county pound. I’m hoping they do soon.