When it comes to animals, there's a fine line between sanity, love and sheer obsession. There are those who don't care at all, while other's care so much it seems their heart bursts with each soul they come in contact with.
Then there's someone like me who seems aloof, and acts like they don't care either way. However, that's not me by any means. My aloofness doesn't come with disliking animals, but rather that I am a responsible pet owner. I always have been, and unless I feel I can fully care for an animal for the legnth of it's life; I won't have one. It's just not fair.
For years our kid's, especially my Jaden, has asked for a dog. For years I have said no. We've moved regularly, and lived in apartments. As much as I love apartment living (I really love it) it's not what I consider the best living standards for an animal.
However, five months ago we purchased our home, with more than enough room for a four legged pal. However, I held off. Even with a privacy fence I held off due to the extra responsibility, and knowing when the kids get bored some day, it would be me to keep its stead.
A visitor stops by: The big black dog
When did things change? Two weeks ago, a beautiful Doberman mix showed up in our back yard while Jaden and I were planting. He was gorgeous, and didn't have a tag on his collar, which is stupidly common in this area. That meant he was fair game for Jaden. She wanted him, and I wanted her to have him. In the meantime Josh comes out, looks at the big fella, and knows he's someones. We did not keep him, and Jaden was crushed.
Later, I stood at the bottom of the stairs eaves dropping on a conversation Josh was having with Jaden. It was about responsibility, and perhaps, if she started doing the things she's asked maybe mommy would let her have one. I listened to this little chat and thought it over, and over, and I watched my sweet girl pick up her clothes, and make her bed each morning there after.
I decided it was time. Josh went out of town for his last week of training with Verizon, but was back for good after the weekend. I sent him numerous messages and spoke with him about the possiblitly of "looking" at dogs. During this time, Jaden and Marcus found a dog on Petfinder, and he was in a local rescue. Josh was more than willing to visit the rescue with me when he came back.
This too was another standard that we talked about in the past. Buying a dog from a pet store was out of the question. It had to come from a shelter or rescue.
As I write this it seems I am a tyrant, but again, it's about responsibility. The shelters and rescues are over run with poor souls that human beings don't care for. Our family would/will not add to this careless behavior.
Anyhow, with one email to STARS of GA my husband and I were able to set an appointment to see Oliver, a small terrier mix.
Saturday 9/5/2015 at Save The Animals Rescue Society of Georgia
Saturday came. The sky was gray, but perfect for a pet adoption. We drove into the "country", and found the rescue, which overlooks a pond and is surrounded by trees. This is where we met Sissy. She runs the rescue, and is the final say for anyone who gets a beloved animal. We didn't know what to expect besides getting a chance to see the little fella.
Meanwhile, I did know she's a wonderful caregiver for the animals. My friend recommended her and the STARS of GA rescue when we began the process of looking for a dog. She explained the process her little Dina went through as a rescue dog, and that Sissy treated her wonderfully during her stay. As fate would have it, the dog Jaden and Marcus wanted was at this particular rescue.
Sissy asked about the kids, but they couldn't make it. I made a mistake with the kid's weekend schedule, and promised my mom and dad they could go to Atlanta. I felt horrible, but I promised Jaden and Marcus I would visit little Oliver; no matter what.
Then it happened. She introduced us to little Oliver. He is a Terrier mix, with a black and tan mask and white chest. He came out of the gate, a bit shy, but cute as pie. He trotted, jumped a little and even let out a little bark. He was darling.
Sissy asked if we had experience with small dogs and I had in the past. However, Oliver is not the typical small dog. He is active and playful, but not hyper, and not yappy. We spent an hour playing and talking, and I fell in love. Absolutely 100% in love. Josh, a big dog lover, was head over heels over the little fella.
As Sissy would have it; she allowed us to adopt the little fella that day. It was glorious. Since the kids were not with us Josh and I could not wait to surprise them with Oliver.
Sept 21, 2015: Several weeks later
Oliver is doing famously in our house. He's the most popular one here, and receives unconditional love every moment possible. We all adore him. I catch Josh speaking to him in baby talk, which is a sight since Josh looks like a silverback gorilla. Oliver's pure joy, and a big responsibility that my kids have adapted to easily.
I walk him in the early mornings when I get up, but they "run" him each morning in the back yard before school. They also make sure he's fed and watered, and pick up poop like champions. They are more apt to clean their rooms and keep things off the floor since Oliver is a bit of a chewer. Each night they help put away "Boogs'" toys, as well as take him out to the back yard each night before bed to "run" him. This entails a major game of chase with a ball stuffed in a dirty sock. Yes, that's gross, but it's what Oliver Twist loves. Oliver has been a great help with teaching the kids basic responsibilities, but also in teaching them that animals are living, breathing creatures that must be cared for.
I am in love
As for me; I'm in love. Little Oliver Twist has me seeing hearts. Yes, I said it. Each morning I look forward to letting him out of the crate, and walking him. It's just the two of us enjoying the fresh air. I spend the next thirty minutes playing, snuggling and teaching Oliver new tricks before anyone else wakes up. With some treats, and a lot of praise and love, he knows how to sit, shake and lay down. He has nearly mastered "roll-over." This fella is pawesome and unbelievably smart.
Besides receiving lots of love; he's spoiled rotten. We cannot help ourselves. He has a bed upstairs and down stairs. Oliver has his own chair, and a snuggle blanket, as well a down blanket for the cold evenings. His basket of toys is piled high, and the beef bones are just part of his evening ritual for chewing.
Oh, and clothes. We're waiting for those to arrive.
For more information on STARS of GA
Please contact STARS of GA for information on adoptions, fostering or donations. It is a nonprofit organization that runs on fumes to keep animals in good health. Many of these animals have special needs due to the conditions found in. Many need updated vaccines, spaying/neutering, surgeries, and micro chipping. Although these are the big bills, it's the basic maintenance that adds up. Food, cleaning supplies, and man power do not come cheap, and every penny counts.
STARS of GA Wish List
Lisa M. White
Copyright ©2011 CPT Lisa M. White™. All rights reserved.