Thursday, April 25, 2013

And Then My Dog Showed Up

By Jolene Miklas, Director of Communications 

I adopted a dog this year.

It’s not a big deal, I know. Especially because I work at Animal Friends. You’d think I’d be tempted to adopt dogs every day.

But I wasn’t tempted, because I know that our dogs go into wonderful homes. And because I live with a cat, and we have a cute, quiet routine. For the past 14 years, my cat has been my sweet sidekick. That seemed like enough.

But then Animal Friends’ Humane Officers rescued Porter, a sad, sick little Beagle. I met him, and it hit me—I could feel it with my whole heart.

Porter was my dog.

I wasn’t expecting a dog to show up in my life, and I didn’t even think my urban apartment was ready for a Beagle. I’ve worked at Animal Friends for a decade now, and watched thousands of adorable dogs go home. I'd had plenty of favorites among them. But one thing was certain: if I let Porter leave with someone else, I’d be making a huge mistake. I would lose my dog forever.

So I adopted Porter, and now our lives will never be the same. I get to take care of him every day, and I hope I get to watch my little guy grow old and gray. 

But the best part is watching him become who he is. Porter spent his first four years in an abusive home. When I met him, he was shy, tentative and wouldn’t look me in the eye. Over time, he has learned to trust me and has gained more confidence. Now he has a personality, goofy habits, and even (I think) a sense of humor.

And when I look at the photos I took of him when we first met, he looks like a different dog to me. Because he wasn’t Porter yet. He was just a neglected, insecure little soul—an empty vessel, of sorts. 

But every day, he settles into his routine and his innocent, sincere personality. He discovers things that he likes and he develops preferences. He’s learning how to behave, and why. He’s learning what it’s like to be loved. And he loves me back...that I can tell.

He’s Porter now.

Lucky, lucky me!

1 comment:

  1. Many years ago, I went to Animal Friends just to take a look around because I had just bought a house and hadn't completely decided if I wanted to get a dog or not.

    I went through all of the kennels and there were lots of great dogs and I had a better idea of what kind of dog I might want to adopt. As I was walking back up the center aisle between the kennels in the old building in the Strip District this Beagle came flying towards me, slammed into my shins, and rolled over for belly rubs. As I bent down to oblidge, all I thought was, "Oh s**t, I have a dog." I then went through the adoption process completely smitten and a bit baffled by the fact that I had just been told by a dog that I was taking him home...oh, and pay the nice lady on your way out :-)

    Finnegan spent five wonderful years with us before he passed at the age of 16 in 2005. I still have a wicked soft spot for older Beagles.