When you’ve found the one, you just know it. That’s the way it was with Ranger.
It all started with the humane society where I had adopted Lexie 13 years ago. It made sense to go back.
So in preparation, we started poking through profiles, and both stopped at one that made our hearts go pitter-patter. He was 9 months old, and looked almost all brown nose, with some white fur a few freckles added in. His name was Ranger, and he was a German short-haired pointer. I wanted this dog. I looked to Matt, and he squeaked out an “Awwe!”
I went back to the profile, and saw that he had heartworm. This did not slow me down at all, as I had adopted a dog with the disease 15 years ago. I understood the risks and special needs involved.
The next day, I stopped at the shelter without telling Matt. I had to be sure this pup was as cute as his pic. I was running late and had exactly six minutes to get back to his cage. I found an absolute sweetheart waiting for me. He was so quiet, and his ears were soft. I don’t remember much else except for what I captured in a 21-second video I took with my iPhone.
I met Matt at a family function, and swiftly confessed to my dangerous liaison with Ranger. Then I pulled out my secret weapon: the video footage. As Matt watched, I smiled as he said “Awwe!” over and over. He took my phone and showed the snippet to relatives all evening. By the end of the night my ruse had worked. We would go to the shelter in the morning.
I already had my approved dog pass, so once we got to the shelter we were able to walk right back to Ranger’s cage and ask a volunteer to let us take him for a walk. Since Ranger had heartworm, and he was still in a perilous part of his treatment, we were limited to a slow-paced five-minute walk. It was just long enough for Matt to fall in love.
We spent the better part of an hour talking with the head volunteer, and explained our living situation and general background. That I have an aging dog at home, and a cat. That I had a dog with heartworm before. She thought all of this was great news and that it made us excellent candidates for Ranger. She was ready to take us up to the adoption table when we disclosed that we were about to go on a camping trip. Her face fell.
“If he’s still here when we get back, then it’s meant to happen,” Matt said, hopefully.
“And who wants a dog with heartworm?” I added, half hoping she’d get my sarcasm, half hoping I was right.
NEXT: Things fall apart.