Today’s Love Story winner, and recipient of an Our Furever Family mug, comes from my colleague Laurel Thomas Gnagey, who went searching a couple of years ago for a companion for her older dog.
Like you, I wanted to get a playmate for my older dog, Riley — a rescued or shelter dog — so I turned to petfinder.com. The first dog I found was a 4-month-old rat terrier/Jack Russell mix named Buster. Such a cute photo, he looked just perfect, so I drove to see him. I was a little concerned when I walked into the home where he was being fostered, which was full of dogs and used potty pads. I wondered if anyone was potty trained. Clearly the woman had a big heart and difficulty saying “no,” because she had taken on more dogs than her small home (and her time/management skills?) would allow. But Buster really took to me, cuddling up on my lap as though he had known me for years. So we arranged a visit to my home to meet Riley.
The minute he arrived, Buster came racing into the house, super high energy, almost out of control. Not the sweet little pup I had seen a few days earlier. Riley cowered and wanted nothing to do with him. We tried to calm Buster and coax Riley but it didn’t work. I thanked Buster’s foster mom but told her that since Riley was so distraught over the presence of Buster, we would not be able to take on this new little guy.
(I should add that I learned later that Buster found a furever home not long after our visit).
So back to petfinder.com. This time I looked for a dog with similar breeds as Riley—a terrier (not sure if it’s Border or Cairn) and pug mix. I even looked for blonds, just like him. After scrolling through several Cairn terrier descriptions that said things like “no cats” (I have one), “would do best in a home where he is the only dog (clearly that was out),” “not good with small children” (thinking ahead about grandchildren), there was this one cute, little Cairn/Yorkie mix named Katie, with no negative remarks. I called and got the scoop on her, filled out and application and waited. At one point, the people at the shelter told me there was stiff competition. I thought they were prepping me for rejection. A few days later, I was told that she was mine. But it was not a done deal until she and Riley met.
So Riley and I drove all the way down into Central Ohio to meet Katie. I’ll never forget our introduction. This little thing that weighed about 7.5 pounds (just under 9 pounds now, fully grown) came strutting down the hall like she owned the joint. There was something in her little prance that was so sassy and fun. But, the real test was how Riley would receive her. She approached him, they engaged in some sniffing, and he was totally unfazed by her sharp little bark that to this day says, “I am alpha.” Just like he does with her today, he took it all in stride. But he really loves her, even when she gets excited about taking a walk or getting fed and growls and bites at his cheeks.
Oh, and I just could not call her Katie so she became Sadie.
Our Furever Family wants to hear your Love Story, whether it was through adoption, an accidental meeting or another way of finding each other. How did you fall in love? Learn more about the Love Story contest.
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