Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Why We Rescue

I just signed up for a chance to be a part of this really cool photo project called {Why We Rescue}. It's being done by Theron Humphrey of {This Wild Idea} fame. I'm pretty wild about him and his pup, Maddie, so I jumped at the chance to try to get involved with this project. Fingers crossed we'll get picked as the Texas story! (ok, Texas is a huge and very populated state, so I know it's a long shot). I wrote a little essay to send in to Theron, and thought I'd share it here since it's all about my puppy-loves and how much they light up my life. 

*My husband, Chris, and I are together because of two rescue dogs, who happened to change our lives.

I was just going to watch Custer for two weeks while my friend Ben went to Italy. Custer was a stray chow mix that Ben found on the streets of Dallas and had brought home, though he lived on the ninth floor of an apartment building (not the ideal situation for an active, 1-year old, 50-lb dog). He wanted to find a good home for Custer, but was fostering until he did so. Custer and I fell in love with each other pretty much immediately. I decided I wanted to adopt him; my roommates were not thrilled with the idea. Ben ended up taking him up to Kansas. His girlfriend's parents lived there and they wanted to take Custer in. I cried.

But fate wanted us to be together, because the folks in Kansas took one look at Custer and said he was too big, they couldn't keep him. So he headed back home to Dallas with Ben. I embarked on the process of finding my own place. In the meantime, Ben and his lovely girlfriend kept Custer for three extra months. I had visitation on the weekends.

Over Memorial Day weekend of 2005, Custer and I moved into our first place together, a brick duplex in East Dallas with a tiny fenced-in yard. The yard was so small that we spent most evenings at the {White Rock Dog Park}, where Custer could run and play. In August 2005, we met our future family there: Chris and Clyde the Coonhound. Chris and I got married on May 24, 2008, and adopted a little stray terrier puppy the very next weekend. We named her Bonnie.

Custer is 9 years old now; Clyde is 8; and Bonnie is 5. Three separate times, they have traveled the country with us as we drove from Texas to New England to visit family. They have seen us through moving, job-changing, even brain surgery. They snuggle with us at night. They cruise the neighborhood with us on brisk morning walks. They make us feel like celebrities every day when we come home from work. I know that we're not supposed to admit that we can love animals in the same way we can love other humans, but I'm gonna do it anyway. These pups are my family and my heart. My life has never been the same since the day Custer sauntered into it. I'll be forever grateful to him.*

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