When I graduated college, I knew I was going to be making some big changes in my life and I was so unsure about a lot of things, but for some reason, adopting a dog seemed to make sense. I spent most of my waking hours of my last two months in college research dog adoption, training courses, and breeds. Yeah, studying and socializing took a back seat to wanting a dog. (I really think this is the same feeling women get when they have the urge to reproduce. So I do have a maternal instinct, it's just for fur babies.)
About two weeks after graduation, I decided to go to a local animal shelter that I respected. Of course, I had to drag my parents along. Most of the dogs were beyond adorable and I wanted to adopt them all, but none stood out to me. I finally found a dog that really seemed to be an all around winner. I went to the main office to ask about her and they said she was just adopted an hour ago. You could hear my heart breaking from across the world. The wonderful woman I was talking to asked what exactly I was looking for in a dog and what stood out about that dog. After a brief discussion, she told me to go to cage four and meet the dog "dressed in black." I laughed at that description as I made my way to cage four. And there she was, this beautiful dog that really looked as though she was dressed in black. She was the only dog not barking in the entire shelter. Another volunteer told me about this girl who stole my heart away. She just gave birth recently and will be available for adoption starting the next day. I spent a bit of time meeting this dog. She had a sparkle in her eyes and melted my heart. As we drove away, I couldn't get her off my mind.
The next day, I couldn't take it anymore. I drove over to the shelter and walked straight back to her cage. I got greeted with a tail wagging so fast it was going in circles. I asked to take her into the play area and we had a blast. After my hour was up, I couldn't leave. I knew it wasn't okay to be without this beautiful dog. I got her settled back into her cage and signed the paperwork right away! I was on my way to becoming a dog mom. She still needed to be fixed, and the shelter has their own vet do it before the dog can come home, so I had to wait until that Friday. FIVE WHOLE DAYS! I spent the days buying every dog item possible and stocked up on anything I could think of. I also signed us up for training classes that started two weeks after she came home.
That Friday was the day my world changed. At the shelter they named her Cinnamon. My parent's had a Taffy at the time, so that name was not happening. The employees of the shelter actually addressed her as Mamacita or even just Mama, seeing as how she moved there after having a litter of pups. I spent the whole day calling her everything I could and she barely responded to anything. Finally, in my frustration, I called to my brother (who came with to help me get my new dog settled) and asked him to bring me a Guinness, my beer of choice. Immediately, I had two big brown eyes on me. I called out Guinness again and there she went, slowly walking up to me. It was settled, I had a new fur baby and her name is Guinness.
So time for some dog facts:
- She's a mixed breed. Probably Border Collie, maybe German Shepherd, maybe Australian Shepherd, we will never know.
- She hangs out around 50 pounds.
- I adopted when she was a year old, which means, she turned 5 this past May (2011).
- She suffers from frequent UTIs and has IBS
- I do make her food from scratch and it has helped control her health issues to the point in which I sometimes forget she suffers them.
- I'm a firm believer in dog adoption. I got her from Orphans Of The Storm in Deerfield, IL. If you would like a new pet, please look into adoption. You can find millions of pets in need of homes on Petfinder.com.
In the words of Bob Barker, "Have your pets spayed and neutered."
And in the words of Me, "Say no to puppy mills. Just adopt."