This weekend, while we were visiting family in Pensacola, we decided to go ahead and jump on the “looking for a new family member” (ie getting a new dog) wagon. And while we found ourselves explaining to every place we visited the reasons we had so many questions and our loss of Captain, we also tried to embrace the search of saving a new life.
Originally we wanted to look for the same breed as Captain.
We loved his temperament and how great he was, but the truth is with his disease, part of his subdued nature could well have been related to his life circumstances. We stopped by the Pensacola SPCA, a very nice place where you get to view pets by looking at pictures, then they bring them out one by one. We also went to the regular Escambia County Shelter, a kill shelter.
That being said it was a very nice place and you could tell was set up to really make sure the care for the animals was a priority. It was clean, the dogs had access to inside and outside shelters, there was a separate quarantine area for pets thought to have rabies, they had a place specifically for adoptable cats and also potentially lost and stray cats. They also had animals up front that needed immediate homes. I won’t say it didn’t break our heart. It absolutely did. Every animal that we walked by was one we could not save. Every animal we left was one that may not see the morning. But the shelter and the workers seemed caring.
If you are in that area, please consider visiting and finding a new best friend.
We arrived at the opening of the shelter and my spouse noticed two large, very happy dogs in the back of a truck being led out by a well groomed man. Chris said “I hope he isn’t dropping those dogs off“.
Sure enough, he was. This well to do guy, that looked like he spent plenty of time at the gym, and those two happy large dogs being dropped off at the kill shelter.
They wagged their tales all the way through intake, clearly trusting their “master”.
I think we all died a little inside.
I took the time to explain to Charlotte that animals that were not adopted were put down and that she needed to understand that any animal our family adopts, short of attacking us, would never leave our family to a life at the shelter.
Even though we looked at many puppies, Charlotte fell in love with a Minpin/Italian Greyhound mix who was 14 months old at the first place. We hadn’t requested to see him, but when I asked the open question “do you have any other dogs that might be a good fit” she said they had a dog that everyone liked and was a favorite. I said go ahead and bring him out.
Charlotte decided he was the one.
I still made everyone visit the other shelters to “be sure”.
Charlotte talked about him the rest of the morning and was worried “someone else would get him”.
So….I want to introduce you to the newest member of our family, Jedi:
Jedi (former named Joshy) is 14 months old, fully house trained, loves to lick faces, chase balls, and is extremely fast due to his breed. He has already inspired my spouse and I to run with him and he sleeps on Charlotte’s bed all night long. The cats have already adjusted and I saw Paprika sitting a foot away from him today with no concern.
To be honest, he is a bit of a chicken around the cats.
Having learned a valuable lesson about dogs, responsibility, and shelters, this weekend Charlotte and her friends asked if they could run a lemonade and cupcake stand to raise money for the local shelter. We let them set up a little place in the drive way and they raised $16.60.
I am going to take Charlotte this week to personally deliver her money.
I think all of this has been a really great lesson in humanity for our family…and I could not be more proud at my daughter’s maturity and heart.
In an odd way, Captains passing helped save another life. Here is to a very long and fulfilling adventure with Jedi.