Readers, we know each other fairly well at this point, right? I want to introduce you to the most important figure in my life. I know, I’ve mentioned my husband before, and yes, he is supremely important. But really, it’s time you know my puppy, Indy. Here he is:
He has about a million nicknames, among them are small darling, angel face, and fuzz muffin. I actually call him these things. In fact, husband and I fear he thinks his name is Muffin. That wouldn’t be allowed. BUT LOOK AT HIM.
I have always loved dogs. I had a purebred poodle when I was a kid. Barkley was the most aloof, over-it dog you’ve ever met. This dog was cool. He was the James Dean of beasts. Then we had my brother’s darling Havanese, Winston. Winnie was sassy, and happy, and sweet. I have known puppy love my whole life, and have been angling for a pup of my own since I went to college.
Finally, six months after we were married, husband relented and we began the search for our dog. I have been involved enough with other people’s dogs to know that we wanted to start with shelters rather than breeders. I was what I like to call a d-ogler. Stranger, do you think I’m making eyes at you on the street? Wrong, I’m bonding with your cute dog. Don’t talk to me, human; your dog and I are in the middle of an intense introduction ritual.
We had some familial connections to the Franklin County Dog Shelter, so we started there first. I can’t say enough positive things about FCDS. They are good folks. On our first visit, we asked a million questions, and they answered each one with patience and understanding.
That first day, we met a sweet dog that I fell in love with instantaneously. I thought he was ours. They let you put a dog on 24-hour hold and so we held him. We talked a lot about whether we were “ready” (I know — dogs aren’t children, but you have to be READY), and closely inspected a small rash on my arm, and decided maybe we weren’t ready to commit.
Weeks went on. We worked with a lot of truly wonderful Columbus shelters (Pet Promise, Columbus Dog Connection, etc.), attended countless dog adoption fairs, and met a lot of eligible puppies, but never felt like we connected the way we wanted. I began to despair. Am I too picky? Is no dog a perfect fit? What if rescuing isn’t for us?
Finally, we ended up back at FCDS one Thursday evening, and met Indy (then Noah). He was quiet, and sweet, and apprehensive. We played with him, cuddled him, and took him for a brief walk on their property. I’ll never forget the way he looked up at husband on that walk. Is this right? Is this what I should do? And then, suddenly, happy. Where are we going! Should we run?! Here I am, making his acquaintance at the shelter:
We took him home a few days later. This is my happy face!
He took a while to settle in and get used to us. This is an early shot of him enjoying the summer sun on our patio.
Training a puppy is hard. Often I thought, there is no way I can do this! I will be the only person on Earth without a house-trained dog. But he got the hang of it, and I can assure you there is nothing more rewarding than communicating with your dog. You get each other on such a basic level.
Now, he is truly integrated into our lives. He doesn’t settle in the evenings until he has his head in my lap after playing tug-of-war with husband. He got to know our quirks, and now displays a few of his own. Take, for example, his love of toothpaste boxes.
He likes to be a part of everything we’re doing, even if his participation is less than helpful:
He is up for anything. Here’s a few pictures to prove it.
So now he is ours. We are so in love with our small beast. He is hilarious, and bad, and sweet, and silly, smart: he is the best. Rescuing is honestly the only way to go. My heart hurts knowing I can’t take all the adopt-able dogs home with me. Everyone has a checklist while they’re looking for their new best friend, but please know that if you’re patient, your small one will pop up for you. Ours did.
So I hope you enjoy the pictures of Indy (we named the dog Indiana!), because he will be on this blog. Probably a lot. And honestly, we’re all lucky for that.
Franklin County Dog Shelter is located at 4340 Tamarack Blvd. M-F 11am-7pm; Sat-Sun 9am-5pm.