Before I got married I would occasionally peruse Petfinder looking at the pictures of all the cute dogs up for adoption. Mostly these would be days when I was bored or needed a warm-fuzzy boost as I knew I wasn't in a position to be a good pet owner. Between work, my social life, and the fact that I only had a tiny patio, I didn't feel like it would be fair to bring a dog home when I couldn't devote the time or attention it would need. So I was a responsible adult, put my wishes aside and left my window shopping as just that.
Then when Dr. Love and I got married, we occasionally visited the notion of adding a furry friend to our home. Again this usually happened on a day when I had a warm-fuzzy craving that needed a furry fix. Yet the reasons why I had abstained when I was single were still there. We were too busy and we didn't have a lot of room.
Last June, however, things shifted. My family dog, Yoda, passed away after a long battle with some health problems. This was a loss that hit my mom and younger brother particularly hard and despite previous statements that they wouldn't replace Yoda after he was gone, when the time came the void was too great to be left unfilled. Not wanting to dismiss any excuse for looking at cute furry friends, Dr. Love and I joined the search to find a new family pet. After a couple hits and misses, they found a dog to make part of their forever home, and I thought that was the end of it. Until Dr. Love hit me with a surprise a few days later.
As all good discussions go, it happened over dinner one night. "So I've actually thought about getting us a dog to keep you company since I'm going to be gone so much. I don't like the thought of you being all alone while I'm on call."
This completely caught me off guard. Nothing about our reasons-we're-not-good-dog-parents had changed. We were still busy (he was going to be even more so) and we still had no yard. The rationalization was that A) other busy people have pets, B) probably 70% of the neighbors in our complex have dogs so it's not impossible, C) a smaller dog doesn't need a ton of room.
I have to admit Buster was not our first choice.
Our first choice was a little beagle/terrier mix named Sparky. I thought it was just perfect since that is the name of the mascot at our college Alma Mater. Apparently someone else thought it was perfect too as he was already in the process of being adopted when I called.
The adoption coordinator with the rescue suggested Buster (then known as Dudley) a beagle mix that they had pulled from the euthanasia list at the county shelter due to his fear of other dogs. We jumped at the chance to set up a home visit which was required as part of our approval for adoption and with the residency start date right around the corner we didn't know if Dr. Love would be available much longer.
Considering how long I had previously convinced myself that our home and our schedules weren't suitable for owning a pet, I was really nervous about our home visit. Though I get squirmy about being judged regardless of the situation (Ms America wanna-be, I am not). Much to my relief, Buster's foster mom thought we would be great, that he'd fit in just fine at our home, and that she would pass on her recommendation to the adoption coordinator. We arranged for a day when she would bring B Dogg back to stay and then a shopping spree ensued with dog bowls, beds, crate, leashes, toys, food and treats. It was a veritable Pet Palooza.
On July 2, 2010 Buster became part of our home and this is one of the first pictures I took of him.
So Happy Birthday Buster and even though you're starting to get a little gray I hope there are many more to come.