Sometimes, we just have to take a leap of faith. I never thought I would be quite this nervous at the thought of adopting a new dog, since I have always loved dogs and almost always shared my home with one (or more). So when our beloved dog Lucy passed away last September, I honestly thought it wouldn’t be all that long before my husband and I got a new dog. But I was wrong.
For one thing, the loss of Lucy hit us a little harder than we had anticipated. I guess I thought that since Lucy was almost seventeen when she died, her death would be easier to accept. Sadly, it wasn’t. And when we finally did open our home to a new dog by fostering a sick shelter dog named Stanley, we had our hearts broken again. We had hoped to adopt Stanley when he was well enough to be available for adoption. But as he recovered we began to see his true personality, which included some very serious resource-guarding. Since we have a one-year old grandson who visits our home regularly, that was a risk we simply couldn’t take….and Stanley went back to the shelter.
So when a cute, scruffy-looking black dog caught my eye at the shelter, I had distinctly mixed feelings. I checked out his paperwork and learned that he was two years old and had come from a shelter down South. He wasn’t yet available for adoption because he still had to be neutered, which meant I had some time to think about this. I took him for a few walks (I’m a volunteer dog-walker there), talked to the shelter staff, and brought my husband and my grandson down to meet him. The more I got to know him, the better I liked him.
And yet I hesitated. It had been sixteen years since I’d actually adopted a new dog, and the only time since then I had brought a new dog into my home it hadn’t gone well at all. I knew I didn’t want to go through that disappointment and guilt all over again, but I also knew I was ready for another dog. I was basically a nervous wreck, scared to move forward with the adoption and equally reluctant to miss out on a chance to adopt what seemed to be a lovely little dog.
This morning, I finally took the plunge, going down to the shelter and signing the adoption papers for “Tux.” He’s going to get a new first name as soon as we decide on a good one, but his last name will definitely be Coleman. I know it’s going to take some time for us to really get to know each other, and for him to settle into his new home and figure out the house rules. I don’t expect him to be a perfect dog, which is only fair, because I’m not a perfect human. But somehow this just feels right, and sometimes, we just have to trust that things will work out…..