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Colorado, United States

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

To Love a Dog...

When Simba died a couple of months ago the grief was overwhelming. I moved thru life aimlessly for days. When The Mister and I could finally start talking about it and slowly moving beyond our sorrow we talked about maybe someday adopting another dog. Someday. That was a step for me because I had always said ~ when Simba is gone, I don't want another dog.

One friend told me ~ I know you are grieving but I hope you don't wait too long to adopt another dog. There are so many dogs out there who need love and you two have so much love to give.

Another friend recommended just walking thru the kennel. If there is some soul there you are supposed to have, Simba will guide you.

Another friend said ~ there is no timeline on when to adopt another dog. Trust your feelings.

As time progressed we talked about waiting a year ~ let's do some travel while we're not tied down, etc. Big talk. Because soon it was ~ well, we do have a couple of reliable petsitters when we travel... maybe in the spring, after the snow is past.

So no one was more surprised than me when a couple of weeks ago I found myself yearning for canine companionship. I never saw this coming. I realized, though, that at this stage in my life I'm working from home ~ I'm here almost every single day. And I was used to having a buddy in the studio with me. She was comfort and good for a laugh now and then. She reminded me to take a break, go for a little walk and get outside to clear my head.

Soon the talk turned to ~ well I have a birthday coming up (November 8). The Mister asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I said, "A dog."

"What kind of dog?"

"The one in the shelter who needs the most love."

Of course we didn't wait for my birthday. Yesterday late afternoon we were out and about and he says, "Would you like to stop by The Dumb Friends League?"



"I guess so."

When we pull up in front of the building we notice a tall friendly staff member walking a cute little dog. Neither one of us said anything but commented to each other later that we both noticed the dog.

Once inside we checked in at the front desk and the same dog is on a leash behind the guy (his name was Ben) helping us. Again - we both told each other later that we had the same thought - we kind of wanted to see that dog. We chatted with Ben, telling him about our beloved Simba - a basenji/blue heeler who had recently passed.

Off we go to walk thru the kennels with our little check sheet.  We walk thru two or three times and began making notes. We could list 4 dogs we would like to visit with. They were all beginning to look the same except for one ~ Sophia. So we decided, let's start with her. And, honestly, she was the only one we were truly interested in.

As we are walking up to the desk Ben stopped us and said, "I have the perfect dog for you two. Come here and just take a look at her on the computer ~ it's not a great picture, but she's a rat terrier mix and just the sweetest thing. So mellow, so loving. She was almost adopted yesterday but the couple needed a super hypo-allergenic dog and she just wasn't quite right."

We looked at the picture of this sweet dog he was going on about and that's when the tears started forming. 

It was Sophia. And Sophia was the one we had seen outside when we pulled in. And Sophia was the dog behind the check-in desk.

We looked at Ben and said, "You're not going to believe this. She is the only one we wanted to see."

Ben was so happy. We were so stunned. So as we waited in the little visitation room - sitting on the floor waiting for Sophia - there were more tears. It just seemed like we were being lead by the hand to adopt this dog. Oh, Simba...

Of course our meeting went well. Of course it did! And I knew after the first time she smothered The Mister in puppy kisses it was all over.

How could anyone resist that face?

We had a serious heart-to-heart about her living with us.

We learned that Sophia's one and only owner had to give her up because he was forced to move to a smaller apartment that didn't take dogs. She is so well-behaved it's obvious she was loved. She is 5.5 years old but we don't care. She's perfect.

She visits the Vet at the shelter one last time; we're given some short-term medication to take home for a tooth she had removed the day before, signed the adoption papers and bingo, bango, she's ours. There we are ~ in our car driving our new pup home.

I just kept saying, "It's Kismet - how we found her and how she found us. It was all meant to be."

We went back and forth on ideas for names. Sophia is a lovely name but it is rather sophisticated for such a little furry bundle of joy.  We finally decided ~ it's Kismet. And we will call her Kizzie for short.

We will never forget her first night home. She hopped from the floor, to the ottoman, to my lap and jumped square into a pile of pillows on the couch. It was the cutest damn thing I've ever seen.

This morning I felt a joy I haven't felt in a long time. I took little Kizzie outside for a short walk. Back inside I fed her; she inhaled the food. Her little tail was going so fast I'm surprised she didn't fall over. I stayed in the kitchen to tidy up, turned around and saw this.

And I suddenly realized ~ every morning from now on my day will start like this. With this little soul looking to me for her every need ~ and the unconditional love I will receive in return? Well, you can't put a price on that.

When the sun rose I took her for a little longer walk.

Back home I gathered my things and headed up to my studio. I looked at her and said, "Come on Kizzie! Time to go to work." She flew up the stairs and took her place. 

Right where she should be.

Tonight we will give her her first bath and fluff up that adorable coat. She'll don her new collar and her new tag and it will all be absolutely official.

She is Kizzie. And she is ours.


  1. oh my gosh, that's amazing and so wonderful. I'm so happy for you both! I wanted to broach the subject of the shelter with you, but honestly I didn't know if it was too soon or what. I'm so glad that other friends gave you such good advice, and they were right! yay for all three of you, I love you all!

  2. Susan, you have always been an inspiration. We are so in love with little Kizzie that we've already talked about getting another small dog to keep her company someday.
    We could be smalldogs Colorado. ;-) xoxo

  3. Kathleen - thank you. She deserves to have her story told - brave, trusting, loving little soul that she is. xo

  4. She fits perfectly in your home! xoxo Congratulations!

  5. Aw, Melissa, thank you. The transition has been seamless - just a little over 24 hours and she and A-choo are actually sharing the couch! It's... kismet. :)

  6. I love this story. She is such a sweetie! I am glad you guys adopted a shelter dog. She has a wonderful home now. ♥

  7. Thanks, Lauren - we feel blessed. She's the perfect addition to our family! And shelter dogs are the only way to go! :)

  8. It is such a terrible thing to lose a beloved dog, but this beautiful story gives all of us hope... Thank you for writing it so we can share your joy and be reminded that there are so many wonderful dogs in shelters just waiting to be adopted... Sending kisses to Kizzie... XXXXXX