“Whoever said diamonds are a girls best friend never owned a dog.” -Unknown
Last week I had no class, no work, and no internship. It sounds great, until you realize that you are an adult and everyone you know still has to work eight hours each day. So, needless to say, I spent a lot of time with my dog, Jackson.
During our tremendous amount of downtime together, I truly started to grasp how thankful I am for my 38-pound mutt. With that said, I decided it would be great to write an open letter to my rescue dog.
I had been searching for a furry companion for weeks. After days of searching for a dog, I had found a cute Chihuahua at a local PetSmart, and I made plans to scrap together enough money to adopt him. Although that dog was adorable, something about the idea of adopting him just didn’t sit well in my heart. Later that day, I figured out why.
My mother tagged me in a Facebook post. The moment I clicked on the post and saw your adorable, sad face, I knew that you were the one. Without hesitation, I messaged the woman who was fostering you and asked if you were still available. As I spoke with her, my heart pounded in my chest from the thrill. And after a short conversation, I discovered that you would become my dog.
I will never know the entirety of your story. I will never know where you came from, who harmed you, who left you out in the cold all by yourself… but I do know this: you needed me and I needed you. Upon hearing the story about how you had been abandoned on a coal mine, was freezing, and how someone could easily count your ribs simply by looking at you, my heart shattered.
The day that I adopted you was pure bliss. Honestly, I was nervous. Sure, I’d owned a dog before but I had always shared ownership with my family. You would actually be my dog. I had complete responsibility for you. And honestly, those nerves turned to pure fear when I met you.
You were scared. Oh, you were so scared. You seemed as if you had been traded off by humans a thousand times before and I could see that you were not going to trust easily. I could see that you were just as scared as I was.
And with that, the weight of what I had agreed to finally sunk in. I hadn’t agreed to just adopt a dog; I had agreed to help rehabilitate a dog. No, you weren’t physically injured, but your emotional scars ran deep. But after a moment of holding onto you on the drive home, feeling you shake from fear, and then watching as you grew in excitement once you realized that you were home, I knew that everything would be just fine.
I may not know much about your past, but here is what I do know. I know that you are a 38-pound mutt, who has suffered a lot of pain at the hands of humans. I know that you are fearful of other dogs, unless they are smaller than you. I know that it takes you a while to warm up to other humans. I know that people cannot simply pet you. I know that I have to be more careful than other pet parents when I take you out in the public eye. I know that your favorite toys are the kind that squeak, but you cannot have any toy with cotton because it will ultimately become a massacre. I know that you love to cuddle. I know that you have so much energy bursting inside of you. I know that you have so much love to give. And I know that you and I were meant to find each other.
You do not understand what I say, but I wish I could tell that you are safe now. I wish I could tell you that I will never leave you, nor will I ever let another human harm you again. I also wish I could tell you why I never let you share any chocolate with me.
Jackson, you have found your forever home.