World, there’s an important new guy in my life. And his name is Charlie.
Charlie’s a 1 year old Lab-Rottweiler (and German Shepherd?) mix who was found wandering around northern San Diego County. He had no microchip, no home, and no place to go.
He was turned in as a stray to California Labradors, Retrievers and More (Labs and More), a local San Diego non-profit dog rescue, on October 30th. They named him Kermie and he was then placed into their kennel for safe-keeping while awaiting transfer to a foster home, which would be more comfortable for him.
Around the same time that Charlie was brought into Labs and More, I was beginning the application process to adopt. The application process is quite extensive; you have to fill out a long questionnaire, submit proof that you are able to house the dog in your residence, and send pictures of your home. After you are approved you can then go to one of the organization’s adoption events to meet the dogs available for adoption.
Due to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and my work schedule, my plan was to adopt after and only after the first week of December.
On Saturdays, my usual routine is to do spin class at 10:30am. The rescue also hosts their adoption events on Saturday mornings, from 10:30am-12:30pm, and I fully intended to stick with my workout schedule to avoid going to any and all adoption events before I was ready to take someone home. On the Saturday of November 21st I had cancelled my spin class to go look at an available apartment for rent, as my roommate and I would be moving in the upcoming months. We finished with our appointment by 10:00am and I was left with no plans and nothing to do.
I’ll just go take a look and see if there is anyone I like, I thought to myself. I’ll have to be strong and not fall in love with any of them.
Labs and More creates online profiles for all of the dogs they have available. I had been browsing the website pretty much daily and had a couple of dogs in mind that I wanted to meet. Among the myriad of dogs available for adoption I had noticed Kermie’s profile due to his smiling face in all of the pictures. But Kermie’s profile also had “Adopted” in bold letters underneath his name. I hadn’t given it, or him, a second thought.
I arrived to the adoption event as the volunteers were just finishing setting up. It was a scene of chaos with people milling about, excited dogs lunging on their leashes, and copious amounts of barking. I greeted the representative I had been paired with for my adoption process and she encouraged me to look around and see if there were any dogs that I liked.
As soon as I stepped away from the table I looked to my left and saw a black and tan dog walking towards me. The odd part was that he looked just like Kermie, but I figured it was another dog that looked similar. I greeted the dog, who had an extremely sweet temperament and handsome brown eyes. I asked the handler if this was, in fact, Kermie and he confirmed that it was. But he was adopted! It says adopted on the website! I exclaimed. It turns out that Kermie had been adopted but had been turned back in the following week due to the fact that the family’s 2-year old couldn’t adjust to him. Thus, he was back on the market and again looking for a forever home.
It was love at first sight for me. I bonded instantly with the sweet guy. The problem was that it was not the right timing. I wasn’t ready. I hadn’t prepared my house; I didn’t have a leash or a dog bowl or food for him. Furthermore, my family was going out of town the next week for Thanksgiving and I had promised to dog and cat sit for them while they were gone. It was the exact wrong timing.
I walked around with Kermie and decided he was the absolute best dog in the whole wide world and that I could not live without him. He was kind, affectionate, calm, walked well on his leash, and was an all around great dog. I called my mom and asked her to come look at him, hoping that I could gain her blessing so that I could bring him home with me in good conscience. When Mom showed up she gave me the look that meant World War III was about to break out. She was not having it and there was no way I could bring Kermie home with me that day. With a heavy heart, I handed his leash back to his handler, knowing for certain that he would be adopted by another loving family soon after my departure.
That night I went to the store and bought most of what I would need should I find a dog to adopt in the upcoming weeks. While I shopped I thought of Kermie and wondered where he had ended up. I couldn’t help myself, I just had to know if he had been adopted to a good home, so I emailed the rescue inquiring about him. A few short hours later, they responded to me that he had not been adopted and that he was all mine if I wanted him.
I wanted him. More than anything. Something deep inside of me drew me to him and I wished so badly that I could bring him home. I told them of my predicament with my family going out of town and my obligation to stay at their home while they were gone. The organization urged me to think about it and told me that I could board him for the time they had to be away. I was torn.
I have a tendency to not go for things that are a risk. I try to make the logical and smart decision and usually play it on the safe side. I try to make the decision that makes the most sense and to not be rash. I felt that making the decision to adopt him was a bit rash and it made my insides twist with discomfort and indecision. I took the evening to think about it.
As I weighed my options something inside of me just wouldn’t let go. So, while I could still not see a clear answer, I decided to go for it and to make him mine.
Kermie, now Charlie, was officially adopted on November 23rd and I picked him up for good on November 28th.
It now feels like Charlie has been a part of my life forever. It is only a few short weeks later and I can hardly remember what life was like before him. He is an avid cuddler, loves his stuffed Lamb Chop the most out of all of his toys, is fairly indifferent to balls, goes crazy over pizza, and is the best thing to have ever happened to me. Together we have conquered his fear of stairs and are currently working on his leash etiquette.
I am so grateful for him and that he has entered my world.
My heart is full.
If you would like more information about Labs and More and how to rescue your future forever friend, check out their website.