My wife and I have dodged dog pleading for what seems like a long time. Thus far, our middle son, Chase, has been the most vocal about getting a dog. This is the same son that, at three years old, cried for days about taking motherless ducklings to a rescue center. Of our three boys, he is the one with a soft spot for God’s creatures. A few weeks ago the dog topic came up again.
In the course of the school-morning bustle, the dog questions started, but this time there was a guilt trip. Our clever 10-year-old trotted out the fact that we are one of few houses on our street that is without a dog. The kid has a point; almost everyone on our street and most of his friends have a dog. We tried to explain all the practical reasons why we should not have a dog: busy schedules, expense, responsibility, and dog smell in the house. The two strongest arguments we had against getting a dog were kid responsibility levels and my wife’s general dislike of dogs. Unfortunately, our children can be persistent.
The morning conversation in the house carried over to the car ride to school. Halfway to school, with tears welling up, Chase blurted out that he will always be the odd man out for not having a dog. The chorus grew as his younger brother, Griffin, chimed in with sympathy for his brother’s cause. On the short ride from their school to my office, I started wondering if a dog would be so bad. I had a great dog growing up with many fun-filled memories. When I reached my office, I texted my wife about how our boys’ pleading had turned to tears.
The same day, my wife and I discussed the dog issue over lunch. Her stance softened to a democratic approach. She would allow a dog if the other four members of the house wanted a dog. But, she wanted no responsibility for the dog (feeding, poop scooping etc…). I sill was not sure. I leaned toward not wanting a dog because of the expense, responsibility, and busy schedule. The jury was still out whether the kids were going to be helpful.
For a few days, I did some research on small, family-friendly, shorthaired dogs. It seemed like beagles were on every list. So, I started searching for beagle breeders near our home. One of my wife’s acquaintances, who works at a vet’s office, advised to stay away from purebred dogs and to look for a rescue. Initially, I was not interested in a rescue. My thinking was that a rescue meant adopting an older dog. After a little research, I realized many animal rescue facilities have loads of puppies.
Over the next few days, we had more family discussions about a dog and our parental concerns. While having these discussions, I stumbled upon Puppypalooza, a pet adoption event, that was to take place near our house in a matter of days. While scrolling through pictures of the 200 dogs slated to be at the event we found Adam. Adam was a precious puppy listed as a beagle mix and the boys agreed that he was a winner and that Adam was the one. If you are thinking we had gone past the point of no return you are correct.
Adam and a few other back up pups we picked in case we could not get Adam, were the only topic for days. The event organizer required a lengthy adoption form with reference request and all. The adoption event was on a Saturday at Petsmart about 45 minutes away. The event organizer advised being early to get a ticket for entry ahead of the general public. With the event starting at noon, we arrived at 9:00 to get ticket number 43 and went to breakfast.
At the event, the throng of people to adopt a pet was huge and bristling with excitement. When our number was finally called we split up and headed straight to the back of the portable event tent. In the back of the tent, we found about 20 portable cribs with puppies. After a few minutes of looking for his little blue collar, a young girl asked who we were looking for. Upon our response, she said, “he is right here!” There, under two of his siblings, was Adam sound asleep. I picked him up first and got the first sleepy puppy kiss.
You might be questioning how we went from no dog to dog? We are too. We made a quick decision. I can tell you, though, I have never seen our boys love something like they love this dog. To me, it is important that we all learn to love and care for something or someone. It may be that this dog is where that starts for some, if not all, of my boys.
This is the story of how Adam (now dubbed Flash) became part of our crew.