Sunday, November 26, 2006

Want The Whole Story?

Here's my GOTCHA piece.

Two years ago, on a cloudy Saturday in November (the 20th, to be exact), I was a sad eyed silent Saluki named Shadow, yearning for a new home. Amid the howls and growls, and the occasional meows and hisses ... I waited for my new parents.

I had been in foster care for several years, roaming from home to home ... and yes, I'd been returned to four animal shelters since my previous owners didn't love me forever, I guess.

I don't wish anything bad on any of my past parents, because I only vaguely remember them ... and had I not been in that shelter on that great cloudy day, November 20th, 2004, I'd have missed out on the loving home my new parents had waiting for me.

The folks at the El Cajon Animal Shelter (which I've affectionately named puppy prison) took very good care of me.

They knew I suffered from anxiety, abandonment issues, and that I need loads of attention, so they made a very long list to ask my potential parents, wanting to make sure that I went home with the very best candidates.

They jotted down my likes and dislikes, and since I'm a mid-sized dog ... they made a note that I'd need a big yard to play in.

I was given the requisite battery of shots at the El Cajon Animal Shelter, and I'm happy to say that I don't carry any diseases or anything bad. I'm even micro-chipped, so Mom and Dad can find me ... if I should ever get lost.

Mom and Dad told me that they'd been thinking about adopting a four-legged friend for weeks, before they traveled outside San Diego to come get me. They had ideas of what they were looking for ... but as they visited each shelter, and heard the sadness of all the friendlies hoping for homes ... they continued to look. (Personally, I know if my mom and dad could have, they would have adopted every pet from every shelter ... since that's just the way they are).

My parents went to a number of shelters, from San Diego to Chula Vista and finally came to El Cajon, where I was waiting patiently in the office, with my paws and nose on the swinging knee-high-counter-door, watching the warden and clerks at the Shelter conduct business.

Mom and dad popped into the office around lunch-time, and I gave them a big toothy grin.

"That's a really cool doggie," Mom had said, and dad just smiled. I'm sure they thought I was already owned by one of the people working at the shelter. Boy, were they in for a surpise when they went by my empty kennel outside the office. I had the cell at the very end of the place ... the last cell on the left.

A Polariod of me sitting pretty with a big toothy grin, was the only furnishing in my cage. The warden knew that I didn't like being by myself, so she kept me in the office where it was nice and warm. There was a big fluffy white cat lounging on a computer chair who I signed a treaty with. I wouldn't bark at her, if she wouldn't claw and hiss at me. It was an easy deal that we both shook on.

Mom and dad left the office after speaking with the warden ... and they roamed the aisles of the shelter, looking for someone to share their home with. I was sad when they left, but I was super happy when they returned.

"We saw a photograph of Shadow out in the kennels. On the photo, it said we could take him home today. I'd like to see his papers please," Dad said, smiling at me and at the women in the office. He was holding mom's hand gently and they were both looking at me.

"Don't bark, Shadow," I told myself, and reminded myself to be on my very best behavior. I crossed my paws hoping that they'd be the ones to claim me for their own.

At first, the warden gave them the third degree ... as she didn't want me to be returned the day after if my new mom and dad didn't like me.

"Shadow's a sensitive dog, and doesn't like being left alone. He needs a big yard. Do you have one?" The warden asked my parents and their smiles grew.

"Yes, we have a big yard, and he'll have lots of things to sniff and play with," my mom said, but the warden didn't seem ready to let me go, yet.

So my dad added, "The picture did say he could come home today. We have a big yard, a stable home, and a small family community that he'll be welcomed into," and told the lady that even though dad works days at school, mom is always home. I watched my parents' smiles grow, and their eyes sparkled ... just like mine. The warden melted.

Mom and dad signed the papers, and then dad offered me a brand new purple collar and leash. I climbed into my parents' truck, sitting on mom's lap and away we went ...

And now I'm home!

Much love to my mom and dad,
Shadow Saluki, Canine-About-Town

To all the pound puppies and kennel kitties out there (my thoughts and heart are with you)... stay hopeful, brave, and vigilant. Your moms and dads will find you, and you'll be loved forever, like me.

Stay strong peeps!


IndyPindy said...

That was a beautiful story Shadow! I'm so glad that the people at the shelter cared so much for the animals there and took such good care of you! My humans and I volunteer for an animal shelter and I am always happy when people adopt homeless animals.

Shadow Saluki said...

Thank you Indypindy, you're awesome. I love your photo. Very wolfie. My dad said you remind him of a malmute (Wolf/german sheppard mix) named Galen, that some friends of his had a decade ago. Dad used to run with Galen around our neighborhood, so that he stayed in shape while he was in the Police Academy. His friends moved several years later and took Galen with them, and my dad decided that he'd rather use his skills teaching (since his dad and his sister, were in the teaching field). My dad takes me for runs, so I get to help keep him in shape.

You're awesome Indypindy, and so are your humans. God bless you all.

Have a fantabulous (Fantastically fabulous) week.

ShadowS. C.A.T.