I had known for quite a while that I needed a pet. I had been alone and wanted a dog to love--a dog that especially needed to be loved, perhaps more than most. I believed it would be best to adopt a dog from one of the local shelters.
During a lunch break at work one day I was browsing online, not particularly looking for a dog that day but somehow, suddenly, staring back at me on the computer screen was the face of a dog. I immediately knew this was my dog! He was a light reddish color with floppy ears, a terrier mix of some sort and they had named him Lil Pete. He wore a little red bandana around his neck. His story was a sad one. I read that he was 9-10 years old and recently had been rescued from a kill shelter. His life had been spared, but the only life he had known was one of terrible abuse and neglect. Well, Lil Pete, all that is changing today! You have yourself a home where all you will know is gentle love and kindness. Never again will you be mistreated.
I called the shelter immediately to inquire as to his availability. Yes, Lil Pete was still there and he was available.
It was still early enough in my lunch hour to make a hurried trip to the shelter to see Lil Pete. Rather than inquire as to his kennel location, I wanted to find him myself. I searched rows and rows of kennels, finally discovering the small dog rows and there was Lil Pete! He was lying on the concrete floor, head on his paws. I spoke to him to get his attention. He wouldn't look up. I tried again, telling him he was leaving this place and we would be best friends forever. Sadly, Lil Pete never moved or looked up at me. He was the saddest dog I had ever seen. Other dogs in the kennels bark and jump and at least look at you, but not this one. Not Lil Pete.
I told him I would be back to take him home and went to the adoption window to tell them I would adopt Lil Pete. Since my lunch hour was almost over I had to return to work. They would be closed when I got off work so I would have to wait until the next day at lunch to take Lil Pete.
That evening I visited the local pet supply store and bought a collar, leash, doggy clean-up bags, treats, toys, food bowls, and a new blue camouflage print bandana.
Despite my employer's disgruntlement, I took the afternoon off on the following day so I could adopt Lil Pete and spend time with him.
I excitedly drove back to the shelter, went through the adoption process, paid the fee, and Lil Pete was brought out from his kennel to me.
"Don't let him near your face," I was told. "He may try to bite." We took off the red bandana and put on the new blue one. I took him in my arms and asked if they would please take a picture as this adoption might someday make a good story. They took the picture and I left with a little dog in my arms who immediately got his new name. "Come on, Timmy. We're going home."
Timmy trembled for the entire 30-minute drive home. He was terrified. He sat on the console between the front seats facing backwards, his head tucked under my arm. I spoke gently to him and stoked him as lovingly as I could. "It's ok now, Timmy. You will see. It's ok now. You are safe."
This October Timmy and I have been together for three years. He never once tried to bite me. He has learned he no longer has to flinch when I reach down to pet him. He doesn't have to panic any more when he hears footsteps behind him or when he sees a broom.
Timmy is still a very shy dog, but he has come to a level of trust he never had before. It has been a growing relationship that is still growing. He is becoming more willing to accept strangers. Best of all, Timmy has learned that he is lovable. I don't think there is anything more valuable than that in this life.
"Let's go, Timmy!" You can also visit Timmy on his You Tube Channel.