Thanksgiving ranks up there with Halloween and Easter as a terrific holiday. And after the kindness of Arizona Beagle Rescue, it’s a little more special because it’s also Artie’s Gotcha Day.
Four years ago, I had just gotten over the heartbreak of losing a dog to a long illness when I contacted Arizona Beagle Rescue looking for another dog. I grieved the loss of HoneyBun and wasn’t sure I was ready for another dog.
“You know, we have a dog who is being fostered and the volunteers need to go to back East for Thanksgiving,’’ they told me. “Why don’t you just take this dog until they get back?”
Of course, we all knew what was going on – if I loved the dog (which they knew I would), then she would stay at my house for good.
Not exactly love at first sight
We all make snap judgments and the first time I met Artie, I wasn’t so sure she was the dog for me.
She slobbered so much and shed so much – so much dog hair coming off of one dog! Her tongue hung out because of a misshapen jaw.
She was nervous and understandably so. She had been at the Maricopa County pound in Tempe, which is such a heartbreaking place – it is so loud, so Spartan and so sad. My eyes tear up just thinking about how overwhelmed Artie must have been there with all of that noise and cold, concrete floors.
And she had problems with her teeth, so she must have been in pain as well. Arizona Beagle Rescue volunteers found her, paid for her dental bills and placed her with some terrific foster parents.
You know if I had just met her, I wouldn’t have necessarily picked her as the dog to take home.
Just another reason why I am thankful for Arizona Beagle Rescue: I trusted them and they led me to her.
What made for a great Gotcha Day
Despite what she had been through, Artie effortlessly rode in the car. She just sat in her seat and looked out the window with a thoughtful politeness about her.
We got home and she explored as we settled in. I quickly learned that she knew all about doggie doors and how to claim her spot on the sofa. On the very first night, she hopped into bed with me. The next morning, worried that she may have to pee, I tried to shake her loose from her position on the comforter. She just looked at me. Her eyes seemed to say “Woman, please. I’m in a good spot here and I’m not budging.’’
I fixed her green beans so she keep on her diet.
And I could tell she liked the creature comforts of my house but I just wasn’t sure….. Then while I was working on my laptop, she cantered over, plopped down and proceeded to roll on her back, wiggling on the hardwood floors. With her goofy tongue hanging out, she looked like she was smiling and emitting joy.
I know, I know, a dog lying down exposing his belly is a sign of submission. But I could tell she had a sparkle in her eye and that at that moment, she was happy. And she was home.
And then it dawned on me — here I thought I was choosing a dog but in reality, she had picked me. She’s the one who “got me.’’
Happy Gotcha Day to everyone who has ever helped a dog find a forever home. We are thankful to you all!