I have wanted to adopt a dog for a long time, and got my fix for a while dog sitting for friends. I only felt ready to get my own dog after moving a few years ago to Fort Collins, where I had more space and was ready to commit to all that taking care of a dog entails.
I went to Animal House Rescue, only to look (as they all say) and the dogs I was interested in from the website were in foster homes. The front desk staff said that I could look around while I was there, in case I wanted to meet any of the available dogs. I saw Sam, a 6-month old Basset Hound – Springer Spaniel mix. He was in a pen with two other dogs, including a chocolate-colored, blue-eyed Weimaraner named Mud. Sam (then known as Pierre) was rolling around on his back on a little bed, playing with toys. I was instantly smitten. He came from a shelter in Kansas, and apparently a woman was giving away puppies like him in a Wal-Mart parking lot. The shelter tried to intervene but didnt get there in time, and all the puppies were given away.
Sam was found as a stray, which amazes me. I know that he was cared for and not abused by the family that owned him, but they must have decided he was too much, or had other priorities. He changed my life from day one. I live near a beautiful open space in Fort Collins, and I started taking him on walks that allowed me to view my neighborhood in ways I hadn’t seen before.
One block over from me, there is an empty lot and a beautiful view of the Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area, as one example. I met more of my neighbors in the first few weeks after adopting Sam than I had during the previous six months since I moved into the neighborhood. Sam and I started going to a dog park near CSU on the weekends, and I’ve made an incredible group of friends there, as a result. When my car was stolen and I sent a note to my dog park friends, my friend, Sheila, immediately said that she could help. She drove me to Loveland to pick up my car, after the police found it. Ive made friends at the dog park with people at the university that I would never have met, since we work in different positions. And I was able recently to refer a dog park friend for a job, which felt great. Im not sure what I would do without Sam in my life. Deciding to adopt him is truly one of the best decisions Ive ever made.