In January of 2009, Thomas and I decided it was the right time for us to get a dog. We're both dog/animal lovers, but until then we didn't feel like we had the time or resources to devote to a pet. Eventually, we couldn't wait any longer and decided to start our dog-search. I saw an add for some pug puppies in the paper, and since pugs are pretty much my favorite breed, it was tough to resist. We had talked for quite a while about adopting a dog, though, so we decided to start looking in local shelters.
One of our family friends works at an animal shelter around 45 minutes from where we used to live. She had a pug mix there, so went made the trip down to see that dog. When we got to the shelter, we noticed a cute little blond dog towards the back of the room. All of the other dogs were jumping up against their cages, barking and excited that someone was there to see them (that memory makes me want to cry to this day. I wish I could save them all). Jack sat in his cage, quietly and calmly appraising us. He was scheduled to be euthanized in 3 days. Thomas was immediately taken with him, so we asked if he could come out to meet us.
When the cage door opened, Jack slowly walked out into the circle of people standing there. It was strange to see because we initially thought he looked like a puppy, but he walked like he was an old man-dog. As soon as he got right into the middle of the group, he laid down on his side and didn't move. We all petted him, noticed he had a ton of ticks, and picked him up--and he let us do whatever we wanted (we were even a little concerned that he might be too calm after watching him walk in slow motion across the big room). Even so, it became pretty clear very quickly that he was THE dog. Dog of all dogs. The best of the best.
So, we paid for him. He was only $80, and that covered all his shots and a neuter (in retrospect, I would have paid a million). He sat on my lap in the backseat the entire way home without squirming. He just put his head down and went to sleep. This is the first picture I ever took of him.
From day one, Jack was 100% committed to loving us forever. We named him after around 30 minutes, and that night we took him 5 places. Every single place we went, he was instantly comfortable, normal, and sweet. Since then, Jack has traveled to New Mexico, all over Texas, and Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Atlanta. He's been to restaurants, camping, motels, and tons of other places. And he has loved every minute.
I know that some people don't believe that animals have souls. But looking into Jack's intelligent brown eyes, there is NO doubt in my mind that he knows that we saved him.
If you're considering getting a dog (or cat), I would urge you to consider a shelter pet. I can promise you that you won't regret it.