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Lost and Found

June 6, 2011
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Be careful.  When you look into these eyes, you might just fall in love.  Delilah and I found this little guy in the middle of a field, exhausted and very much on his own.  We couldn’t leave him there, and since it was late on a Saturday with nowhere to take him, we brought him home.  He seemed friendly enough but had, well, an odor, so one thing he got to experience was a nice long bath!    I knew nothing of his history, so I just kept thinking “please don’t bite me, please don’t bite me”, and he didn’t.  He took it rather well actually.  And of course a warm meal followed, which was long overdue as he was rib-showing thin.

I really had no plans of acquiring another dog but, after exploring several options, discovered that there didn’t seem to be a place for this particular one.  He was terrified of people, so had some difficulty making a good first impression.  When we visited the local shelter, they were actually familiar with some recent history on him and how he may have come to be in the field, although they didn’t know who the guardians were.  The staff took our information just in case, but were sure no one would show up to claim him, and no one did.  So it was at this point that I considered a second adoption. 

As we all tried to adjust to the new dynamics at home, I had some reservations that  the situation was working out to be a good fit for the animal family already in residence, especially Delilah.  Things weren’t initially going smoothly, and I changed my mind about a million times, had tearful phone calls with my best friend, and considered a variety of alternatives.

Those of you who have dogs might understand baby gates blocking doorways.  We have those.  Sometimes we all need a time out, even me.  And I implemented every positive training technique I had up my sleeve.  Three months in, and I was at my wits end.  Although Jasper, who had by this time been named (a sure sign of commitment), was the sweetest soul, he was larger than Delilah, and the two could get a bit rambunctious.  All of their youthful play was good-natured, but a bit uneven in the weight class, so I worried.  And I’m a world class worrier…I could win competitions.

And then quite suddenly, almost overnight it seemed, everything fell into place and we became a family.  The friendship between Jasper and Delilah just blossomed and continues to grow everyday, and I am blissfully in love with both of them.  We have frolicking good play times, along with a peace of togetherness that is almost incomprehensible.  Before all of this, when it was just Delilah and me,  I had thought about adopting a second dog some time in the future so she could have a canine friend.  Now I can honestly say I could not have picked a better companion for her, and myself, than Jasper.

My mistake at the beginning of this journey was thinking that from the moment we were all under the same roof things would be perfect.  How could that be possible for anyone, person or animal?  Relationships aren’t instant.  They develop over time with love, understanding, and communication.  I will be forever grateful to the forces that brought both of these gentle souls into my life.  Jasper may have been abandoned and lost, but it is me who has been found.

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