We have a dog and her name is Jade.
She’s a beautiful mutt who we think is mostly part Doberman, although she’s definitely bigger than your average Doby. Still, she’s got the shape and the colouring of one, but she’s getting pretty grey around the edges these days. She’s anxious and needy, but really smart and sweet and still playful for her age.
We adopted her from my brother who, with his wife, rescued her from the Humane Society when she was 6 months old. About 3 years ago after they’d just had their first child, Jade was becoming even more of an anxious dog than she’d always been, and this came to a head as my nephew started walking all over the house; one day he backed Jade into a corner and in her terror, she nipped him. I don’t believe she ever meant to hurt him, but instead she was warning him to stay away. Of course, a baby is not the same as another animal, and the little guy had no idea what this really meant. Luckily he only ended up with a scratch on his forehead.
When we heard about what happened with our nephew, we were worried for my brother’s family; we knew they would never “destroy” Jade because they’re just not that type of people, but we still wondered how they would deal with the situation. I remember asking and getting some defeated-sounded “I don’t knows.” I really felt for them, because on the one hand they desperately wanted to make sure their new baby was safe, but on the other they’d had Jade for 9 years at this point and they’re of the opinion that pets are part of the family. I also knew that if they did decide to give her up, the Humane Society would almost never find a new home for a 9-year-old Doby-cross with anxiety problems, and the shelter would likely put her down.
As it so happened, around this time me and my husband (who was only my boyfriend at the time) were considering getting a dog. We’d both had dogs growing up and we both felt like we’d always wanted to get one of our own. We’d been watching the Humane Society updates because I really wanted to adopt. I was upset one evening, talking to my husband about their alternatives and worrying about Jade’s fate when he looked at me and said “Let’s take her.” I hadn’t even offered the suggestion myself yet, though I’d definitely been thinking of it. I didn’t want to force him into anything but the fact that he offered meant the world to me. A few weeks later, Jade was moved in. Now I can’t imagine our lives without her, and I wonder what took us so long to get a dog. But I’m glad it worked out the way it did; if things hadn’t coincided, who knows what would have happened to this beautiful dog.
Jade just turned 12 this year, and although she’s slowed down and has a few lumps here and there, she’s a healthy dog. In a home with two people who can give her all the attention she needs, she’s pretty satisfied too. So when I thought about my goals, I thought about how I could make sure Jade’s golden years are the best they can be. That’s why I made a commitment to take her for walks more often. I’d neglected her need for a change of scenery and some fresh air before, and I’d always feel guilty later, so now seems like the perfect time to change that. I’m not perfect and some days just don’t work out, but I’m putting my best foot forward. The great part about it is that despite her age, it’s amazing how she jumps and runs and wags her tail like a pinwheel when we let her off leash. The goals are all about building a better quality of life for me and for my family, and this is a step in the right direction.
Do you have a dog? Have you taken him/her for a walk today?