It all started about two years ago. My youngest daughter, then five, started talking about how much she wanted a dog. Everyday on the drive to preschool, she would talk about having her own home, so she could get a dog.
You see, I am a cat person. We have three cats; Samantha age 14, Annabelle age 5, and Brutus age 3. I don’t walk dogs. We live in Iowa, a four season climate, prone to weather extremes. My favorite pastime is reading a book with a cup of tea and a cat sleeping on my lap, not walking a dog in the middle of an Iowan winter.
About a year ago, my eldest daughter started lobbying hard for a dog. She promised to walk the dog everyday.
Did I mention, I DON’T walk dogs.
My husband calls me the “crazy cat lady”. All our cats follow me around the house as though I have catnip in my pockets. June he started talking about getting a dog. I gently reminded him, I DON’T WALK DOGS!
The second Sunday in July as I was reading the news, my husband started showing me pictures from the Animal Rescue League’s (ARL) website. At this point, I knew I was losing the battle.
Later that day I found myself, with my family, at the main ARL location. We looked at several dogs. One jumped up and growled at me, another just kept jumping on me, and a third started barking and drooling at the sight of a cat. Through all this, I kept thinking about a dog I saw that morning on the ARL website, Hank.
We found Hank at the ARL south location. He had just been returned to the ARL for the second time. Hank is a six year old pointer mix. A calm, almost Zen-like dog, Hank didn’t mind the cats at the ARL. He came over to me, sat down, and looked up at me as if to say “Yes, I’m a dog, but I’m okay.”
We left the ARL with Hank. I walked him out to our car.
Hank has been in our family now for little over one month. He has been a wonderful addition. He is sweet and loving to our girls, he shares his bed with the cats, and he is a loyal companion to me and my husband. He has brought with him a loving and calm energy to add to our home. He belongs in our family.
During this past month, Hank has taught me a few things. I have discovered that I do walk dogs and I like it. I enjoy watching him on our walks. He hears everything, he sees everything, he smells everything. He is completely aware of his surroundings. During our walks he has show me how to be present, to stay in the moment.
My youngest daughter said it best the other day, “Mom, you said you didn’t want a dog and that you don’t walk dogs. Now, you walk Hank all the time and you are happy and joyful.”
“To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace.” Milan Kundera
Thank you Hank, for choosing to be part of our family.