Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Monday, June 10, 2013

My Pound Puppy

 RESCUED A HUMAN TODAY by Janine Allen

Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.
I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn’t be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn’t want her to know that I hadn’t been walked today. Sometimes the overworked shelter keepers get too busy and I didn’t want her to think poorly of them.
As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn’t feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone’s life.
She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.
Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms.
I would promise to keep her safe.
I would promise to always be by her side.
I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.
I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.
I rescued a human today.


When I was in elementary school, I used to dream about one of three different scenarios while I was falling asleep at night: helping the homeless by storing them in a big warehouse where I would bring clothing and food; caring for a baby that someone left on our door in a basket and my Mom gave me to raise; and running a huge animal shelter in my back yard for all of the homeless cats and dogs that I could find. In the last scenario, I imagined letting them all out every day to all frolic and play peacefully, and there was never any poop to pick up. Although extremely pollyanna-esq, all scenarios reflect my desire to help others, especially those less fortunate than us. Those who struggle (homeless), are helpless (babies) or dependent and without a voice (animals). Is there anything more meaningful in life than helping others?

When we started to toss around the idea of adding to the two-husky household, adoption or fostering were the only options. There are so many unwanted animals, or so I had heard, but I had never braved the shelters...ever. Telling myself it would be too sad, I had never set foot in one. But just because I don't see them, doesn't mean they don't exist. Nathan found one of his huskies at the pound. And so, we started looking on-line, and then in person.

I was amazed by just how many pure-bred animals there were, and wondered what each of their stories were. How did they end up here? How much longer did they have before they were put down? We saw several cuties at the Irvine Animal Shelter, but the facilities were pretty swanky and so I didn't mind leaving them there to think it over.
My  girl! The moment I saw her, I knew.
We were at our third animal shelter when I came across this darling girl. I had printed out several dogs that were possibilities, and she was the very last one in the very long corridor of cages. I snapped a picture of her with my cell phone (above) because I had a very good feeling she was going to be mine in no time. From the moment I saw her grumpy-dog under-bite, grey hairs that made her look wise beyond her years and paint-dipped paws, I knew. 

Rows and rows of kennels, some with two dogs to a cage. Heartbreaking.

I immediately found an employee and asked to have her plucked from the cage and taken to the visitation area. I scooped up all 5 pounds of her and knew she was the one I would be bringing home.
The first time I held her.
"Whoever declared that love at first sight doesn't exist has never witnessed the purity of a puppy or looked deep into a puppy's eyes. If they did, their lives would change considerably." ~Elizabeth Parker, Paw Prints in the Sand


While I had her in the visiting area, her kisses sealed the deal. Nathan tried to encourage me to wait, but I could not be swayed and he relented. I've had her for just over a month now, and can't believe how much I love her, and how much she adds to my life, not the other way around. 

The pound actually has a 30 day return policy, and we joked a few times about returning her. I couldn't imagine bringing her back, where she was alone and scared, on the concrete with all of the barking. And I think of all the other dogs, the ones who didn't find a home.

I haven't let go of my childhood dream, and still have hopes of opening up a shelter when we retire in Oregon to help even more animals. That's the thing about helping and serving - we have the benefit of believing we're doing something good, but we're actually the ones being helped. We are the lucky ones, not her.

Browse some of the adoptable pets HERE.

She's named Trevi, because Nathan proposed to me in front of the Trevi Fountain 
in Rome! Thanks to Andrea for coming up with her name!

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