In case I never mentioned it, I grew up with dogs. As in, I was born into a home where we had three dogs: Tashie, Yukon and Bandit. Then, after those dogs passed away, my parents added two other dogs to our pack: Keeko and Teddy (at age 12, I saved and contributed $100 to Teddy, so everyone calls Teddy “my dog,” though, at 13 years old, I couldn’t uproot him from my family home and bring him here). And now, my parents have three dogs again: Teddy, Marco and Sanibel (pictured below with Kero). Basically, I’m used to the chaos. So, it’s been weird to be in such a quiet household.
I’ve been wanting to adopt for a LONG time. Like, since I had my apartment in college. But, clearer heads prevailed and I never wanted to adopt a dog when I had an unstable environment or financial situation.
But then, a few weeks ago, I went on a little “just for fun” trip to PAWS with my friend Katie, and…I came home with Kero.
THE REAL STORY
After National Dog Day, I started seriously considering adopting a best friend. As I mentioned last week and the week before, I’ve been going through a rough patch and really needed something to take a bit of the stress away. Even though puppies do add stress to your life, dogs are actually scientifically shown to help reduce stress. And so, it’s with that logic, that I moved forward!
We visited one other place before PAWS, which was a total train wreck and I can’t even get into it. But let’s just say, the place–and the people who ran it–made me feel uncomfortable. Gut check! So we moved on.
When we got to PAWS, I was excited to play with some puppies (any chance to play with dogs in the city, I’ll take). We walked up to the first little area and it was swarming with puppies. So, I picked one out (Minverva) and we went into a room to play with her. She was a sweetheart, but shy…and walked to my friend Katie first. I thought she might be it, but wasn’t sure if it was just the cuteness, if I was pushing it or if it was a real gut feeling. So I waited, and went back to the next glass area…and there was Mr. Wuff.
I hated the name. Who the eff is naming these little dogs? Seriously? Can that be my new job because these dogs names are insanely terrible. ANYWAY. They put him in the room with us and he immediately ran up to me and fell into my lap. He had an enthusiastic and bold personality, was curious and, though he’s a terrier mix, he looked like a german shepherd to me (one of my favorite breeds). Basically, he seemed perfect. And beyond that, he felt like family.
But I waited.
I browsed around the rest of PAWS before playing with him again and then…I made the decision to adopt him.
As we’re about to run through paperwork, however, I stopped. I didn’t want to make this giant decision if I felt pressured by anyone else–friends, family or PAWS volunteers. So, I went home and thought about it logically. I asked Ryan what he thought. I spoke to my mom and texted Katie. I ran through the numbers. But ultimately, I decided that if I returned–five hours later–and he was still there, it was meant to be.
Well, he was. Which meant, it was. Mr. Wuff went home with me that day.
Next up, his name. Because “Mr. Wuff” had to go ASAP.
So it took me a week to name him because, maybe it’s the writer in me, but I put A LOT of thought into the name of a pet.
So “Mr. Wuff” hailed from somewhere in the South, where there were a higher volume of kill shelters. He was a street dog (this is also why, for the first week of owning him, he would only go to the bathroom in the street–a practice that terrified my neighbors, who thought we were definitely going to get hit by a car at some point), but made his way to Chicago and then, after a week, he came home with me, and then visited my parents’ place in Wisconsin a week after that. Basically, he’s only a few weeks old and he’s already seen half the U.S..
He’s also insanely observant. He watches TV. He’s aware of music playing. Sometimes, I’ll catch him just watching the door or the fridge…or me (which is pretty terrifying, when you don’t know where your dog is and you turn around and he’s watching you).
So, I named him Kero after Jack Keroauc, the author of On the Road. It was unique, two syllables (perfect for dog names) and seemed relevant to his personality.
He’s nearly all potty trained, decently crate trained, knows that the door = going outside to go to the bathroom, knows how to sit and is a general sweetheart in that he can adapt to my moods (if I need to sleep, he sleeps, etc.).
The best way I can say it is exactly what my gut told me when I “met” Kero: he’s family. And I really believe in trusting your gut like that.
I can’t wait to continue sharing little tidbits as he grows!