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Puppy Searching

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As we headed for the door, my heart pounded with excitement. I couldn’t wait to see Roland again! My mom hadn’t seen him yet, but I was sure that she would like him. "After all, what was there not to like?" I thought. That was before we stepped inside and opened the kennel door.

“It’s just so frustrating!” I said almost in anger. My parents and I had been searching for a new dog for months with no luck. Every time we thought we had found the perfect dog, someone else would take the dog before we had the chance, or we would find out something bad about the dog. “Well, we could stop by the animal shelter today,” my mom said in her always calm voice, “We have to go past it on the way to the 4-H meeting, so me might as well.” Glumly, I agreed.

When we got to the animal shelter, I could already see dogs outside. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but it was hard not to. A volunteer showed us to the dog room, and as soon as I stepped inside, I saw the perfect dog. He was two years old and a small black lab mix. His name was Dillon. Instantly, I went over. Dillon wagged his tail in a happy greeting as if to ask, “Are you going to take me home?” My mom and I laughed. He was such a funny dog. Then we took him outside and played fetch for a while. Dillon listened perfectly the whole time. He would come back every time I called him. Before leaving we filled out an application with hope in our hearts, and we left with that hope too. Unfortunately, that hope didn’t stay. A couple weeks later we got a call that said Dillon had gone to another home.

“Are you kidding me?” I managed to choke out as I heard the bad news. I couldn’t believe that Dillon wasn’t ours. It just wasn’t possible! I wanted to ask my mom a million questions, to get this straightened out. Instead I kept quiet. I knew doing anything else would be of no use. My mom nodded. “Well, here we go again,” I said before marching out of the room to go look for dogs on the Internet.

Searching, searching searching. It seems like that is all I have been doing lately. “Let’s see, Poodle, Bulldog, Husky, German Shepherd, Bichon, Terrier …. BINGO!!!!!” I screamed. A German Shepherd mix! German Shepherds are my favorite dogs, and this one just happened to be at the same shelter we looked at before. It was a perfect match.

Joyfully, I skipped to the car. My mom and I were headed to the animal shelter. A couple days ago my dad and I had come to see the dog that I found on the Internet, and we liked him; now it was my mom’s turn. The dog’s name was Roland. He was a German Shepherd/Coon hound mix, and I couldn’t wait to see him again. The car ride there seemed to take forever.

We finally arrived at our destination! I quickly hopped out of the car, and raced towards the door. While I waited for my mom, I tried to spot Roland back by the dogs. I scanned the area for a while and finally spotted him. I let out a sigh of relief. By this time my mom had caught up with me. As we headed for the door, my heart pounded with excitement. I couldn’t wait to see Roland again. Even though my mom hadn’t seen him yet, I was sure that she would like him. After all, what was there not to like? I thought. That was before we stepped inside and opened the kennel door.

Time seemed to freeze as the latch on the kennel door was being unhooked. The clock slowed down. The second hand stopped moving. I waited, and waited, and waited, and waited.... All of a sudden the kennel door was opened! I jumped back in surprise as this two foot tall, five month old puppy came tumbling out towards me at break-neck speeds. Roland was jumping like crazy and tearing everything apart. I had not expected this! Last time I saw him, he was not allowed out of the kennel. Now I know why. Oh well. Anyway, Roland was grabbing toys and climbing all over everything. I had just started wondering what we would name him when I saw him eye up a food bag. All of a sudden he bolted towards it, and I heard a CRASH! Food went everywhere. That’s when it dawned on me. We would name him Marley after the dog in the movie Marley and Me. He had the perfect personality match: crazy, stubborn, and food bag tipper. I told my mom and she liked it. It was decided. Roland would now be Marley. We played fetch outside for a bit and then went inside to talk to the volunteers there. My mom liked Marley, and we were guaranteed to get him. I left the shelter with happiness in my heart for the second time this month, but this time it was different. This time the happiness stayed.

Marley came to his forever home on June 4, 2011. When we went to pick him up, I was filled with joy. It took only a couple minutes at the shelter, and then we were on our way home. As we pulled into the driveway, I saw Marley perk up and look around anxiously. We came to a stop, and Marley and I jumped out. I showed him around for a couple hours and then got him settled in. By this time it was already getting dark, so I went to say goodnight to him. He watched me come in, and I sat down next to him and looked into his thoughtful, happy eyes, filled with the wonder and excitement of a new family. “Welcome Home,” I whispered, and I could feel the tears stinging my eyes even as I tried to keep them back, “Welcome home.”





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