The One for Us

April 27, 2010
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It had been a long winter. But ever since Corky died, it had been even longer. I missed the jingle of her collar and her footsteps. I even missed her loud bark. But most of all, I missed her company. We all did… But parts of that could change today. I was in our old Chrysler silver minivan on our way to Petco to look at shelter puppies. We thought that through online shelter websites, we may have found the puppy. Our loneliness may finally cease to an end.
***

“Are we there yet?” asked my brother. I wasn’t sure if he did that as a joke or sincerely meant it; only because he had asked this three times before.

“About three minutes, if that.” responded my mom. I could sense she was irritated by the constant asking of the same question her voice as well. The feeling in my stomach was beyond words. It had butterflies but not because I was scared. Maybe it was because I was excited, I was never quite sure. As I looked out the window, the world seemed at ease. The sun rose smoothly behind the highway and fields as if to say “Good Morning” to the world.

“We’re here,” my dad announced.
If I thought my stomach was flipping before, then what was it doing now? I flung the door open as quickly as humanly possible, breathed in the fresh air and felt the cool breeze in my hair. The sunshine touched my cheek gently as it reflected off the pure white snow; it felt warm even as it was the middle of winter, almost Christmas for that matter. I looked at the massive blue building. This was, in every possible way, it.

As we walked towards the Petco doors, my mom explained, “You guys know that it is very hard to go look at puppies and not come back with one.”
I said and thought absolutely nothing, realizing that my mom honestly believed we were getting a puppy.

The expanse doors opened widely to reveal rows of pet supplies that were endless. I heard chirping of birds, meowing of cats, and noises of other pets too. The whole building smelled of wet dogs, which a good sign was considering that was what we had come here for. I scanned the room intensely; where were the puppies? Grooming, pet food, pet houses, pet play places, and pet toys. Everything but what I was so desperately looking for. At that moment, I heard the yaps of the puppies echo through the room. My head swooped straight to the cages, my definition of cute changed to the look on those puppies adorable little faces. My parents must have seen my face light up and sensed my urge to run at the cages like there was no tomorrow.

“Wait up, guys. We did come to look at a certain puppy,” stated my mom.
Oh yes, we had come to look at one particular puppy. If she was anything like what was written online we would be walking out with her minutes from now. I thought of what it would be like to once again have a puppy. “Sami, Chris, come over here.” My mom once again repeated. She was looking with my dad at the puppy we came to see. The puppy was just as cute as it was online. Though, she scared my brother and me at the time. Every time we went to pet she tried to snap at us. The rest of my family noticed that it frightened us too.

“What do you think of the puppy?” my dad asked.
When no one answered, my mom stepped in.

“I think it scares the kids, and we can’t have a puppy that does that,” answered my mom “Doesn’t it?”

The moment of truth dawned upon me, “Yes, it does. I just think it’s too hyper.”

“That’s ok, honey. We can look at the others” elucidated my dad and mom in unison. And that is exactly what we did. We went from cage to cage, puppy to puppy. Not many stuck out, but my dad seemed to have memories of old puppies when he came to a Beagle. Then, we saw her. It seemed as though lights from heaven put a spotlight on her, and we all noticed her. She was a small border collie-like puppy. She was black with white markings on her chest, feet, nose, and tail. At the bottom of a pile of puppies, all of which were her brothers. She seemed mellow. Her cage was so crowded; a sardine tin would have had more room. I pointed her out, and the family agreed to look at her. She seemed so reluctant to get out of that cage.

As we looked at her, she seemed nervous, but calm. She was cuter than a button and softer than a pillow. She was precious. We looked at each other, knowing she could be the one. “What do you guys think?” questioned my parents.

“I really like her; she is so cute, and not overexcited.” I explained to my parents.

“Yah,” my brother agreed, “she is. I really like her as well.”

“We like her too, but we should look around,” clarified my parents, not yet wanting to commit to a particular puppy.

As we continued to look around, none of the other puppies stuck out. We looked at cages, most marked “ADOPTED” which was excellent. All of those once lonely homeless puppies; now having a good home they could call their own.
***

She was the one for us. We took her back out to once more look at her. We again fell in love with her. My parents nodded to each other signifying she was the puppy. As they went to fill out the paperwork, my brother and I looked at collars. “We have a puppy” kept running through my head like a broken record, over and over and over again. It probably was doing the same for everyone. Then all the fun we would have, imagining playing ball in our backyard on hot summer days, or taking her on long walks through the lush park. I had no idea how much fun she would end up being. Or for that matter, what her name would be.





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