This happens to be the anniversary of Reggie’s adoption day. So I wanted to tell the story of how Reggie came into my life.
For almost a year I had been bugging my husband to get a dog. He had a dog growing up; I never did. I started looking at shelter pictures and putting them on the refrigerator (subtle I know). He wanted a dog too, but having had a dog before he knew the commitment and wasn’t quite there yet. After about a year he was into it and we both started looking.
We knew we wanted a black lab-ish type dog; this fit our size and lifestyle, and we just liked the breed. He took the lead on finding “candidates” and contacting shelters for meet-n-greets. Some of the dogs were fosters and not on site all the time. He narrowed it down to two- both labeled “black labs” and at the same shelter, and coincidentally both named Charlie. We set up our meet-n-greets for an hour apart and off we went!
My husband’s test was to walk them around the building and see how they responded. While they may not have been leash trained at this point, their demeanor on leash and responsiveness to the human was important to us.
Charlie 1 was about a 1 1/2 years old, small-ish, sweet, and calm. He pulled on the leash, but was responsive to human voices. He didn’t look quite like a lab- like I said, he was small and had a funny head. Charlie 2 was just 1 year old and full of energy. He pulled like nobody’s business on the leash and clearly had no training. He looked like a true lab, and had lots of extra skin to grow into.
I was taken with Charlie 1. He was just my size. Never having had a dog before, he was perfect. He was still a “big dog” but not overpowering for a first-timer. He was calm and sweet, unreactive to the other dogs, shy to us but not unresponsive. He seemed like he might be about full grown- not a lot of extra puppy skin- and he was already house trained. When I kneeled down in front of him he put his paw on my knee. I was smitten.
When my husband asked me “which one do you want?”, I hesitated a moment and I said “Charlie 2.” I thought he would want Charlie 2 more than Charlie 1. I didn’t want to say I wanted Charlie 1 and get my heart broken if he wanted Charlie 2. Charlie 2 was more true Lab and more high energy (at first blush), which was what I thought he was more looking for in a dog.
He asked me, “really?” He reminded me not to choose with emotion (I was trying not to!) but with what was right for us at the time, and he thought that was Charlie 1. I was so excited! I knew that was our dog. We filled out our paperwork and got ready to take Charlie 1 home.
The owner was surrendering Charlie 1 because he could no longer care for him. The only thing we knew about him was his birthday, his shot record, and that the owner’s daughter picked up a puppy named Rocky from the TV news station and that was their Charlie.
The thing is, I remember this puppy named Rocky. One of our local news stations used to promote a local shelter on the weekend news and highlight a puppy/dog or kitten/cat that was up for adoption. I remember this black ball of fur with a giant red bow around its neck named Rocky and thought how adorable it was because, remember, at this time I was putting stuff on the refrigerator… Who knew a year and a half later I would get that dog!
Paperwork done, Charlie 1 got in the backseat, looking a little confused but willing, and fell asleep. On the way home we decided we would now call him Reggie. Rocky-Charlie-Reggie was meant to be mine, he just took a roundabout path to get to me 🙂
What is your dog’s story to get to you?