There are two types of people I have crazy envy for: animal lovers and green thumbs.
These are personality traits you simply cannot fake. It’s a genuine characteristic, a signature sign of a heart-of-gold, something that says you’re mellow enough to connect with animals and nature. If I find out that you are one of the above, I immediately like you more and look up to you.
Because sadly, I have to confess, I’m neither.
That’s not to say I have no compassion for animals and I’ve never planted a hibiscus bush… It’s just… everything I plant dies a swift death and I’ve never met an animal I would let lick my face.
Now before you dismiss me to hell, let’s also admit that people can change. So when I decided that I can’t possibly raise two boys into refined young men without a childhood dog, I set out to find the perfect pup. I searched and searched. I visited the Humane Society, checked Craigslist multiple times a day, and put in my research. And by research I mean talked to the animal lovers around me every single day.
This was how I found out about about the Hawaii Animal Rescue Foundation, a no-kill shelter that also utilizes foster homes for doggies in need so they can avoid the trauma of shelter life.
They set up an adoption pop-up shop every Saturday at Maui Mall. So I brought the boys down and we nervously waited because we were 30 minutes early (as usual). I felt like I was adopting a child. And in a big way, I was. How do you choose the pet that’s perfect for you? I was told you “just know” and when I saw her I “just knew.”
What was also fantastic was being able to talk to the foster parents to learn more about our sweet girl. Her background, her personality, her eating habits. It made giving her the best home even more important to me.
She is 3 years old, fully house trained, a Certified Companion Dog–which to me is the equivalent of a doggy doctorate degree. She was a hospice pup who had to find a new home after her owner passed away. And now she is in her fur-ever home (I had to).
She fit right into our family and home. Everyone loves her, and she loves us. Now I know the feeling of content when your fuzzy friend snuggles you all night, that sense of appreciation when they see you after a long day & guess what, stinky dog kisses aren’t that bad. When anyone is sad or sick, she there to keep them company. She’s always down for a car ride cruise and is a good sport with our cats.
She is quite literally 7 lbs of walking, loving, fuzzy therapy.
And then I think, who rescued who?
I encourage everyone: before you set your sights on a pure breed, or a brand new squishy puppy, check around local shelters and animal placement programs first to see if theres a pet who is perfect for you and your family. You can save a life and increase the value of your own.