Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Story of Manny

It came as a surprise to everyone, even us that we would get a dog on a cool, sunny, late September afternoon. In reality, it was five years in the making…

We had wanted a dog from the minute we got married and knew we lived in a pet-friendly apartment building. We toyed with the idea of getting a pug and had a few moments of weakness at the pet store that led to Garth dragging me out. It was traumatic for both of us so we put the idea aside. We just weren't ready to pull the trigger because we loved to travel so much.

Time passed. We moved into another apartment, but this one was not pet friendly so the idea of a dog completely vanished. Then we bought a house and I was sure we would get a dog shortly afterwards. The busyness that is home ownership kept us pretty preoccupied that first year. Garth was training for the marathon, we had home improvement projects and a yard to maintain and a dog just didn't cross our mind.

We dog sat a lot too which helped our dog itch. Then, the inevitable happened. The sweetest dog we ever knew that we dog sat all time passed away. We were devastated and were REALLY not ready for a dog. Losing a dog that wasn’t even ours was hard enough. A few months passed and we had the dog itch again. Bad. I was on the Humane Society website everyday.

Finally a puppy came along that was part Pointer, part Newfoundland and I was sure this was OUR dog. We researched both breeds all night and went as soon as the Humane Society opened. He was BIG. He got that from the Newfoundland side, clearly. But he was ALL Pointer. That wasn't a bad thing, but we knew the temperament of a Pointer and knew a backyard without a fence was not a good fit for this type of dog. Then he started humping my leg and he was so strong I could not get him off me.

He wasn't our dog. A month later two yellow labs were on the Humane Society website. We were so excited! We had never entertained the idea of getting a female, but selected a name after a long night of excited talking. We were going to pick up Penny the next day! Garth went to get her after work and both labs had just been adopted hours earlier. Hours! We were so devastated. Again. 

That was the hardest. We had a name. We knew the temperament and knew the dog and knew it was a fit for us. We didn't see that heartbreak coming. I stopped looking at the Humane Society website altogether after that blow. It just wasn't meant to be. A dog was not on the radar anymore. Truthfully, I hadn't even thought about getting a dog in months. 

Until Saturday, September 21st. We were at the dealership getting our car appraised and entertaining the thought of trading it in and getting a new one. Our sales guy was busy so he told us to test drive one of the cars we liked. Garth drove the car out onto the main road for about half a mile and turned down a side road and parked so I could take a turn. 

We realized Garth had pulled into the Humane Society. For old times’ sake, Garth suggested we just take a quick look. We ran in and asked if they had any puppies, expecting to hear that they didn't.

They did. A chocolate brown lab / pit bull mix. We took the quickest look and fell in love. He started licking Garth’s fingers. We had to go. I drove the car back to the dealership and as we waited for our sales guy (it’s been over an hour now, aye!) all we could talk about was this dog. Not the car we had just test drove!

We told the sales guy to email us the numbers and he apologized for being so busy. We weren't  We bolted out there before someone else got our dog! 

The lady at the front desk laughed when she saw us because we were only in there 5 minutes’ tops before that. I’m sure she thought we had no interest. She brought him into a room with us and we played. He cuddled. He was just so sweet and funny and we knew he was OUR dog. We learned he was a stray found in Northern Michigan and put into a High Kill Shelter (they have those in MI?!) and was rescued from an organization and given to the Humane Society. My heart just melts thinking this sweet dog was a stray out in the wild without a mamma or any food. 

It all happened so fast. Next thing you know we are filling out paperwork, learning about dog food and booster shots, and putting him on a leash to go home. It was all so surreal. A whirlwind.

I remember Garth driving us to the pet store and explaining to Manny that he was going to come live with us forever. He was curled up on my lap licking my fingers and we told him about all the fun we were going to have and I just knew. This was right. This was our dog. This was the start of our new adventure.


Kenya said...

So precious!

Anne said...

yaaaay! love the story. It will be work, but it will be worth it :)

ps, good call on passing over the humper... no thanks! lol

Melissa said...

I just got chills/teared up at the story of Manny! My heart is so full for you guys :)

Lauren said...

he's so sweet! you guys will be great puppy parents with all your experience dog-sitting!