When I left your prison home, there were a few things I was sure of. First, the Pen Pal program, which pairs a shelter dog with an inmate, is amazing. The inmate builds life skills, while the shelter dog gets socialization and training. I was nervous about the prison visit, but the Pen Pal folks made me feel at ease. When I saw you, Dwight, I was sure I needed a dog. I felt ready.
The other thing I was sure of, was I said,”I’ll take him.” Did I say that out loud? Oh my gosh Dwight. You peed and pooped on the floor. You were only interested in me when I was given pieces of hotdog to entice you. Why did I want you? It was your eyes, your ears, and those long legs and protruding ribs. You are like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. I think you need me. But I was having second thoughts.
The drive home didn’t seem as long. I talked of the visit with you. I described you to Marianne. I told her how you sat for the inmate. How you howled on command. I also informed her of your toileting accident. We chuckled and agreed that John should not be privy to the potty incident. I’d just tell John how darn cute you are. What am I getting in to? An adult dog who does not appear housetrained. One who doesn’t like rain and didn’t even seem too fond of me. I don’t usually change my mind, but my enthusiasm was waning the further I got from you and your prison home. I sigh. I can still see you loping through the room, head down, nose to the floor. So cute. So goofy. “I’ll take him,” came out of my mouth before I could censor it. I felt a connection to you.
I don’t know your past. You don’t know mine. I was told you were rescued from an SPCA shelter. You had a tracheal injury. So no collars for you. You need a grain free diet. So what is your past? What happened to you Dwight? Does it really matter? I too, have a sketchy medical history. So what? Together we start with a clean slate. I need a walking buddy. You need to be walked. We will start together. I’m leaving you with your inmate until after Christmas. I wish you and him a happy, peaceful holiday. I promise Dwight, we will start the New Year together. A fresh start. One day at a time. No second thoughts.