There’s something about having a dog that just does something magical to your spirit. As Roger Caras (photographer and writer) said, “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
This is Emmitt. Spelled with an “i” just like Emmitt Smith, great All-Star from the Dallas Cowboys. Yesterday, his name was Chester. At least, that’s what the workers at the SPCA called him, and probably what the lady named him who decided to drop him off there on January 26th. He was one of two males from a litter of three that showed up at there in late fall of this past year. For some reason, when she took the three puppies there to give them away she had a last-minute change of heart and kept Chester. It was only 6 short weeks before she brought him back to be with his brother and sister. They were adopted quickly, leaving Chester to easily become the favorite around camp as he waited for his new home.
Reid originally found Chester on Facebook, just by scrolling through some pictures of dogs that were at the shelter awaiting adoption. We knew 100% that our family was ready for a dog again, and we had talked about what kind of dog we wanted –all we had agreed on for sure was that we knew we didn’t want another English Bulldog. We didn’t have a particular breed in mind but we weighed out some pros and cons, talked about each other’s non-negotiables regarding our new addition to the family and decided that we would let our hearts take it from there. I was reluctant to pick a new dog based on emotion but decided to give it a chance anyway. The first picture Reid saw of Chester was enough to steal his heart and soon enough we were pulling into the gravel driveway of the SPCA to meet a dog.
Chester was shy at first; his tail didn’t wag much but he came over to be near us. I knelt down with Everly on my leg and he sniffed her. She laughed. I looked up at my husband and saw him watching us. I watched his gaze shift over to Sadler as she squealed with excitement (and borderline annoyance). Chester pounced on Sadler like a Greyhound and she laughed and played and smiled as if he had been hers along. As the magic continued, it was crystal clear that he belonged in our family. The very next business day we were back to sign a few papers and Chester became Emmitt and our hearts became full again.
We think he is a mix of Yellow Labrador Retriever and Beagle, although this hasn’t been confirmed. He barks at strangers, waits to be told to get out of his crate and has the silkyest fur I’ve rubbed/cleaned off the couch. Thankfully the SPCA offers a foster-to-adopt program for families with small kids, just so you can test the waters and make sure the animal is a good fit for everyone. So as of today, I can’t tell you that we adopted this sweet boy but I can promise you that he won’t ever sleep another night at that (wonderful) place. We’ll be pulling in that gravel driveway in a few short days to make it official.
I’m glad that I went against my own grain and opened myself up to accepting something I wouldn’t normally do, like falling in love with a dog over the Internet. He really does seem like he has been here all along and for the first time since Gladston died, our house feels full again.