I remember it was gloomy that day. Not the weather so much as the mood. We walked through the doors of the shelter together. But when he left, he left me behind. Maybe he looked back. Maybe he didn't. But I felt the emptiness when he was no longer at my side.
I don't know why he didn't want me anymore. But I do know what it feels like to be unwanted. Lots of dogs came and went. Many to adoptive homes, the rest to fosters. I overheard the staff talking about the many people who are adopting and fostering dogs right now. The shelters and rescues can barely keep up with the demand. But no one wanted me.
I'm a mix of breeds. And I'm big. No one cared to look past my picture. They never learned that I love to play fetch, to take walks and to snuggle. They didn't care that just like all of those cute little dogs and big dogs with floppy ears and soft fur, I just want to be loved.
There was no soft bed at the shelter. Just a concrete floor. I was happy that the people at the shelter seemed to like me. When they walked by, they called me, "love bug" and "giant teddy bear." They worked with rescue groups who tried to find a foster home for me. First just a request went out. Then a second, more desperate request. The months passed slowly. No one wanted me. Then, finally, the "URGENT" request, the one I think they do just before they decide you are a lost cause. I was lucky, that's when the Barons decided to foster me.
The day they came to pick me up. I couldn't believe it. They picked me! Meee! Ok, not for forever, but at least until my forever family is found. The Baron's grown daughter sat with me in the back seat. I hugged her the whole way home, wagging my tail so she would know how happy I was to feel the movement of the car, taking me away from that cold and lonely shelter.
My foster home is great. I love getting treats. I love sleeping on the couch. I love snuggling with my head in the lap of whoever is around. And belly rubs are my absolute favorite. My one sadness is that the cats who live with us won’t come down and let me lick them all over. I know they will like me when they get to know me. Everybody does.
I'm happy now, but I know this isn't forever. Please check me out at homewardtrails.com. You can find me under my name, King. I can't wait to meet you!
If you are interested in adding a cat, dog or small animal pet to your household, here are a few local rescue organizations who might be able to help you find your perfect match:
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
Animal Welfare League of Arlington
Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation
ArPets is a weekly feature for highlighting the well-loved pets of Arlington as well as animals who are available for adoption. If you or your dog, cat, iguana, bunny, rat or any other pet, has an interesting pet story to tell, send email to: email@example.com.
Joan is an award-winning Connection Newspapers columnist and local photographer specializing in pets, children and families and contemporary business portraits.