Saturday, July 16, 2011

On Becoming “Dads”

We nap more. That’s for sure. We say “aw," make dinner at home, have an earlier bed time, laugh, and get kissed more. We slow down and enjoy everything more.

Things have changed since we became “dads” of…well…dogs. 

Meeting Dexter and Charlotte was much like one of those slow motion scenes in a movie. You know the ones: Eyes lock from across the way, the camera pans close to each set of eyes (while a heart-melting soundtrack plays in the background), as we run to each other in absolute adoration.

OK. It wasn’t like that. Adopting our two (not one, but TWO!)  pups have slowed us down, but not in a bad way—more like in the way we see things. Yes, we see more sunrises, squirrels, and squeaky toys. Not to mention more dog hair, slobber and poop bags.

But we also see something bigger.

Our first adoption was Dexter. Seriously, you need to see this pup. He’s a collie-mix with brown eyes that spell “I will steal the world’s love” and a howl that screams cartoon. He cuddles, kisses, nuzzles, and loves peanut butter. He demands attention as he should—a puppy that was scooped up by Project Rescue ONE DAY before his euthanization date just demands attention. There isn’t a moment where my partner and I don’t look at him while he’s sleeping and say, “Who would let this little guy go?” The Kentucky-born hound now lives in our loft and has become a member of the family. For real, I think our parents are excited for their “grand-pooch” more than our visit.

The first time we met Charlotte she was sick, scared and in desperate need for attention. Always knowing we wanted a “sister” for Dexter, we found out about her by the Project Rescue team. They kept us posted on her recovery and, like friends, ensured we’d be the best parents for her. It was so eerie how similar the dogs looked, but being almost four months apart, there was no way they were related.... A few weeks later, Charlotte moved in with us. She’s been dominating the belly scratches and the end of the bed. Her fan-like tail and soft fur makes for a perfect pillow.

Life slows down when you have two critters that almost didn’t have their lives to slowly enjoy. You start seeing their smiley, tongue-dangly faces as a mantra for life. Start each day (sometimes sunrise!) with a newfound excitement for the normal. Enjoy each walk while discovering something every step of the way (Charlotte always stops to smell the neighborhood flowers), and of course say I love you—whether it’s a lick on the face, that’s up to you.

Most importantly, our dogs have a better life—a life that was almost taken away from them, but saved by an organization that will always have our support. Project Rescue isn’t just an “adoption agency”—they are heroes. They save lives. They offer protection. They work their, well, tails off to ensure that animals get what they deserve: a slow motion run towards an owner they love.

Thank you, Project Rescue, for giving us two dogs that are constantly teaching my partner and I tricks: sit, stay and slow down life for a while.

Thank you to Byron Flitsch for sharing his family's story.