Monday, October 4, 2010

One Year of True Love

When I walk in the door after a long day of traipsing around Brooklyn, the first thing I see is my little pup clawing at my feet. His whole body curls in half and he wags his tail so hard that it hits him in the face, and he can't walk straight. He's my little Snoopy, my wiggle, my little dog, my pooch, he's my pup. And I love to see his little face when I walk in the door. 

On Sunday it will be one year since I first saw this little face through the chain link fence in the back of the shelter where he was waiting for me. But I guess to fully understand how Levi ended up with me, I'll have to start even before that day. One year ago I was in college, I was loving life in my little mountain town, living with friends in a quaint old house. It was our senior year and we were all in such a good place. We had been living together for three years; we meandered our way through several dorms, homes, and other roommates together until we narrowed our group down to a solid five. Four of the best friends I have ever had. Five girls who had become family, five sisters who could get through it all. Knowing that we had only one more year with one another, I started feeling like we needed something to tie us all together. I started to feel like if we had a companion in our final year, life would be that much more sweet, so I started poking around the internet to find the perfect pup. After I was sure that there was a dog out there for us, I ran the idea by my roommates. And while they were a bit more hesitant than I was, we agreed to head to a local shelter the next day. 

can you tell who is a bit hesitant?
The next morning I woke up like a child on Christmas, sat in the living room and anxiously awaited the rest of the house to rustle. As soon as everyone was awake my shoes were on and two of us were out the door, the others waiting at home for the phone calls and photos about who we found. 

When we arrived at the shelter, an old barn down a long dirt road, we were a bit skeptical. We went in anyway. After filling the woman behind the counter in on what we were looking for (a small, friendly pup)she had her coworker lead us through rows of huge dogs with deep barks, behind big cage doors, to an outdoor area with five or six dogs roaming freely. There were several dogs cowering in the back, and three right up by the fence-one of which was my Levi. He and his brother were the only two perched up scraping their paws against the chain-link, whimpering as to say "oh please! choose me! choose me!" And so we did. The two dogs were let out for us to play with and I immediately scooped up my Levi. 

I have to admit, we all thought that Levi's brother was the better pick of the two, but my heart had already fallen in love with the one in my arms- and luckily a last minute decision had us walking out with Levi and not his brother. 
*a side-note: I almost left with both Levi and his brother; while filling out the paperwork I couldn't bare the thought of leaving the other pup behind. But, thankfully, just as I was about to propose the idea to my roommates a little boy and his dad came walking into the office with the other Snoopy, smiling just as big as we were. 

Levi is a four(ish)-year-old Chihuahua, Beagle, Daschund mix. That is the best guess anyway, and he was removed from a home that had fourteen dogs inside. There was Levi, his mother, and five or six brothers and sisters, as well as some other dogs. He was living in filthy conditions, his ribs poked out of the sides of his little body, and he shook and cowered from the slightest abrupt movement. Levi was a little puppy mess, but we gave him a second chance at life; and boy is it a great one.

Over the last year Levi and I have celebrated...

we have climbed mountains, braved waters, and strolled beaches...

Levi has even been the proud recipient of the "most obedient" award at a local pup parade...

Levi and I have spent days adventuring, evenings playing, and we see eye-to-eye on almost everything...

Levi and I even graduated college together...

and to be truthful, I don't know how I would have survived the transition from "college student" to "unemployed young adult" without him. 

Levi has come a long way from his shaky, skinny self that he was one year ago. His rib-baring sides have filled out, his skittish tendencies have been replaced with a wagging tail and a hardy bark, and his heart is filled with the biggest love I have ever known. 

Everyday that I walk in the door, tired and sluggish, my little wiggle pops out from the hall and greets me like no one else can. A dogs love is unconditional, and incomparable.

I like to think that Levi and I saved one another. We were meant to get each-other through difficult times and to enjoy each-others company on sunshine filled days. When someone comes up to him too abruptly, wanting to pet and love on the cutest little pup, he sticks right close to my legs so I can warn them he is "shy." And when I am feeling low he knows just the right place to nuzzle up on my chest to make me giggle. We both love to curl up on cool sheets under the warm sun in our local park, and to hike the beautiful mountains on lovely days. 

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and on Sunday we will not only be celebrating one fantastic year with Levi- but we will also be celebrating for all shelter dogs who were lucky enough to get a second chance, a loving home, and a dear companion, as well as wishing and hoping for those who are still waiting

And oh, what a wonderful year it has been. 

(In honor of  Adopt a Shelter Dog month, please feel free to share this post, or any of the links attached to it, with anyone who may be ready to embark on a shelter adoption of their own!)


  1. What a cute post! :)

    Nothing more beautiful than the love between a pet and its owner!!

  2. Levi is freakin' adorable :]

    I wish my dog would be more obedient. He's cute, but he is kind of a moron. He used to get his head stuck in cups. And now he likes to wiggle through loose boards in our fence. Hooray. Just what I need.

    Peace out, girl scout

  3. Beautiful!!!!! That was so moving, thank you! There is a very special reward given to those who rescue a shelter dog that can only be experienced by those who've adopted. I'm a failed foster mommy myself. I fostered dogs through a rescue org. shortly before I met my own four legged bundle of joy. When I'm having a bad day, he makes it all better. I had no idea how much joy was missing from my life until he entered it and I feel like I'm the lucky one. It makes me so sad to think of all the others who didn't make it out of the kill shelter he came from. There are many special friends waiting behind a chain link fence for someone to scoop them up. We need to discourage breeders and mills from operating, it's completely unnecessary.


Thanks for taking some time to smell the sneezeweed!