By Jarissa Aquinde, Positively Woof Rescue and Adoption Story Editor
Renee never expected to be a dog mom. She came from a family of typical “cat people”, growing up with an absurd amount of cats and never once having a dog in her life. There had been desperate pleas to her parents, countless letters expressing how responsible she was, but at a certain age, she learned to accept that a dog just wasn’t in the cards for her. One day, while attending college at West Virginia University, Renee was looking at Petfinder.com (note: never go on Petfinder.com with no intention to adopt) and she stumbled across a kill-shelter an hour or so away that held a puppy adoption event every couple of Saturdays. She texted her friend that they were going to play with puppies, and they were on their way.
Renee and her friend arrived at the shelter, and it turned out that they came on the off-day when there was no adoption event being held. Shelter staff said they could come in and poke around anyways, so they did just that. Upon walking in, they found a litter of eight week old puppies in a small enclosed area, none of whom had been named, and were simply called “Marley’s Angels”. They had been born in the shelter and lived indoors while their mom (Marley) lived outside. The conditions at the shelter weren’t the best, to say the least, but despite every thought not to, Renee entered the cage of slightly mangy puppies and fell in love.
There were three of them there, but one chubby one caught her eye immediately, as she fought her sisters for the food dish. The woman working said she could take her for a walk in the yard on a leash, which proved more difficult than expected, as these puppies had never been walked before. Renee was nervous to take on the commitment of a dog as a 21 year old student, so she put the puppy “on hold” that day and said she would sleep on it. Her now fiancee (boyfriend at the time) said he knew she wouldn’t be able to go to the shelter and not take one home. Renee hates to admit it, but he was right.
Immediately after leaving the shelter, she went to the store and purchased, what in her mind, were the necessary puppy supplies – a pink collar/leash duo, a pumpkin puppy Halloween costume, and treats. She told her parents and friends that she was thinking of adopting a shelter puppy, which was taken with an underwhelming lack of enthusiasm. Renee’s favorite reply was “this is the dumbest thing you’ve done in your life”, a direct quote from a friend. And if she’s being honest, she had done some pretty stupid things in her life. At this point though, she had already made her mind up. She could not bear the thought of that puppy being euthanized or adopted by someone else.
Two days later, Renee returned to the shelter to pay the adoption fee. Brooklyn cost a whopping $25! She couldn’t contain her excitement as she drove back to her apartment. She doesn’t even think she went to class all week because it was too hard to leave Brooklyn’s side. Even as a puppy, she was the sweetest and most loyal dog Renee has ever encountered. She constantly wanted to be held or to be interacting with people. Still now, as a 65 pound, grown dog, she always wants to be in Renee’s lap or stealing attention from any guests who come over. Brooklyn’s exact breed is still unknown, but people on the streets stop her all the time to tell them what an adorable dog she. She is constantly clothed, and will give you sass when you try to take her t-shirts off. Renee refuses to believe that a $2,000 breeder dog would have even half of the personality (or attitude) that her shelter dog has.
Brooklyn was the best $25 Renee has spent in her entire life. She did come with her fair share of troubles, i.e. eating hundreds of dollars in sneakers, destroying a box spring/mattress, and not using the bathroom for almost a full week when they moved up to NYC because she was confused by the lack of grass. But the good will forever outweigh the bad! Brooklyn is the true definition of a loyal companion, and she is the most affectionate animal Renee knows. She is as much a part of Renee and her fiancee’s family as any human. Renee could not imagine life any other way.