A letter to my dog on her Gotcha Day
How did we get so lucky? I ask myself this every day when I look at you laying upside down with your paws flailing in the air. Two years ago we made it official and adopted you into our family. We waited a long time to adopt you, making sure we were ready. Before we adopted you, I had met plenty of dogs, but when we met you, there was no comparison.
My friend Claire and I drove out to meet you. We actually met about seven dogs that day, all recently retired Greyhounds. I was trying to narrow down the list of options so that Chris, your now dad, would be able to make the final choice. I walked, petted, and played with five dogs before I took you out. I’ll never forget how absolutely ridiculous you were in your kennel. Most of the other Greyhounds waited quietly and patiently, you… not so much.
Immediately you were interactive, happy, and so goofy. You loved being close to me but still were outgoing enough to meet other people. I was smitten with you from the start. But, I knew Chris needed to be a part of the decision too, so we put you back in your kennel and took out a few more hounds.
After meeting all seven, I was asked if there was anyone I really connected with. I explained I really liked you a lot and I would be heartbroken if you were adopted before Chris could meet you. So, the rescue told me to put you in our car and bring you back to Chicago to the local boarding facility. The whole way home you were quiet and calm. I was in love. I just hope Chris would be in love with you too.
Later that week (on our wedding anniversary actually!) we visited you again, along with two other dogs that I liked also. You were the second dog we met and you still came out to meet us with just as much enthusiasm as I remembered. You went right up to Chris and started milking it so hard. You knew exactly who you had to impress and you rose to the challenge. There was no question that you were meant to be ours.
From there, you went into a foster home with another Greyhound owner. You learned how to dog and they made sure you didn’t want to eat cats. Luckily, you were great with your fosters and officially approved to be our dog.
On April 22, 2018, you became Rawlings Nendick. Imagining you as a race dog makes us sad. We like to joke about how you knew how to fast track it to retirement. Whatever your past, we’re glad it’s history.
The first few weeks were a blur and we questioned ourselves many times. You loved to get up early (we did not) and seemed to think the couch was actually yours. You were a diva and made us laugh constantly. We found a new normal, worked through some growing pains, and you learned to sleep in.
Over the past two years, we’ve had plenty of highlights. You became the apple of your grandparents’ eye, howled with delight when seeing your Uncle Will, and put up with all five of our foster dogs (and 10221 foster cats…). While you certainly have your quirks (leash reactivity, stranger danger, resource guarding, shall I go on…?) you are still perfect.
Looking back on two years with you and I feel so lucky to be your mom. I promise to never tire of your diva attitude and retired lifestyle. Thanks for choosing us and constantly amazing us with your ridiculous antics. Happy Gotcha Day Rawlings!