Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Joey's Story - Part I

Written by Reggie and Gemma's Adoptive Mom

This blog has been like a road block in front of all my other ideas for a number of weeks. Bonnie emailed me almost a month ago asking why I became involved in Col. Potter and Cairn Rescue. I haven't written a blog since. To answer her, I knew I'd have to be honest which meant putting myself out there a little bit with a pretty painful story. Because I trust the Col. Potter community, I've decided to share this story about our first Cairn, Joey and how he led me to Col. Potter.

We got Joey in December of 2009. He was a tiny, 8 week-old Cairn puppy that we bought from a breeder. We drove 2 hours to get him and we were in love from the minute we brought him home. Every facebook picture was Joey, Joey attended all our social events and he even came to work with me once in a while. He made us laugh, he loved us and we loved him to pieces.

One day in March 2010, we were relaxing at a barbecue at our friends' house. Joey was playing in the fenced-in yard with his best bud, Sammi, the labrador while we played a game inside. When we went to let the dogs in after 15 minutes, Joey was nowhere to be found. Our Joey had made the great escape under the fence and was loose in the middle of a very busy area. The situation was made even worse when my fiance, sheepishly told me he'd taken Joey's collar off because it had kept getting caught on Sammi's collar. He handed me all the tags linking us to our 7-month-old puppy & something in me knew we'd seen the last of our Joey.

We looked for Joey all night and for almost 2 weeks. We put up over 2000 posters, went door to door and contacted local media. Every evening, we had kids on bikes helping us look for him. People we didn't even know were driving around calling Joey's name. The support from my community was overwhelmingly touching but we still came home at night to Joey's empty bed.

I think I would've looked forever if it weren't for a horrible phone call that ended it all. A very nice, very upset man called me to tell me that he'd accidentally hit Joey with his car a few weeks prior. The man had seen a poster and recognized Joey's picture. He wanted to call me so that we didn't continue to look. It was a noble gesture but it was the wrong ending for what had happened. It was the worst possible scenario and I was beyond devastated.

A few weeks after receiving that phone call, people started asking if we'd get another puppy. I missed Joe but the thought of starting all over was too disheartening. We felt like we'd failed at some level. Everything that had happened seemed without reason. I didn't understand how Justin and I- responsible people with so much love for their dog, had let this happen. I didn't understand why the universe had let it happen either. It all made me really angry.

I really hit a low-point in May. I was extremely depressed and angry with myself and I was still desperately trying to find a purpose for what had happened. One night, on a whim, I typed into my Google Search, “Cairn Terrier Rescue.” Because I didn't want a tiny puppy, but missed having a Cairn, this seemed to be a logical possibility.

When I clicked on the Col. Potter site and started to read some of the stories of the adoptable dogs, it broke my heart all over again. None of these poor puppies and dogs had ever seen a day of love. They were sitting in homes across America waiting for someone like me to love them. It made me look back on Joey's life in a different way: Although his life ended horribly, he never saw a day without love. He had a warm bed, food to eat and all the toys a dog could want. I thought to myself, “These dogs deserve to have that life.” And I surprised myself when I thought, “...I think I'm the one that needs to give it to them.” It was then that I filled out an application to adopt our Reggie.

(Joey's Story Part 2- his legacy- will be posted later today)

1 comment:

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