In my crowded feed of status updates about who went where over the weekend, how much people drank, who was annoyed at what or whom, a pair of brown eyes stared back at me. Edie was a lab mix on her way to DC from a high-kill shelter in South Carolina. Her white plushy coat made her look like a living stuffed animal. It must be a mistake, that anyone wouldn't want this dog.
In December my husband and I said goodbye to our rescue dog, Giselle and I was still raw from the heart-wrenching ordeal, hesitant to open my heart to another pet. I was still Facebook friends with Giselle's rescue, Lucky Dog, and their adoptable pets would pop up in my newsfeed. Against my better judgment I clicked through to Edie's full description on Petfinder. She was good with other dogs. Check. She was good with children. Check.
I gingerly approached my husband, tiptoeing around the idea of getting another dog. His response was skeptical at best.
"Honey, this dog looks huge. We live in a rowhouse."
"Yeah, you're right," I reluctantly agreed. "Maybe she needs a huge yard. And we would double our daycare expenses. And food expenses. And vet expenses."
On we went, effectively talking ourselves out of the idea. Regardless, I sent a message to the rescue group, half-hoping she already found a home and I could stop thinking about her. But she hadn't been adopted - oh and because of our previous rescue, we were per-approved to adopt and would we like that option? "For the first half hour of our adoption event this weekend, you have dibs on her," they told me. "No," I replied. I didn't want to stand in the way of her finding a new home.
When Sunday rolled around, I reminded my husband of the adoption event. "Let's go, please," I asked him. "I just want to meet Edie, and walk away knowing it was our decision." My persistence paid off, and soon we were on our way to the event, toddler son in tow. I fully expected to leave after ten minutes.
Adoption events can be chaotic, with dogs of all shapes and sizes, and people milling about. I zeroed in on Edie immediately. She was smaller than she looked in pictures. A promising sign. And despite the barking and jumping and shouting around us, she was Zen Dog. She just sat there, and let me stroke her ears. Eric met her, and walked her around the parking lot. Then we stepped aside to chat.
"Do you love her?" Eric asked.
"We can't possibly take her home. We don't have room in the car, we don't even have a crate for her ... "
"You are rationalizing," Eric interrupted. "Do you love her?"
"Yes. I do love her."
"Then she's ours."
Half an hour later we were driving home with our newest family member in the backseat. My son, blissfully asleep the entire time, finally woke up. He looked at her with a wide smile, and thrust his hands out to touch her white fur. "DOGGIE!" he exclaimed.
I recently asked my husband what made him change his mind. "I looked into her eyes," he replied. "And I could just tell she was a good dog. She was looking for an anchor, and I knew that we could be that for her."
It's always the eyes.