Every once and a while you come across someone who doesn’t understand why you love dogs. Sure, when I see a dog, I see a little personality beaming out, an adventure and maybe the most incredibly story someone could ever experience. Others see dollar signs, an unwanted commitment and a waste of time. Typically I can put up with this, because clearly if that’s your outlook- you’ve never owned a dog.

My friends make fun of me- hardcore- for being as obsessed with dogs as I am. Bailey is my life, and I pay the price among friends. I even get asked how I can live in a zoo. Um…did you see a Zebra? This ain’t no zoo! It’s a house, with residents, and for me that includes pets. It's a home because a family lives in it. And yeah- family means pets too. Although- a Zebra would be pretty cool......

I’ve become accustomed to people judging my love for dogs and my need to be involved in rescues. I’ve been volunteering with Hopeful Hearts since January and have been loving every minute of it. Sure, sometimes it means dedicating my night to driving to someone’s home as a part of the adoption process. But for me- it’s the way I can help dogs get to their forever home. If spending some time in the car means a rescue gets a home for life, well I think some driving is the least I can do.

I had been keeping track of Bonnie on the Humane Society of Cozumel website for a long time. Each time I went back to the site I desperately hoped her face was no longer under the ‘adoptables’. It was obvious that if I wanted to see this girl get adopted, I was going to have to take action. Going into it, I braced for impact from family and friends. I KNEW people would immediately question why I was doing this. Why would I want another dog in the house? I don’t even KNOW this dog- what if she didn’t get along with our pets? With us? I barely knew anything about her. And this was before I told them that I was having her flown in from Cozumel! People just didn’t understand.

My contact with the Humane Society of Cozumel was awesome. I wanted to jump up and down for joy when she said she could get Bonnie on a plane to Toronto. THEN the lovely people with Hopeful Hearts told me Bonnie could go into the HH program. THEN a lovely volunteer with Loyal Rescue in Toronto offered to pick Bonnie up from the airport and take her overnight while I drove to T.O. to pick her up. All of these people, these wonderfully lovely people helping me get a dog from Cozumel; a dog I had never met. This whole sequence of events restored some faith in humanity, and gave me the reassurance that not only am I not crazy (thank goodness!), but there are other people out there who want to help others out of the complete goodness of their being. How amazing is that?

I’m a gut instinct person. If that little voice in my head (the good kind) is telling me to follow my instincts, I listen carefully and put my faith in it. I had no other reason for wanting to get Bonnie here other than I knew that I had to do it. I had this feeling that she was worth all this trouble. Worth a 10+ drive to pick her up. Worth all the criticism I got when I said I wanted to have a dog flown in from Cozumel so I could foster her. And you know what? I am so unbelievably happy I did it. As much as you want support from friends and family, sometimes you need to just support what you believe in.

We’ve been fostering for the last week and I’ve been enjoying every minute with Bonnie. I’d be lying if I said I was looking forward to her leaving, because the reality is this dog is one of a kind. I will miss her TERRIBLY when she goes. But for now I’ll focus on the transformation I’m witnessing on this pooch. I suppose I finally understand why people do this. Why people open up their homes to pets they’ve never met to give them the chance they’ve been desperate for. I’m thankful  for what dog rescues like Hopeful Hearts has taught me, and wish this lesson on anyone. If you’re considering adopting or fostering, know that  it might be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Don’t allow yourself to focus solely on puppies or breeders- open your mind to the idea of an older dog that is just as worthy of a home.

It is so worth it.

Hailey and Zaphod's Lady
9/13/2012 11:18:15 am

What a beautiful post. I face many of the same judgement from others (although I am lucky many of my friends are animal lovers). People who have never had a pet really don't understand the joy from it. The don't understand why you would spend thousands of dollars on medical treatments and never blink an eye, why you are really don't mind having to arrange a schedule around letting the dogs out, or why sometimes you would rather spend a Friday night at home with the pack rather then at the bar, how your housing choices are based on "how will this work for the dog" and you really don't always notice the pet hair on your pants (and if you do, you don't care).

I have had two incredible losses in the past 2.5 years and I can say that even though this was crushing grief I didn't think I would ever get over, but now on the other side, even knowing the pain I wouldn't trade one second with my dogs. The joy they brought in the end outweighed the grief. Loki and Gemi have the place of honour on our mantel. They will always be treasures for us.

I think it is AMAZING that you found Bonnie and brought her to Canada and have assured her a wonderful life. I think you and all the other dog rescue people are AMAZING! Without people like you I wouldn't have my 2 wonderful dogs!

Thanks again for sharing

9/14/2012 01:17:28 am

I think it's amazing that you put so much work into getting Bonnie to Canada. We've never brought in dogs from Cozumel before, nor have we ever had a foster even attempt to make a connection like this, so it's really great. Good on you for being Bonnie's little angel. :)


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