I wanted to think this was the one. I really hoped that I would return home with a furry friend to play with, but the chances were low. My family and I had been to several other pet adoption events and still we were petless.
“Are we there yet?” asked my little brother, Owen. It was only a short drive from my grandparents’ house where we were staying to the Anderson Animals dog adoption event.
“Now we are,” said Dad. I hopped out of the van and felt the blazing sun even though it was late September. To the right, I saw a big black and white guard dog chained to a metal pole. He was barking furiously. I hoped we wouldn’t adopt a dog like him.
We strolled across the parking lot into the adoption area. There were two blue tents with tables underneath that were covered with pamphlets, papers and candies. And there were dogs, lots of dogs. There was a big, slobbery dog, a miniature noisy dog, a white fluffy dog, and two Havanese puppies, one of which was blind. “It will need a special home,” said Mom.
But we were there to see a dog named Darby. My mom had looked Darby up on her phone and thought she could be a decent pet. The only problem: another family was already interested in adopting her. Putting that fact aside, we approached Darby and her foster mom, who was walking her.
Darby barked and pulled on her leash just like the guard dog had, but unlike him, she didn’t give me the chills. “She’s very puppy-ish,” said her foster mom, though we could already see that.
While Owen, my little sister and I stroked Darby’s silky blonde coat, my mom and Darby’s foster mom talked. “Maybe she isn’t the right dog for us,” my mom said, after she’d finished. “And besides she is already going to be adopted by another family.”
So we weren’t getting a puppy this time either. My heart sunk to my toes. Maybe next time. (I hoped there was a next time.)
“Can we still look at the other dogs?” I asked my parents hopefully.
“Of course,” they said. I was observing a small white dog with curly hair when my mom called me.
“Look at that dog,” she said. “He doesn’t seem bothered by any of the other animals around him.” She pointed to a small dog, about a foot and a half long and a half foot tall with reddish brown fur and pointy ears. We walked over and asked his name.
“It’s Dave,” said the volunteer walking him. “He hasn’t barked, nipped or jumped at any people or dogs in the one hour I’ve known him.”
The adoption event offered rooms you could take a dog into to get to know them better. “May we get a room with Dave?” asked my mom.
The room was bare except a single chair in the corner, not that I expected anything more glamorous. We took turns walking Dave around the room on his lash, petting him and testing his reactions when we touched his head, poked his paw, or felt his tail. He didn’t seem to care. Could he obey basic commands like “Sit,” “Stay” or “Come”? He apparently could not.
I didn’t want to leave when the volunteer told us our time was over. “Time to go back to your grandparents’ house,” Mom said. My smile disappeared. I didn’t want to go! I had actually connected with one of the dogs this time. But maybe it was just as I’d suspected, another unsuccessful attempt at adopting the perfect canine companion.
I sulked the whole ride back. Once there I cried and pleaded with my parents to return for Dave. Finally they agreed, but my mom doubted a good dog like him would still be there.
My whole family, included my grandparents, climbed back into the minivan and drove back to the adoption event. I crossed my fingers, hoping the little pointy-eared dog was still there waiting for me.
When we arrived, I hopped out, not even glancing at the guard dog. I flew across the parking lot. At first I didn’t see him–I must not have been looking hard. Then I saw him come round the side of the building on a leash with the same volunteer.
I ran over and stroked his soft fur. I grinned from ear to ear. I couldn’t believe he was still here.
When the volunteer said Dave had remained well behaved the entire day, my mom looked like she was starting to consider adopting Dave. This time we got a bigger room with Dave and an employee discussed adoption with my mom. Finally Mom said, “Yes!” I didn’t know what to do! Should I laugh, jump up and down or just smile? I decided to pet my new dog.
We all agreed that we couldn’t keep the name Dave, so we decided to name him Buddy. When we told him his new name, his face got wrinkly, his eyes squinted, and I think that might have been a smile.
Elliana, 9, is going into the 4th grade. She takes Irish dance with her younger sister. Elliana’s poem was published in a young authors poetry award book in 2016. She wants to write a news article and have it published. When Elliana gets older she would like to be in a movie.