This is my little dog, Otis. I first met Otis at Miles for Mutts, held at Lucky’s Saloon. Miles for Mutts is an independent event put by a group of amazing people to help raise money for the Humane Society of Alamance County. I had just started working for HSAC and this was my first event, first day on the job really, and there was Otis, just hanging out in a crate wearing a little vest that said “Adopt Me.” I loved him immediately. John and his friend Dylan had come with me to hangout, drink, and do whatever it was they were going to do. John held and petted Otis a little, but John was not as taken as I was. I even tried to get Dylan to adopt Otis, but while he wanted him, Dylan admitted he wasn’t home enough to have a dog. So, poor little Otis went back to his foster home that evening to continue to wait for a forever home.
It was another month before I saw Otis again, Caitlin brought him to the office, and again, I wanted him. Otis and I bonded right away, and while I had never wanted a dog before, I’m more of a cat person, I really really really wanted Otis. Caitlin brought Otis to work a few days a week and he sat on my lap or slept in a little bed on my desk. Finally, after a few weeks I asked if I could take him home for the weekend and Caitlin said, “yes.” I told John we were just fostering for the weekend and that he would go back on Monday. This was a Thursday. By Sunday I had been crying all weekend wanting to keep him, but John was studying for the bar and said he didn’t have time for a dog. I finally made the argument that I wasn’t studying for anything, Otis could come with me to work every day, and I did have time for a dog. John finally agreed, and that dog was mine!
Otis and John’s start, unlike my start, was a rocky one. Several times John even threatened to send him back; I would never let that happen. For some reason, Otis does not like men too much and it took him about a month to get used to John. I think what finally made them bond was one night John couldn’t sleep and was up all night, he and Otis hung out and John taught him to sit by using a bag of pepperonis. After that, the two were great and they have been BFFs ever since. It was most likely the pepperonis.
Otis wasn’t the best dog when we first got him, but I love how goofy he looks, his little under bite, his love of cuddling, and he adores cats, he prefers them actually, and thankfully our cats got along with Otis. He has definitely come a long way from when we first got him. He is much better with letting random people pet him now and even cuddled up with my friend Devang when he came for a visit, something he has never done with anyone else. John and I were both amazed.
I adopted Otis from a rescue and it was the best decision I ever made. I have never gotten an animal from a breeder, nor will I ever. My two current cats, Winston and Sissy, are rescues, and the cats my family had before them were all strays we found and kept. Every pet I have owned has been perfect and loving. There are a lot of people out there who will argue adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue is a bad idea because you do not know their past. Look, all you need to know is a rescue animal is far more thankful and loving than you can ever imagine. There is no reason to go to a breeder when thousands of amazing animals are in shelters waiting for homes and euthanized because no one ever comes. There are thousands of puppies and kittens in shelters who have no “past” because they are too young and many more animals who are there because their owners passed away and family would not take them or for financial reasons. It’s not “bad” dogs and cats who are there, just unfortunate ones. The animal’s past does not matter. What matters is the future and the wonderful life you and the animal can have together. I am looking forward to many happy loving years with my three fur babies.