December 3rd is an important date in our family as it was one year ago today that Richard and I adopted our dog. At the end of November 2009, I was feeling a sad and depressed. Richard had been deployed to Iraq since April and I was living at my parent’s house in Canada, feeling very alone. I always browse PetFinder.com for dogs in my area, but usually only to look at their adorable adoption photos. This one afternoon there was a dog that caught my eye. His name was Malkin, 7 months old and living at the Kingston Humane Society. He had lived with a family before but they couldn’t handle him anymore and brought him to the shelter.
I got approval from my parents to have another dog at their house, showed Richard some pictures of Malkin, and one week later I was driving to Kingston with my brother to get pick him up. When I first met Malkin he was outside playing in the rain with a Collie named Happy. He was wet, muddy and jumping all over the place like a maniac. Most would have been scared off by his high energy, but I didn’t care because he looked soft and had beautiful markings. My mom suggested the name Dexter and it’s turned out to be quite fitting. Why? Because he’s absolutely insane but loveable too – just like everyone’s favourite TV serial killer Dexter Morgan.
Dexter and I had a rough time the first 4 months of ownership. He really enjoyed chasing me, trying to bite me, succeeding in biting me, barking at me, barking at others etc. With Richard being overseas I was left to deal with this high maintenance dog all on my own. It was hard but we worked together with a trainer and have developed a great bond. Richard claims he only really likes and doesn’t love Dexter because he can be quite an asshole, but you know what? He’s our asshole and a part of our family. Does this look like a man that only really likes his dog? Yeah, I don’t believe him either.
I implore all of you – If you decide to add a four legged member to your family, please check out your local shelters before visiting pet stores and breeders. Animals that come from shelters may need more work and much more love and attention than others, but I can assure you the feeling you get knowing you’ve given an animal another chance at being in a great home will be more than worth it. Dexter and I have our ups and downs, but I love him to death and would do anything for this mangey mutt.
Happy 1 year in our family, Dexter!