A year ago I walked into the Oakland Animal Shelter and fell in love with a skinny puppy, curled up on a towel for warmth. Unlike the other dogs jumping on their gates to get a better look, he merely lifted his eyes, warily looking a yet another person walking by. After taking him into the playroom, he started wagging his tail shyly and eventually picked up a toy and dropped it at my feet. I had come that day with no intention of falling in love, but after I left, he had a name…Harrison.
Who could resist those eyes?
Even though it took me approximately .5 seconds to fall in love with his wrinkly brows and sorrowful eyes, adopting a dog was not a rush decision. I’ve always been a dog lover, and had been very close with the dog I had begged my parent’s to adopt when I was in 5th grade. After separating from my husband, I was forced to pick up the pieces and put my life together. I felt alone, and wanted a companion. I wanted to pour my energy into another living creature, and give and receive unconditional love.
Since the day I adopted Harrison he has been both a challenge and a blessing. He has challenged my patience with his undying energy, his penchant for shoes, and his dislike of his crate. But he also makes me laugh at least five times a day with his precocious personality, a body that wags so hard his tail hits him in the face and his insistence on making anything soft his new home.
He has endeared himself to me with his loving gazes and his willingness to cuddle. He has wormed his way into my heart and I don’t see him leaving that place anytime soon. Best of all, he’s helped me heal. And for that, I will always be grateful.