Saturday, February 4, 2012

D'Angelo's Story

Pet's name: D'Angelo
Adopted by: Tina Smith
From: Greenville Humane Society, Greenville, S.C.

Tina, who blogs at Park Avenue Chihuahua, sent the story of D'Angelo, who came into her life unexpectedly one day.

It seemed like any other day. Little did I know I was destined to meet the love of my life that crisp October evening. I had thought about volunteering at the local humane society. I was going to do the dirty work that others didn't want to do (clean the cages and walk the dogs). I called the Greenville Humane Society and they told me that they would mail me some information about the next orientation. I checked my mailbox one day to find out that they mailed the orientation information about a day too late—the orientation had taken place the night before. I called and was assured that they would mail out more dates.

The next time I checked my mail box, I was shocked to see that the orientation was taking place that night. So much for advanced notice, I thought. I was tired and contemplated waiting for another date, but something kept nagging at me from the inside telling me that I really needed to go that night. So I went.

The orientation started with a discussion on what being a volunteer would entail and then we were to be taken on a tour of the facilities. It was time for us to tour the dog area. I walked in this big room to see cages and cages of excited, hopeful, and lonely dogs. I tried not to get attached to any particular one. I already had a dog. A six-year-old female Chihuahua to be exact. She was and still is my baby and the love of my life. She and I were just fine all by ourselves.

Just then I spotted this adorable black-and-tan Chihuahua out of the corner of my eye. He was so cute with his little red country bandana on. The thing that caught my eye the most was that he wasn't looking at anyone else on the tour (which was about 15 people) but me. He never took his eyes off me. It was like he knew, he knew I was destined to be his mommy. He was so hopeful as he stood on his hind legs and pawed at the cage. I walked over to him and our eyes met. I knew too. I knew by some divine power that he was to be mine. I kept rationalizing and talking myself out of it. I didn't need or want another dog, especially not a boy dog. Boy dogs mark all over everything and they like to hump things. I lived in an apartment. I couldn't afford another dog. And the list of excuses went on and on. But somehow I knew. I fell in love with him instantly.

I was assured that he would still be there when I finished the tour and that I could come back and visit him after it was all over. When the tour finished I returned to the dog cages but he wasn't there. I went into the lobby and saw a lady playing with him. I thought she was going to adopt him so I took it as a sign and headed for the door. But I couldn't leave, I just couldn't. I asked her if she was going to adopt him and she said, "no." She said that she was a worker and she would take turns letting a dog out of its cage so it could run around for a little while. I played with "Andy" (that was his name then—I changed it later) until the humane society closed.

I asked about his history. I was told that someone dropped him off at the humane society because they were moving and couldn't keep him inside. Really? He was seven pounds. How can you not keep a sweet little seven-pound dog inside your home? Then I was told that he was adopted out again and that he was returned a week later for reasons unknown. This poor little sweet dog had been tossed around like an old stuffed animal and discarded. Little did I know that it was God's plan all along. It was God's plan for me to find him, adopt him, and save his life.

I asked what time the humane society opened the next day—10 a.m., I was told. So I called my boss and asked if I could take my lunch break early. I took my friend and my little Chihuahua Patti Marie with me the next day. I wanted to make sure that they liked each other. Patti and "Andy" took to each other immediately. He loved her from the start and she seemed to like him too. We were told to take them to the courtyard and see how they did outside with each other. The courtyard was where the dogs were walked before they were brought back to their cages. As we walked around the courtyard I realized that I definitely wanted to adopt him.

I went inside to find a volunteer. As we headed back outside this poor little dog started to claw the tile on the floor. It was as if he were hanging on for dear life. He didn't want to leave me. He thought since we were going back outside that I was taking him back to his cage. It broke my heart and I adopted him on the spot. There was no way I was leaving him, not even for a minute. He curled up in my lap as we rode home and went sound asleep with such a peaceful look on his face. It was probably the best sleep he had had in months.

D'Angelo with Patti Marie

Once home, I knew I needed to change his name. Andy didn't suit him. As we walked around the grounds of the apartment community, I talked to him. I told him that he was an Angel. Then I said out loud "Angelo" and then finally "D'Angelo." That was his new name—D'Angelo—and he loved it. All I had to do was say it twice and he knew it was his new name. For a few weeks after I adopted him he seemed unsure of his new home. He didn't know if it was permanent or not. As crazy as it sounds, I talked to him. I told him that this was his forever home, that I loved him dearly, and that I would forevermore be his mommy. After that he knew I meant it.

Little did I know that October 14, 2005, would change my life forever. The crazy thing is that I got my Chihuahua Patti Marie on the exact same day six years earlier—October 14, 1999. It was destiny for sure. Almost seven years later, I can happily report that D'Angelo and Patti love each other more than words can express. Since then we rescued two more precious dogs, totaling four puppy dogs in all.

D'Angelo is the most precious, sweet, loving, and loyal dog anyone could ask for. He is truly a gift from God. He is my baby and the LOVE OF MY LIFE.

If you adopted a pet from a shelter or rescue group and you'd like to share his or her story, please email me. I'd love to hear from you!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, I literally have tears in my eyes!!! D'Angelo was so totally meant for you and Patti Marie!!!! What a moving story!! Ha, I said the same thing about my little males!!! Who is sitting on my lap as I type? The most perfect male pup ever!!! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story of destiny!!!


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