Eight years ago today, I met this little guy at Chicago’s Anti-Cruelty Society. I had just left a terrible job interview, where some horrible recruiter told me I would make $9 an hour and like it. I left quickly, totally dressed to the 9’s (well the 4’s if we want to wallow in vanity), and stormed through the lousy Chicago Smarch weather until I realized that I should go to the dog shelter and pet some puppies. (That was my usual free entertainment as it was right off the Chicago bus line and thus near my old place.)
Oliver was sitting in a cage with two sisters, both of whom looked significantly more like beagles — more white stripes on the face and such. I had nothing against the girls; but because of Sailor, I knew I wanted a boy and I knew I wanted the most lab-like pup I could find. And then, after meeting each other, I knew Oliver and I were meant to be together (hell, I wasn’t supposed to be at the shelter that day — I had an interview and *really* expensive pants on). From the first moments we were playing, I knew what was right. I asked him if he wanted me to be his mommy, and he smothered me with kisses (later I learned that this is Oliver’s favorite means of communication).
Then I realized I had forgotten my cell phone, which ended up being a wonderful thing. Before Ollie, I would call friends and family members to have them talk me out of adopting whatever dog I was looking at during my free time puppy time. Of course, my boy and I had a bond — I never would have called. But a lovely stranger allowed me to use his cell to call my landlord to give them a warning that the shelter was going to call. (I don’t think that was much of a surprise as I would ask every day what I had to do to get a dog in my place.) The shelter questioned my income and my landlord and my living scenario — they really got the job done and for reasons like this I’m having an 8th anniversary. After a really exciting bus ride home, drive back and paperwork assessment, I was told I could become the mother of @misterpuppy. He would need shots and neutering and other things, but I HAD MY DOG!!!
Absolutely nothing in my life (thus far, fingers crossed) has felt as good as seeing someone put a collar on Oliver that said “I’m adopted!!”
I picked him up from the shelter eight years ago tomorrow… but that’s day two of this Olliversary.