This is the story of how I went from being a self-proclaimed dog person to owning two cats.
Since I was young, I have always been an animal advocate. My father told me a story of when I was four and really wanted to go fishing, but I didn’t want to harm the worms. He let me pick out some fake, purple worms that proceeded to help me catch nothing. That same year, we adopted a black furry puppy from SICSA Pet Adoption Center.
She was cowering in the corner of her kennel, in the back corner of the basement of the house that SICSA used to call home. My father crawled on his knees to pick her up from the back of the kennel. We adopted her and she became my most cherished friend. Maggie would sit and play tea party with me when I was young, greet me off the school bus when I was in elementary school, let me cry to her in middle school and would be the listening ear I craved through high school. Unfortunately, Maggie – like all dogs – got old. My parents made the most humane decision to put Maggie to sleep when I was in college. She was so old and in so much pain. I was so mad at them, but ultimately, they made the hardest, but the best decision for my very best friend.
A year later, my parents were lonely. Their only child was in college and they no longer had a four-legged friend to keep them company. My mother convinced my dad to go to the shelter to see if there was a furry friend in need of a forever home. My dad kept growling – “I don’t want to get up in the morning and walk a dog. I don’t want to have to board her when we go on vacations.” The hardest part was convincing him to get in the car and drive to the shelter. Like clockwork, he fell in love with a spotted black and white dog – Harper. I came home from college to meet her that weekend. I was convinced that, because she was considerably smaller than Maggie, I wouldn’t like her.
I am willing to admit that I was completely wrong. I fell in love almost immediately. I instantly loved her more than I had ever loved anything in this world. Those little brown eyes could convince you of anything – especially that she needed half of that peanut butter toast you were eating, and that she needed it right this very minute. After college, I moved back home with my parents. Harper would sleep at the bottom of my bed, curl up in the white living room chair I had in my room and I would take her on walks every day.
Eventually, I was able to afford to move out. I finally had a place to call my own, and it was the greatest feeling in the world. Harper came to visit, and I would look after her while my parents went on vacations. I left a toxic job about a year after I moved out and became the Marketing Coordinator at SICSA Pet Adoption Center. About a week after I had started at SICSA, I found myself in an unnerving situation with a significant other that left me unable to find peace in this apartment that I once found solace in. I couldn’t stand to be in the apartment alone. I knew then and there that it was time to find a roommate.