Yesterday marked five years with our golden-haired pal, Owen. Yes, I’m talking about our fun-loving, active, sweet, and slightly (though sometimes more than slightly) mischievous Golden retriever.
We adopted him in January 2013 at the Pasadena Humane Society. We first saw the Golden on Saturday the 5th, shy and quiet, as he retreated to the back of his kennel. The sign on his bars showed clip art of a happy doggo radiating hearts and reading “I will love you forever.” There was no hope at that point of our adopting him as he already had a full waitlist. So we moved on and met a large, but very sweet and playful German shepherd puppy. As the husband had a lifelong love of German shepherds, we decided that he would be the next addition to our family. We just had to show up at the shelter the next day when he would be cleared for adoption.
Unfortunately, we missed him. We arrived at the Humane Society just fifteen minutes too late. The beautiful German shepherd had been adopted, and as the other dogs who would fit with the ages of our children (pit bulls and their mixes were not adoptable by families with children under eight) were already fully waitlisted, we left with much sadness and no dog. Even a promised lunch at In-n-Out or McDonalds did nothing to raise morale that day.
The following Tuesday, I was back online searching our local shelters to find our next best friend. Pasadena had just received a lovely cream Lab who reminded me of our first dog, Maxwell, who had passed away some years before. I called the Humane Society to inquire after Princess. I was told that (thankfully) she was chipped and was going to be released to her family, but that the Golden retriever we were interested in was possibly free for adoption. Two families on the waitlist had dropped off, and the third was on the fence about waiting for another dog who had just come in. I would be in that morning to hopefully meet our new dog.
I arrived at Pasadena less than 15 minutes later and was lead back to the Golden’s kennel. It was empty. The counselor figured he had been taken on a walk, however as we walked toward the family meeting area, we saw that he was being shown to the remaining person on the waitlist. I told the counselor that I would wait to see what the prospective family decided.
It must have been only about five minutes of waiting in the lobby, but it felt like hours as I waited to see whether we would be able to adopt this dog, or if I would have to return home sad again with no furry buddy. Finally, the adoption counselor who was showing the Golden came back in saying that the other prospective family had indeed decided to wait for the other dog, and the Golden retriever was now free for the Haas family to meet.
I got to meet the shy, timid retriever first. He was a bit cautious around me but perked up when I started throwing him the ball. His lack of aggression and playful streak gave me the impression that he would be a good fit in our growing family. All that was left was for the husband and kids to officially meet the dog and for us to sign the paperwork. We returned just before closing that same day, and the rest is history. The Lord certainly has a way of bringing sweet blessings into our lives, and Owen is definitely a blessing. We are thankful that Owen Parker Allen has now been a Haas for the past five years.
Life hasn’t been quite as idyllic as I’m making it seem. Owen did need some training to break some bad habits, such as digging and overexcitement when meeting other dogs. He also had a ton more energy than it seemed when he left the shelter. Turns out he was not a timid dog, nor was he as old as first gauged. But he is exceptionally sweet and very intelligent. And he loves people, especially his people. Just about anyone who comes through our gate is his new best friend. And his playful personality has added brightness to the interesting bunch of characters that are our family.
That sign hanging from his door at the Pasadena Humane Society has proven true thus far. “I will love you forever” from the happy dog radiating hearts and brightness. Happy anniversary to our Owen.
Animal shelters are great places to find your next best friend. Both of our dogs came from the Pasadena Humane Society. Petfinder.com or your local shelter’s websites are good tools to help start your search. Happy tails!