Around October of last year, my girlfriend and I decided to adopt a dog from the local animal shelter. Tigger, her old dog whom I had come to love and adore had passed away earlier in the year. After half a years healing and feeling the emptiness of the house without a dog, we decided to adopt.

We looked for a month without any success. All the applications we sent in seemed to fail or never get back to us even though we had a great house for a dog. It seemed, like everything else during the pandemic that things were just not as easy. One evening while searching local SPA sites, I found out that there was an event happening. You had to try to make an appointment at 7am sharp to go in and look at a single dog of your choice. There were 10 spots per day so it was imperative that we sign up early if we wanted a spot. We looked through the dogs they had and noticed a good selection of small, medium, and large dogs. We also saw Topaz, an Australian cattle dog whom seemed just the right size for us and was super adorable.

I tried the first day to snag a spot but failed. I was sad but I knew I had to try again the next day. So I got up early and refreshed the web page the next morning and I got lucky. We got the second spot for that day. Luckily enough, Topaz was still available. As we would come to learn, all the small dogs had been taken the previous day. I’d always liked medium to larger dogs, so this came as a surprise to me (After having Topaz for a year, I can now understand wanting a smaller dog).

During our appointment, we got to meet Topaz one on one. She was extremely scared. She peed herself at least 3 times in our 15 minute play session. While at first she was too scared to come near us, we learned the trick to gaining her trust. She is a ball obsessed dog, and throwing the ball to her did the trick right away. She only realized when she brought the ball back to us how close she was and sheepishly backed away while dropping the ball. We decided even though it seemed like she had some issues that we wanted to bring her home.

During the checkout period she was brought out to us and again was extremely scared. After about 10 minutes she came to realize that we were going to take her, and she started to hide behind us and between us. Taking her to the car, she jumped right in and snuggled my girlfriend all the way home. She came to accept us right away.

After spending a year with Topaz, we’ve come to realize how strange this is for her. She’s not much of a people person or a dog person, but when she trusts someone, all she wants to do is love them and snuggle them. We couldn’t be happier with her, even though it’s been a huge learning curve and she’s shown behaviors that we’ve had to work on. As I currently write this, she’s curled up in a ball on my side, cuddling me. All the time and effort has been completely worth it.

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