“Oh boy, I see people coming in. Let’s look happy and cute so they will pick us” said Millie the Chihuahua. “Yea, you right, Millie” George the Boxer agreed. “Be sure to use your big pleading eyes.” “And jump up and down on the cage with happy panting” adds Lucy the Lab. As more perspective parents entered the shelter by all the orphaned dogs, it was as if they all congregated to make a good impression. After all, some of these pups have been at this shelter since earlier this year.
With the holidays here, most of the shelter residents spent their Thanksgiving in the seclusion of an impersonal cage they temporarily call home. Their hopes are to find a permanent pet parent and permanent home by Christmas. With people walking down the hall with each ooooh and aaaah, the excitement bellowed from each and every cage . . . except for Minnie, the Chihuahua/Dachshund mix who seemed to lie in a corner of the cage, with a dismayed sad look. Minnie came from a puppy mill, the result of abuse and neglect. She feels no one would ever love her. Her pals here at the shelter try to cheer her up constantly . . . “hey Minnie” yells Millie, “you gotta get up and look happy, as some people are comin’ to take us home.” “They’ll take you over me” she replies, “they anin’t gonna pick me! Look how long I’ve been here already!” Gus the Doberman cuts in, “stop griping, Minnie. You can’t expect a home by just laying there like a lump.” “Sorry” she replies as she curls up into a small ball in the corner of that large lonely cage. “Fine” says Joe, the Husky. “Maybe she wants to stay here.” Millie shouts from the other end “come on you guys, leave her be.”
This is the busiest time of the year at the shelter as many “prospective pet parents” look for new family members to celebrate the holidays with. None of these residents deserve to spend Christmas alone, in a cage, in a large, forlorn shelter!
The day has been quite successful so far as Hank the Golden Retriever, George the Boxer, Lucy the Lab, Freddie the Shepherd mix and Angie the Shih tzu all got new homes and families so far. “Good luck, you guys” the residents shout from their cages as one dog after the other was continually being adopted. “Merry Christmas.” “You, too” replied Hank and Angie, “you’ll find a new family, I’m sure”.
A few more families visiting, a few more residents adopted and the day is drawing near to an end. Millie was feeling despair as Minnie is thinking to herself “see I told you no one would take me!” Very few people were coming into the shelter and hopes were getting slimmer for the remaining residents. The only family left before closing was a young mom and dad with two little girls they kept calling Mollie and Katie. They looked to be about the same age, maybe twins, around eight years old, very quiet, long blond hair, petite, with big brown eyes and beautiful smiles every time they passed a puppy.
Nancy the shelter coordinator came by “Hi folks. My name is Nancy. How you doing? Are you looking for a particular dog?” Mary and Tom spoke almost in unison, “Hi Nancy, we are Mary and Tom from Kansas, just moved here with no family in the states and thought we would get a family dog for our twins Mollie and Katie to add some warmth and joy to our quiet and remote holidays. We are not sure what type of dog but one that would be great with the girls. It is sad that any of these guys should spend Christmas here.”
“Luckily we only have a few dogs left so let me know if you are interested in any to bring in our socializing room.”
“Mommy, daddy, look at this one” as they point to Minnie. “She looks so sad. Can we meet her and hold her?” “What about this little girl?” they reply as they stand by Millie.
Nancy saw their enthusiasm with both little dogs and suggested a meeting in the socializing room with both Minnie and Millie. She proceeded to explain how each little dog ended up in the shelter and the special bonding Minnie required.
“Minnie, we might have gotten a new family” Millie told her. “Be sure to be your best so we can go to a new home, ok?”
Of course, Minnie was a bit timid but loving all the attention she was getting from these “strangers”. “No one has ever given me this much attention, she is thinking to herself. Are they for real?” And yes, they were, Mollie especially adored Minnie while Katie seemed to have an instant attachment to Millie. Mom and dad stood and watched the interaction with a difficult decision to make.
“It’s Christmas, Tom. We can’t leave either of these little dogs behind. They are small, both of them, and seem to love being with each other. Great playmates for each other and for the girls. Let’s give them both the best Christmas present of a home and family. We’ve got to”
“I guess we can, let’s talk to the girls” said Tom. “Girls, you do know the responsibilities of having a dog. We have already talked about it before coming here. So what do you feel about giving a home to both of these little girls?”
“Minnie, we are both going home. Can you believe it?” Miraculously, Minnie seemed to come out of her shell. She found a family that really wanted to love her and give her a home and a life. Millie was going to be her sister. Who would have thought? “I can’t believe this Millie but we are going to the same home, together, to be a family. Can you believe it? What a great Christmas after all. I wished it but never thought it would come true. We got a family for Christmas . . . together.”