Pets are, or should become (in my opinion), part of our family. They love unconditionally. They NEVER judge us – whether we’re stinky from a run, in a bad mood, had too much to drink, are acting like a goofball…. they’re always happy to see us, to comfort us, to snuggle, or just sit quietly and BE. They rejoice with us in our good times and play with us, they keep us company on camping trips or even a trip to the grocery store. They are our loyal and loving companions.
That said, as with human relationships, our relationship is different with each pet. Although I’ve had several pets over the course of my life, cats, dogs, fish (they can be pets too!), and bunny rabbits, I’ve only really bonded with a few. You know, when you’re kindred spirits? You can read each others mind & mood? And when that pet is a dog, you take them with you everywhere. Not because you feel like you must, but because you truly want them with you as much as possible. I hadn’t felt this way about one of my pets , not really kindred, since my first dog , Elvis. Sadly, he was tragically killed about 15 years ago. I am in no way saying that I didn’t love my other pets, I just hadn’t experienced that “chemistry” or bond that I did with Elvis.
That was until Lucas came tumbling into my life. I had convinced myself that the bond I shared with Elvis was a “once-in-a-lifetime” pet connection. Then Lucas. I was convinced that no other dog would look me in the eye and say more than ten thousand words could ever express. Then Lucas. And as soon as I surrendered myself completely to this pure and blissful love, Life had other plans.
If you find yourself in the position of having to find a ‘new’ home for your beloved pet, I cannot stress enough how faithfully God answers if you pray for the perfect person (or family) and perfect home to present itself. It may take some patience and time, but the knowledge that your kindred friend is in a safe and loving environment is such a source of comfort in a potentially heartbreaking situation.
I was supremely blessed. Lucas is supremely blessed. His new Papa, Gilbert, rented an SUV & drove 8 hours from San José, without having even met Lucas in person. I did send pictures and video to him, but most people probably wouldn’t put in such effort for a pup they hadn’t met… they would wait and find one closer to home. Out of several people interested in adopting Lucas, Gilbert was the ONLY one who answered EVERY question in the long Adoption Application, and answered thoughtfully. At every turn, he went above and beyond the “call of duty”. After his 8 hour drive, he graciously stayed here at the house for hours, despite his long drive home. This gave me time to get to know him, Lucas could get to know him, and we could have a lengthy farewell. He stayed to ease my pain and make sure I was comfortable with the situation. He signed an over-the-top ‘”Open Adoption Agreement” without hesitation, including agreeing to return Lucas if anything in my situation changed in the next 90 days. Only a gentle & empathetic soul would agree to that! He called several times to check in on the drive home in the wee hours of the morning, as there was no way I would be sleeping until I knew they had arrived home safely, which they did around 7am that morning.
The largest ‘meant-to-be’ factor of beauty in this adoption was that Lucas himself chose his new owner. When Gilbert first arrived, I lost it. I told God “I can’t do it. I can’t go through with it.” I prayed instantly and earnestly, “dear Lord, Lucas is going to have to decide. Please let Lucas choose if this is the right person or not.” I opened the door and Lucas and I walked slowly outside. As I was choking back tears and on guard, my precious pup pranced right up to New Papa and welcomed him with his “kitty rub”. If you’ve ever had a cat, you know how they affectionately rub their bodies head to tail against and in between your ankles… turn around and do it again, and again… my Lucas does that when he’s showing affection and wants some loving in return. An action unheard of with a stranger!! Lucas is extremely friendly once he knows someone, even after only a short time (say 10-20 min); but he IS a Chow, and has never just run up to someone immediately, without cautious reservation, let alone graced them with his kitty rub! I knew instantly that God had heard my cry and Lucas had chosen his new owner, even if he didn’t know it yet.
I’m not saying it made saying farewell easy. It was gut-wrenching; it still hurts… and i miss him terribly every single day. But it does bring great comfort and security to my heart knowing he is happy, terrifically loved and well taken care of. We have video chats together, so we can see each other and I can tell him how much i love and miss him and what a good boy he is. Gilbert deals gracefully with my need to stay in touch, and fills me in on all the daily happenings and adventures they take. We have plans for a visit or two before I leave the country, including a possible camping trek along the PCT. I will be able to see him grow up and remain a part of his life, no matter how small. So essentially, and thankfully, I did not have to say Good-bye to my kindred Lucas… only hasta luego… see you later my beloved friend. ❤ ❤ ❤ All thanks to God’s mercy, grace and favor… and the terrific human being who now also calls Lucas a cherished friend.