Submission Age Group: Middle School (MS) | High School (HS) | University (UN) | Adult (AD)
When I was in kindergarten my grandmother took me to the shelter to help her pick out a dog. We met all the dogs and played with a chocolate lab and a golden retriever. Neither of them were the right dog, and we didn’t really connect with them. My grandma and I left the shelter that day a little disappointed that we didn’t connect with a dog, but we both knew it would take time to find a dog that was right for us. A few weeks later we went to the shelter again and met a dog named Lulu. We both fell in love with Lulu. She was sweet and cute! We talked with the people who worked at the shelter, and they said we could complete the paperwork and then we could bring her home in a day. My grandma picked me up from my kindergarten class early the next day and we went to Costco to get stuff for Lulu. We got a bed, food, toys, and treats. When we got to the shelter, we went back to the kennel area with one of the staff members and got Lulu. She was so excited and happy to see us again that she jumped up on my grandma. When we got to my grandmother's house, we played with Lulu in the backyard. My grandma called my parents to let them know that we got Lulu and they came up to the house to meet her. We spent the afternoon playing catch with her and giving her treats.
Lulu lived with my grandparents for about 5 years. During the fall of 2018 my grandma and grandpa decided to move into a condo because their house was becoming too difficult to take care of as they were getting older. My grandma just had surgery and it was so hard for her to get up and down the stairs. The condo they moved into was dog friendly and there were no stairs but there was not a fenced yard for Lulu, which meant my grandparents had to take Lulu on a walk every time she needed to go out. My grandma couldn't walk her because her hip was still healing from the surgery. My grandparents kept Lulu for a month but when it started to get snowy and cold, Lulu came to live with us for the winter because we have a big, fenced yard. My dad and mom were both happy to let her live with us for the winter. She adjusted to staying at our house easily. When spring and summer came around, Lulu was still living with us. We talked with our grandparents and decided it would be better for Lulu if she lived with us permanently.
About two years before Lulu came to live with us, we made another addition to our family. My Dad, brother, and I had been wanting a dog for a while, but my mom was on the fence about getting one. She didn’t want to be the person to clean up after it. I wanted a dog more than anything. I loved it when Lulu stayed at our house for the weekend while my grandparents were travelling. I wanted my own dog. It took a year but finally my mom gave in and said we could get a dog, if Wyatt and I did our part to take care of it. She also said that the dog had to be female because male dogs pee on everything. We visited countless shelters, including some out of town. None of the dogs were right for our family. We were constantly checking different shelters online. One evening after dinner my dad pulled up the web page for the Great Falls animal shelter and the first dog that showed up was a one-year-old Vizsla named Bailey. Instantly we knew we wanted her to become part of our family. On a cold Saturday in the middle of March we drove to the Maclean-Cameron Animal Adoption Center in Great Falls. We met Bailey and we played with her indoors for about 30 minutes. Within 30 minutes she jumped up on a table, ran around, and let us brush her and give her treats. Rey was so playful and fun, but she was also shy because her past owners were abusive to her. Our family decided she was perfect for the family. She was everything we wanted in a dog: good with kids, cute, and energetic. We filled out the adoption forms and changed her name to Rey; we couldn’t have two beings in the house with the name Bailey. I was so excited that we finally got a dog of our own. I called my grandma right away to tell her the fantastic news.
On the car ride back to Helena from Great Falls, Rey curled up between Wyatt and me on the backseat. Rey was very skinny because her previous owners did not feed her the right amount of food. She slept for the whole ride home except for the two times we pulled over to let her go to the bathroom. When we got home, Rey sniffed around the house; she was extremely curious. She smelled every nook and cranny of the living room and then we fed her dinner. We fed Rey 1 cup of food twice a day, but she was still so skinny and frantic around food. We started feeding her 1 cup of food 3 times a day and it helped with the anxiety she has with eating. She started to gain weight and get healthier.
Rey and Lulu both still live with us, and I hope they will stay with us for a very long time. Both dogs get along great with each other, and they are dear friends. They are truly incredible dogs, and I couldn’t ask for better pets. They have brought so much joy to my life, and I am so grateful for everything they do for me!