"Without their unconditional love and companionship, our house would never be the home that it is."
I grew up with animals around the house.....dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, etc......so I guess you could say that I am a life-long animal lover. That being said, it wasn't until I was in my late 30s and having been divorced that I realized what unconditional love from a dog really meant. My house was empty when my kids were not there and I realized that I needed a buddy around the house. I decided to check out the APA of Missouri's website and saw that there were all kinds of dogs waiting for their forever home. That same day, I decided to head over to the APA on my lunch break and see firsthand what I had to choose from. Let’s just say that I did not make it back to work after lunch! It was there that I met, fell in love and adopted my first Motley Dog, a black lab named Roxie. In addition to being a very loyal and devoted companion, Roxie is also a very good listener; she and my daughter Fiona quickly established a very close bond.
It wasn't long after adopting Roxie that I realized that while Roxie had filled the void in the house for me, I was leaving her in that same situation when I went to work every day. With that, Roxie, the kids and I hopped in the car and headed back to the APA. Nope, not to take Roxie back, but to find Roxie some company so that she did not get lonely in an empty house. We walked up and down the aisles at the APA and were not sure what to do. I spotted a dog that I really liked, but unfortunately, that dog and Roxie did not hit it off. That is when my daughter Sophie stepped in - "let me take care of this dad!" With that Sophie headed back into the dog runs; it wasn't more than a few minutes and out came Sophie with Lou, a chocolate lab mix. Lou and Roxie hit it off right from start! Well done Sophie!!! I now had three kids and two dogs running around the house.
Shortly after adopting Lou, I was talking with our new neighbor and she mentioned that she fosters puppies and asked if I would be interested in helping out. Does the name Ashley sound familiar? So I broached the subject with my kids, including Roxie and Lou, and we all agreed that we could help out. For the next year, we had puppies coming and going.....we even brought in a pregnant dog and she had a litter of 10 puppies in my basement. That sweet girl's name was Betty......hmmmm another familiar name? As the kids got more involved with sports, we did not have much time to be fostering so we had to abandon all of that fun.
I guess I should have mentioned in the beginning of my story that I have three kids! Well you have already heard about Sophie and Lou, Roxie and Fiona, well what about Calvin? The kids and I were out walking Roxie and Lou when Calvin says "Sophie and Fiona have a dog, when can I get one?" Of course I responded "we shall see!" But it did occur to me that I have a black lab and a chocolate lab mix - wouldn't it be fun to have a yellow lab? A complete set! A few days later, all the stars and planets came into alignment! I get a call from neighbor Ashley and she is telling me about the cutest yellow lab puppy that she is fostering. My immediate response was "I'll take him!" A few hours later, the kids and I walked to neighbor Ashley's house and met Dug for the first time! He was and still is the most loveable dog ever.
Fast forward to today, Roxie, Lou and Dug are three of the greatest dogs to come into our lives. Without their unconditional love and companionship, our house would never be the home that it is. They even agreed to bring a pot belly pig named Piggy Sue into our home, but that is a story for another day!
- Bob C., about his dogs Roxie, Lou and Dug