Dreaming of Dexter

Royal Canin Canada is Passionate for Pets! Scientific evidence shows the numerous benefits pets bring to our lives – to their owners and also to society as a whole. This blog post is part of a series that showcases the important role pets play in peoples’ lives by providing companionship and support, and enabling social connections.

I love dogs.

They are constant and intuitive. They are your shoulder to cry on, your running buddy, your waggy welcome home at the end of every day, your cuddle buddy, your reason to smile on a bad day.

Unfortunately, with a seemingly endless to-do list and a 600 sq ft home, we just couldn’t see how a dog could fit into our lives. To help fill the void, I started volunteering at the Humane Society as a canine companion (aka dog walker).

After a month or two of walking the many forever-home-seeking dogs at the shelter, like every other time I grabbed a leash, signed out the dog, and made my way to the kennel. I turned the corner to the corridor, looked down to unlock the kennel door… and there with his bee-stung nose, big ears, and waggy tail was Dexter. I was in love.

Passionate for Pets – Dexter1

During our walk, I sent messages and photos to my boyfriend, Jeff, telling him how good this dog was and—if we didn’t have so much on the go—I would be tempted to sign the papers on the spot. He could sit, heel, shake a paw, and fetch the squeaky toy that kept him occupied during his long days in the kennel.

But being rational and responsible and wanting what would be best for this adorable dog, I gave him a treat, closed the kennel door and moved on to spend time with my next walking partner.

The days and weeks that followed were littered with ‘what if’ conversations and regular checks on the Humane Society website to see if my furry friend had found a home. Every time I checked, I was filled with mixed emotions to see his big brown eyes staring back at me on my computer or smartphone screen.

On a weekend in September, about five weeks after our first encounter, Jeff and I had a weekend “off.” No plans… well, not really anyway. On our way into Toronto for the night, I convinced him that a quick trip to the shelter ‘just to meet Dexter’ would be a good idea. We all know how every story ends when you go to visit a homeless pet ‘just to meet.’ But, this time was different.

After our visit, we said that we needed to think about it and left without Dexter. The following week I was away for work and we had agreed that on Friday night we would go out for dinner to stack up the pros vs. cons. And then when I got home…

Passionate for Pets – Dexter2The weeks that followed validated our decision. Dexter fit perfectly into our lives and added so much to every day. He seemed so happy to have finally found his furever home—and quickly became the latest graduate in the house.

Passionate for Pets – Dexter3When it comes to pets, the rational black and white decision making we use in daily life doesn’t apply.

Our lives are better because of them. Dexter has allowed us to find more time together to go for runs before the workday starts, walks around the “P” (code for his favourite place… the dog park), laugh with our families at his quirky personality, and changed our lives for the better in more ways than we can count.

Laura is a marketer, dog lover and world traveler who enjoys an active lifestyle as much as she does relaxing with the latest great book.

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