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Do We Find Our Pets, or Do They Find Us?

By Julia Williams

Whenever I read adoption tales, I marvel at the many different and circuitous ways people find a certain pet that turns out to be a perfect match for them. Many times, they were looking for a completely different pet than the one they ended up with, and sometimes they weren’t looking for a pet at all. Yet everything fell effortlessly into place, and another fortunate pet found his forever home.

Some people might say “Oh, what a coincidence that was, and now we have the best pet ever!” I don’t believe in coincidences, though, so I am not at all surprised when something completely unexpected brings a family and their beloved pet together. I believe it was meant to be.

Haven’t we all experienced a time when we felt we just had to adopt a certain pet but didn’t really know why? In every case, these pets become such an integral part of our life that we can’t imagine being without them. But did we find our pet, or did they find us?

I ask this after reading a touching tale about a troubled shelter dog who behaved very badly, and as a result no one wanted to adopt him. That is, until his true and forever family finally walked through the door.

A couple had gone to their local shelter with their adult daughter to help her pick out a pet. She had lost a cherished pet a few months earlier, so they were waiting until it felt like the right time for her to adopt again. The man and his wife were not looking for a pet for themselves, but this one plucky little dog caught their eye, and they asked about him.

Shelter personnel were quick to point out his many transgressions and bad behavior. They were against adopting him out at that time because his severe aggression was a liability. Yet for whatever reason, the couple felt a “pull” to this snarling, mean little dog. They asked if they could just foster him, and after much discussion, the shelter finally agreed.

Halfway home, they went back to the shelter and insisted on adopting him. Once home, this antisocial, aggressive dog became the gentlest, most loving soul they’d ever known. He was a joy to have around, and fit into their family perfectly. “Like a glove,” as the cliché goes.

That’s a wonderful and amazing adoption tale, to be sure. But the best part, for me, was that the couple firmly believed the dog was only behaving badly in the shelter because he was waiting for them to come and get him. That’s right – he was being “unadoptable” on purpose!

Is that even possible? Skeptics and scientists would say no. But I’m a dreamer, and I like to entertain the idea that seemingly impossible things can, in fact, be possible. Why not?

Who among us could say with certainty that this little dog didn’t know he had a family out there somewhere that was the perfect one for him. Many people have proven that they have a sixth sense, why can’t animals have it too?

Unlike scientists, I don’t look at such things with a logical mind. I don’t need to know how a dog could know who his forever family was in order to believe he could. Whether it’s possible or not is irrelevant, anyway. Regardless of how we find our pets – or they find us – adopting them is a beautiful, life-changing thing.

Photo by Flóra Soós 

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