Chapter Four: Fullest Circles

I used to volunteer at BARC, Houston’s animal control shelter, walking dogs & helping people adopt pets. And, because I was truly a glutton for punishment, at some point during my shift I’d usually make my way to the crowded lobby & strike up conversations with people in line waiting to surrender their pets. Looking for a fight, n’est pas?

One day about 6 years ago I was making the normal rounds & a young woman walked into the lobby with a laundry basket filled with puppies. In my charmingly aggressive way back then, I blocked her from walking further once through the door & asked her what she was doing?? She said, “I’m here to donate these puppies to the shelter.” WTF??? Donate??? It took a while to catch my breath & then I went on a radical tirade about how they’d never survive in the shelter & wind up dead one way or the other. She ignored my crazy ass & shuffled past to stand in the line anyway.

I was furious. Heartbroken. Depressed. Confused. I couldn’t control the situation, how she felt, her ignorance, and her behavior & the stress it caused on my system took time away from my life. My health. My relationships. My concentration, productivity, judgement. Just like all the other 1,000s of times I freaked about the same or similar things..

Something happened to remind me of the laundry basket puppies event yesterday. A woman named Laura saw my Ozzy’s adoption listing last week & fell in love with him on the spot. She’s retired & has a 1.5 year old sweet shih tzu puppy. I brought Ozzy over to meet them & the puppy kept bringing Ozzy toys & despite his blindness, he made his way around like a champ & even navigated the doggie door on his first try.

Her home was so beautiful with the calmest energy. At one point I mentioned I’d like to just stay & nap on her sofa. Turns out she used to own bed & breakfasts, so she is the primo hostess. We decided to see how it would go over the weekend & then talk more about adoption. I could tell her puppy was thrilled to have a playmate over.

Just like with Harriet, I drove away in tears.. But then a wave of peace quickly came over me. I love Ozzy enough to give him the life he deserves. I love Ozzy enough to let him be with a person who will take great care of him, pet him 24-7, buy him all the soft toys he wants to tear into & get to the squeakers without other dogs taking them away first.

Wait for it.. I felt like I donated Ozzy to Laura. This donation will change her life in beautiful ways she has yet to realize. Ozzy gets a new incredible chapter. Our time was precious together. But now our love is being recycled & spread farther. Yes, it’s heartbreaking, but I’m not focusing on that.. Thanks for all the loving support I have in my corner. They won’t let me lose sight of the reasons & the goals & the bigger pictures. I tell them I hate them & they’re bitches. But they just laugh & make me make another promise for the next step of the process.

So, I knew Laura had already made up her mind. And sure enough, the evening & this morning went better than either of us expected & she has already committed to adopting him & paid the adoption fee. Here is Ozzy with his new Mama & brother Baby!



Bringing you these dog stories takes precious time and resources. It's important to me, and I'll do it no matter what. But your small donation — even $1 or $2 — goes a long way toward helping me maintain my website and continue to invest my time and energy into helping give voice to these animals who so desperately need one.

robyn arouty