Friday, October 5, 2012

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 

Read more articles by Julia Williams


  1. I don't have the answer re: that dog, but perhaps the dog and human had a past life connection. :-)

  2. For Mika's case, we found him at a local shelter but for Eva, she found us as she landed in our house without our knowledge. We had to keep her as she wasn't even a day old yet.

  3. We went looking for a completely different dog and something drew me over to where Finn was when we got her. I knew it instantaneously that she was mine. I can't imagine it any other way now!

  4. My girl Katie Isabella was living with 4 others at the Vet's office. I came for something else and they asked if I would like to see her. I said yes because I wanted to hold a cat again I missed Admiral so terribly. When Katie was brought to was all over but the shouting. Instant love on both parts. really. I didn't want another cat really as I grieved for Admiral so much. But it was meant to be. We have been happily loving one another since.

  5. Well, I have never had to make a choice. All these cats chose me, the silly things. They had no where else to go. And the ones that weren't feral found me too. This is the cat magnet house. But I love ever one of them no matter all their little problems.
    Great post.

  6. All of my current and past "kids" came into our lives by chance. Muggsy was brought home when my father and brother were near a McDonalds and someone had kicked her out of the car when it was 15 degrees outside. She was only a few months old. Anyone could have gotten her but she ran to my father and so he brought her home. She was my best friend for many years. Years later, Kalynn had shown up to our house 3 times in the matter of 2 days and when we brought her back to her owners, my husband said if she comes back to our house again, she's staying. Well, she never left our arms since the owners didn't really want her anyways. Great little dog and would have been killed in a matter of days if we hadn't done something. When you see a certain pet, you just know it in your heart they are meant to be with you in this life.

  7. I totally believe that with all my heart and that was tail waggin' beautiful.

  8. What a beautiful story about this little woofie. I think the Rumbleparent knew we were meant to be. They say it was love at first sight and I was the only boy they wanted.

  9. We keep adopting cats from PAWS, where we volunteer. Every now and then, a certain cat seems to "choose" us. And if we have "room at the inn," it's settled. :)

  10. Well it was several years since I lost my last kitty to old age on Valentines day and since then since then it felt pretty empty with out hearing a meow and a purr.
    For quite awhile and every day I had a kitty on my mind. Then one night I was watching the news and there happened to be on the news how a little orange kitten got rescued. Then I was thinking to my self how if I had that kitten I would cuddle it, love it, feed it and est. How nice it would be to have a kitty in my life again. Also how nice it would be to have a male for a change since so far all the kitty s of my past were all female. Next thing you know, my mother starts hearing a noise outside. So I go and investigate and there out of the bushes a little orange and white kitten comes out. It was clearly lost and in need of a good home and meal. But before I kept it I checked the lost n found est.
    Eventually we found out that he was a he and he became our little buddy. I really think he was meant to be not to mention a pretty weird coincidence.

  11. The Human came lookin' and I got founded at the Vet where I and my feral siblings had been living for a while ::shudder:: This is a good woofie story!

  12. The story of the little dog is heartwarming! I don't know if Austin chose me, but I like to think so :) He was the only one who showed any desire to be adopted.... he was crawling up the glass cage!! Maybe he just wanted to escape lol

  13. I like your premise that this dog was waiting for the right family and being "unadoptable" on purpose... I think the same might be true for humans. My sweet Dan was in several homes before he feel in love with me - he was quite a snarly man with lots of baggage, but with the right love and compassion, he now has the perfect forever home and is happy as can be!! LOL


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