While searching the internet one morning to help my friend find a pet to adopt, I came across a little face that would change my life forever. It was love at first sight. A local rescue organization had listed a precious little dog on Petfinder.com with a caption under her picture that read “special needs”. But the caption was quickly over-shadowed by big brown eyes and “pigtail’ ears. I called the number and learned that the dog was being held at a local Veterinarian’s office. The dog was female, approximately 5 or 6 months old and had only three legs. I was told that one of the doctor’s employees, who lived in a neighboring small town, had seen this stray dog wandering around for several days and was finally able to catch the dog and bring her in to work with her at the clinic. The dog had a small, deformed right front leg that was too short to reach the ground. It was weighing her down, making it difficult for her to walk. The Vet removed the leg, spayed her and put her up for adoption. I thought about that little face all day, and casually mentioned the dog at dinner that evening to my husband.
Me – “Honey, I saw the cutest little dog on an adoption website today.”
The Husband – “Don’t even think about it.”
Me – “Oh, not for me, for my co-worker. She wants to adopt a dog.”
The Husband – “We have two. She can have one of ours.”
Me – (laughing nervously) “You’re so funny. We’re going to look at some adoptable dogs tomorrow.”
The Husband – “That’s great. But if you come home with another dog tomorrow, you’ll be featured on an “adoptable wife” website. I suggest you don‘t go look.”
So the next day, I went to look.
The receptionist at the Vet’s office told me that the pup was recovering nicely from the surgeries, but would need to stay two more days for observation. I asked to see the dog, so they brought her out to the lobby for me to meet her. That face… it was love at first sight. Even though the Vet’s assistant pointed out several deformities… missing toes, crooked ears, and of course, the crippled front leg that had been removed, to me she was absolutely perfect! We connected immediately and I didn’t want to leave her. I thanked the staff and told them that I would think about it. I walked out to the parking lot with a heavy heart. When I started my car, the song “Little Jeannie“, by Elton John, was playing on the radio. “Jean” is a family name, and I took this as a sign. So I turned off my car, walked back in to the Vet’s office and adopted her on the spot. “Jeanie” (spelled with one “n”… if she can get by with one front leg, she can get by with one “n”) would be ready for pick-up on Friday. But I only had two days to convince the husband that we needed this dog. So that night at dinner, I casually mentioned the dog again.
Me – “So I went to see the cute dog today.”
Husband = “Don’t even think about it.”
Me – “You always assume that I’m up to something.”
Husband – “Because you usually are. You better not go pick up that dog”.
So Friday came and I went to pick up the dog, now named Jeanie.
She had gauze taped over the stitches on her shoulder, and to add insult to injury, she was wearing a cat collar. It was all they had available that would fit her. We got in the car and she curled up on a towel on the front passenger’s seat, glassy eyed and sleepy. She stared at me all the way home. I assured her that Daddy would love her, it would just take some time. She seemed to know what I was saying, almost as if she was telling me “I got this” through those glassy eyes. I was nervous about my husband’s reaction, but somehow I knew that I had done the right thing by adopting her.
I opened the front door of our house and put Jeanie down. She hopped through the foyer and into the living room as if she owned the place. My husband saw her approaching the chair where he was sitting, and with wide eyes he exclaimed, “What the hell!” When she reached him, she put her left front paw on the arm of the chair, just waiting for him to pick her up.
“That’s not ’What the hell’, that’s Jeanie. And she’s home,” I said. The husband sat up straight, looked down into those big, brown, smiling eyes and quietly said, “Yes, she is”. And for the second time in Jeanie’s short life, it was love at first sight.
Jeanie was approximately 5-6 months old when I adopted her. She has been a part of our family now for 7 years. She is a Therapy Dog with Dr. Dogs Therapy Dogs, a local organization, and is also a registered member of Therapy Dogs, Inc., a national non-profit organization. Her Pet Therapy team visits hospitals, libraries, schools, nursing homes, and special events. Jeanie is a self-proclaimed “Pomayorkapoopillon… Pomeranian, Yorkie, Poodle and Papillion. Jeanie can be found on Face book as Jeanie the 3 Legged Pooch, on Twitter @Jeanie3legs and on Instagram Jeanie3legs.