In February 2015, my childhood dog, Buck, passed away, leaving me pet-less and more inspired than ever to get a dog of my own. I was also living by myself while I was in grad school and was seeking a companion.
During the next couple of months, my now-husband, Logan, moved into my apartment in Harrisonburg, VA with me and, although I wasn’t as lonely as I was when I lived by myself, we REALLY wanted a dog. So, in May, we started searching the local shelters for the perfect pup.
We were used to having big dogs, but we had to follow some rules that were established by our apartment complex, which included weight and breed regulations. We could not get a dog on the aggressive breed list (which is bullshit, but that’s not what this post is about) and our dog had to weigh 25 pounds or less (we didn’t follow this rule).
We visited many animal shelters from Berryville to Harrisonburg until we found the right dog because we refused to buy a dog from a breeder. And just before my mom’s birthday on June 6, we visited the Rockingham/Harrisonburg SPCA and met a little, spotty hound dog named Honey.
She nervously followed us outside into the play pin after the shelter staff told us that we were the tenth family to “sign her out” and show interest in her. She was really shy and afraid, which probably contributed to her not getting adopted. She was four years old and had come to the shelter with two of her babies. She was labelled as a Mountain Cur and, according to the veterinarian, had had at least 20 babies and two litters.
Logan fell for her immediately even though I was nervous that if we adopted her she would never get comfortable and we would have to do the worst thing I could think of, which was to return her to the shelter. And then while Logan was getting booped, I found out she had been at the shelter so long that she was on the list to be euthanized and had an adoption fee of only $10. So, we went for it. We just couldn’t leave her behind.
A couple of days later, on June 9, we came back to the shelter to pick her up and we were told she knew she was getting adopted that day. When we went to the back to get her, she excitedly was squeezing her nose through the crack in the gate to touch us. She danced around and gave us a first glance of her signature smile.
It’s four years later now and our Honey Bee lives like a queen. She loves carrots, Cheerios, car rides (she’s been to 18 states), her brothers (Beau and Bear), snuggling and sleeping. My mom calls her bark “her old lady, smoker bark” because that’s what it sounds like. She makes the best facial expressions and will turn nine on March 14.
Her nicknames include, but are not limited to: Honey, Bee, Honey Bee, Beezy, Baby, Beezy Girl, Bee Swizzle, Bee Daughter, Scoopy, Stink Pot, Princess, Girlie, Babu Frik (the little wrinkly guy from the most recent Star Wars), Beasley Weasley, Beasle the Weasle, Dobby, Lemur Toes, Beasley, Missy, Moose, Squirrely Moose, Squeeze, Squeezel, Squeezel Bee.
Her favorite person in the world is her daddy, but she tends to love everyone. If she doesn’t love someone, it’s probably a sign that you shouldn’t either.
I still can’t believe how lucky we are to have her in our lives. It hasn’t been easy because she has quirks and fears related to her abusive past. But, as she is my first child, I will love her for eternity and I will always, always keep her safe from harm.