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Posted by Guest Writer on
In 2008, my family and I made a decision that would radically change our lives. We decided (after quite a bit of deliberation) that it was time to expand our family by adopting a loving pet. Being the sensible people they were, my parents specifically wanted to rescue a pet from a shelter. Since I was quite young back then, I didn’t understand why we had to go to a shelter, but I was simply too happy to really care. I just hopped in the car and thought about how wonderful it would be to have a new friend. Soon enough, we arrived at a place called DARG (Domestic Animal Rescue Group) and got out of the car.
Once we arrived, my nine-year-old self was overwhelmed by all the animals that desperately and urgently needed homes. I remembered thinking that it wasn’t fair for me to choose just one when all these animals craved somewhere to be. But no matter how long I begged (and trust me I begged for a long time), my parents made it clear we were there to adopt one pet, and one pet only. So I begrudgingly looked around and tried my best to find the perfect one; the one I could connect with, the one that I knew would fit seamlessly into our family.
Just then, I spotted Ziggy. An adorable, little, Africanis dog. Ziggy had a different personality than the rest of the dogs. She was excited to see us but clearly showed restraint and hesitation, especially when we tried to hold her. The man showing us around explained that Ziggy was dumped at their gates in a plastic bag along with her litter. Ziggy was afraid of approaching anyone due to her trauma, but she was loving to anyone willing to give her a chance.
After spending a while holding Ziggy in my arms and listening to my parents’ speech about responsibility, we finally took her home. Ziggy and I connected quickly. We would play and run around the yard for so long my parents would beg me to come back inside for dinner. Sure Ziggy was reserved around guests and new environments, but I knew that she felt at ease with me.
The more time we spent together, the calmer Ziggy became. Throughout these years, Ziggy and I have become the best of friends. It’s been over eight years since I got Ziggy now. I can happily say we’ve never been closer. And although she hasn’t completely overcome her trauma (and possibly never will), I can see from her smile that she is happy and comfortable with us. Just as we have changed Ziggy’s life, I think I speak for my family when I say she has completely changed ours.