Raj the Wonder Dog
I was petrified of dogs. Absolutely, positively, and completely afraid of any dog that crossed my path. I started to get better about it since I have friends with some really awesome dogs, but I was still leery of unknown dogs and even some dogs I did know. Was I a dog person? Absolutely not. Ask anyone.
Then one day last summer while I was working, I got a text message from a high school friend. She was upset because she found a stray dog and her cat was not getting along with it at all. She didn't want to send him to the pound because they would destroy him and no-kill shelters were unwilling to take him because he was a stray. She was nearly inconsolable. I had two cats of my own at that time and my housemate had one cat. I told her that he could come stay with us for a short time because I really didn't like dogs, I wasn't supposed to have more pets, and I was still afraid of dogs.
Over a year later, he still is here. I love this guy more than I could ever have imagined. He keeps me company, he's excited to see me when I get home from work, he loves me no matter what mood I'm in, and he has been a real soul healer for me.
I have always had cats in my house, so having a dog has really been a change for me. I have to be home in time to make sure he can go outside. I have to exercise more because he needs to go on walks. I have to be home more because he needs me there. But, honestly, I need him too. I need to be home more and having him is just one more reason to slow life down and enjoy it.
He is very excitable and often does his little 'jumpy jump thing' (someday I will be able to snag a video for you to see what this means). But even with all that excitement and energy, he never has concerned me around kids. Not once. My goddaughter comes over frequently and he adores her.
He knows her name and when I say 'JJ is coming over' he does his jumpy jump thing. Once you put her down on the floor, he walks around her, follows her around, plays with her, protects her, and generally adores on her. He is tender with her. He loves everyone in my family and they're all pretty fond of him. He especially loves it when Grandpa comes to visit during the week. :)
All my pets are immensely loved and cared for and in return, they do the same for me. When I'm down, they're extra snuggly. When I'm happy they're happy with me. I can't imagine life without them in it, and this guy is my number one. I'm so grateful to whoever didn't want him, because he's more than wanted in my house. I just wish they had been kinder to him. It's sad to me when he responds to my command 'come' with his head down as though he's in trouble. It's heartbreaking to me that he's afraid that I'll never come back when I leave for work every day. I'm just glad he's in a loving home now.