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Gotcha, Dirtball

Gotcha, Dirtball

Gotcha, Dirtball

It’s fitting that Mabel started her trial week with me on Earth Day. My sweet girl loves all things natural, eating poop, rolling in vomit, eating bees (thankfully, she’s not allergic), belly-flopping in mud puddles, laying in the dirt, zooming on ice, and squirming in freshly cut grass.

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since my disgusting dirtball blessed my life with her love, joy, and so many antics. But I do know Mabel was meant to be my dog, and I was destined to be her human.

Six weeks prior, I tagged along with my brother’s company to the Columbus Pet Expo. His boss was kind enough to invite me to sell Bark Pouch at their (very pricey) booth. I began crying as I chatted with the lovely humans who work for Clean Extreme about their dogs, surrounded by dogs. I missed Gavin so much, so I went to the restroom to collect myself. 

On my route, a hairdresser stopped me, asking if I wanted to try on hair extensions, “Sure, why not?” As I was getting the big sell (who likes that?) I was impressed the fake hair matched mine so well, but I looked like an old mermaid, so I politely declined and thanked the human for their time. Then came the pushing, a discount offer, a declaration that I can’t live without long locks. I expressed my gratitude again and walked away right into Grateful Acres Dog Rescue.

A large pittie mix was bouncing around, so I went to my booth and returned with a pouch for the dog, hoping to help him calm down amidst the surrounding chaos. I started talking with the volunteers. I knew I eventually wanted another rescue dog. It couldn’t hurt to learn more about their processes, right? 

They were so kind when I told them I wasn’t ready and needed to share why. I didn’t feel even a teeny tiny sense of pressure, but one of the volunteers said, “There’s a young female pittie in her crate. Would you like to meet her?”

“No, I want to rescue an older dog. And I want a boy again.” The latter for no reason other than I’ve lived with boy dogs since 1999. Plus, I didn’t have the heart to disturb Stella-now-Mabel, who was sleeping soundly, recovering from spay surgery.

That night, perhaps after a glass of wine, I thought, “It can’t hurt to fill out the application. They told me to fill it out now, and I can meet dogs when I’m ready.”

The Grateful Acres application requires you to select a dog to submit your information. Not even realizing it, I selected Stella. A few days later, Bobbie, the Director, called to schedule a meet-and-greet. I told her, “I’m sorry. I thought I shared that I’m not ready, but may I reconnect when I am?” 

Bobbie was also very kind, expressed her condolences, and told me to absolutely reach back out when my heart was ready to love again. As the weeks went by, I walked dogs at the shelter, and I only felt a soul connection with one dog, Prince, a cutie little cattle dog mix who was adopted lightning fast and I hope is living his best, most amazing life now and many years ahead.

Then Easter morning, I woke up from a dream. Was Stella-now-Mabel was my dog. It felt so real. She lived with me. She made me laugh. She liked long walks. She was cuddly. It didn’t feel like a dream. It felt like I somehow already knew Stella-now-Mabel. My heart told me she was meant to be my dog. As I went through my morning, unable to think about anything but Stella-now-Mabel, I waited until what I thought was a reasonable time (9 a.m.) to call Bobbie. And I instantly regretted sharing in my voicemail, “Stella visited me in my dreams. I think she was meant to be my dog.”

No call back on Sunday. It was a holiday, and some people are night owls. Maybe Bobbie thought I was rude for calling so early. And why did I share that Stella visited me in my sleep? No call on Monday either. They are busy tending to and loving dogs. I totally get it. No call on Tuesday. I understand their focus is on the animals, and I likely ruined my chances with my woo-woo message. So, I called again Wednesday, and Bobbie was again kind, answered all my questions, and didn’t seem phased by my I-have-a-soul-connection-with-a-dog I never met commentary.

Bobbie connected me with Stella-now-Mabel’s foster mom. The rest is history in the making. Thank you for sharing my journey with my sweet Mabel Disgusto, previously Stella. She brings shenanigans, snuggles, and silliness to my life. I hope you have beings who do the same for you.
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