• Carmen Marie Fabio

Adopt, don’t shop


“What kind of a girl are you?” asked a friend once decades ago when I told her I didn’t like shopping. Fast forward to 2019 and I still don’t like it. Every time I head out purposely to buy clothing, I somehow never really find anything I like.

While once killing time before an appointment, I was browsing through a high-fashion discount store and found a number of items I really liked. Pressed for time, I vowed to return and when I was able to a week or so later, all the pieces I’d found were gone. I was so angry I ended up buying a shirt I didn’t even like just because I went there with the sole intent of buying something. I never wore it.

My philosophy is that if it’s meant to be, I will stumble upon the perfect item of clothing when I’m least expecting it. In other words, it will somehow find me.

This philosophy has now extended to the animal population in my home that’s starting to gain in numbers on the bipeds.

My husband, being the earliest riser, wasn’t keen on getting a dog as he didn’t want to be saddled with morning walks and feedings. Fair enough. But when a woman emailed The Journal a little over three years ago as she needed to find a home for a beautiful Doberman/Shepherd mix that was aggravating her husband’s allergies, I figured it was a sign. I agreed to take him for a weekend and he’s been with us ever since. The dog, not her husband.

Though my family members’ schedules are varied enough that someone is usually home, there was the odd time when my big gentle pup was alone so I figured he needed a companion. Sure enough, while posting an ‘Up for adoption’ shot in the paper one week, a fat little Jack Russell mix on the Rosie’s Animal Adoption website caught my eye. Considered a ‘compassionate’ adoption at eight years of age, I couldn’t just leave her there.

“Not another dog,” said hubby.

“She’s small,” I countered. “You won’t even know she’s around.” It didn’t take long for the whole family to fall in love with her and she’s been glued to my side ever since.

“Look at this photo,” I said late last year of a cross-eyed cat up for adoption. “Isn’t he cute?”

“It’s a cat!” hubby spat.

I was scheduled to have lunch with a friend a couple of weeks ago when she had to cancel. Her terminally ill brother was being moved to an assisted living facility. Within days, she posted a photo on social media of an overweight 12-year-old tabby named Mister who needs a foster home while his owner receives treatment.

“I’m going to Costco,” I texted my hubby. “And wemightbegettingacat. I love you!”

Like life, adoptions never work out exactly as planned. The Doberman/Shepherd is sweet but has anxiety issues. The Jack Russell will find a way to poop in the house when it’s below -20° outside. And the cat, who’s been in a tiny apartment his whole life, is having to adjust to his new very foreign home.

But they’re all also good hearted, gentle souls who provide kisses, warm feet, head bumps, and grateful purrs making life in our home a whole lot richer even though my husband still refers to the cat as ‘Loper.’ Short for ‘interloper.’

Consider bringing an older – and wiser – animal into your home.

They’ll love you for it.

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