Life: Diego’s First adoption anniversary

PARTY TIMEEE! Today is Diego’s first adoption anniversary! I’m getting quite emotional writing about it and I can’t believe my baby has already been a year with us. Time sure flies when you are having fun! While I was thinking about writing this post, I realized that I never told you the whole adoption story in the first place. Let me take you one year back…

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In May of last year I finally convinced my dad to let me keep a dog after our last one died some time ago. I really missed something in the house, since we always had a dog from when I was born. I started to walk the dogs of the local animal shelter for half a year before that, but I still lacked the feeling of having your own dog which you ACTUALLY COULD TAKE HOME and take walks with whenever you want. They often say that a house is not a home without a dog, but for me this is actually true. Nothing better than to come home to a wagging tale and wet dog kisses!

Of course, before I was able to convince my dad to let me keep a dog in the house, I was already eyeing this dog called Falco, with which I walked for the last weeks. It was my first time walking with an American Stafford. I never have been judgmental to any race of dog before, but we all know the stories on the news about these so- called ‘high risk dogs’. They asked me if I wanted to walk Falco since he needed a lot of exercise and I was by then already quite familiar with walking bigger and stronger dogs. I warmly accepted the challenge and immediately, I fell in love. He was so loving towards humans, wanted to cuddle every so often and we could walk for several hours without having to slow down the tempo. He had been in the shelter for quite some time, being a ‘pitbull’ and a male, there wasn’t much attention for him from the visitors. However, when I finally convinced my father, there had been an application for him. Although I was of course happy for him that he had found a potential home, I was so sad. I still tried to call with someone at the shelter, but he was already gone.

That week, I wasn’t able to drag myself to the shelter. Suddenly, I got an e-mail from them: a new dog had arrived, which looked a lot like Falco. The police found him wandering the streets and after spending the night in a police cell, they brought him in the care of the shelter. He wasn’t chipped and they suspected the previous owners just left him on the street. They asked if I wanted to come and take a look at him. Of course, I couldn’t refuse and my brother and I went to see him the day after. I had never seen such cute look in the eyes of a dog. He was so sweet but so afraid of my brother. He was probably mistreated by a man. The veterinary guessed that he was around one year old and he also really still had this puppy-look to him. They named him Diego. After that day, we visited him every day. He still had to wait for his possible owners to turn up and be castrated before we could take him home. But finally, the day was there: on the 5th of June we could take him home.

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The first day when we met Diego!

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Diego on his Adoption Day: June 5th!

Today, one year has passed and I never once regretted the decision to take him home with me. I am not going to lie, some days have been difficult. He is still a young dog and sometimes he does things he shouldn’t (chew on things, even on my fingers, jump up,…). The first week was really intense: we still needed to get used to him and he to us. At first, he couldn’t relax alone, we always had to be there with him. He chewed on everything that you left on the ground or on reachable heights: RIP to a lot of cushions, my slippers, washing cloths,… We had to sleep next to him for the first days: he in his bench, we on a mattress next to it. There is probably still so much that I forget to mention right now! But we were patient. We read a lot about the race, and kept an open mind. And he made progress, every day he still does.

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Today, he really feels at home with us. You can tell by his actions and his face. He runs like a crazy man around the yard, rolling around in the grass and in the sand box my dad made for him. He loves his walk every morning, he enjoys cuddles and kisses, adores sunbathing and he falls asleep every night in my lap snoring like a chainsaw. He is still uncomfortable with strange people: when they come into the house, he barks loudly and tries to crawl as far away as possible until they ignore him and he sees they are ok. When we walk into a crowd, he pulls the leech and tries to look for escape routes. We are still working on this, and every time he shows signs of improvement. He is the most perfect dog I could imagine myself, and I couldn’t live without his pure soul. He and I were a perfect match! There are still a lot of dogs in shelters waiting on their human soulmate: ADOPT DON’T SHOP! Before going for a brand new puppy, go and take a look at a local shelter and give a wonderful dog a loving home!

Love, Sofie

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