A Short Story and a Plea

If you didn't already know, about a year ago, I decided, with the encouragement of my then-girlfriend now-wife to get a dog. It was a very spur of the moment decision, fueled a bit by Valentine's Day and the stuffed dog I got her to say "sorry I can't get you a real one."

It turns out I could, and 5 days after Valentine's Day, Maddy was an official part of our life.

This is Maddy the night we got her, already waiting by the door for me to come home.

This is Maddy the night we got her, already waiting by the door for me to come home.

It hasn't always been easy, if I'm being honest. The first few months, I doubted I could keep her. She's strong and willful and barks at people and things when I don't want her to.

She's also one of the most important parts of my life.

Mikayla sent this to me while I was at work one day.

Mikayla sent this to me while I was at work one day.

One thing we've never quite understood about Maddy is her fear. She's afraid of my dad. She's afraid of Mikayla's aunt. She's also afraid of thunderstorms.

Last night, we had a big one. 

It was our policy in the beginning that Maddy always sleeps in her cage. Crate training is good for a dog and we want to be good dog owners, but when she curls up so close to you because she's scared of the loud noises, it's hard to force her to go sleep on her own, so last night, she stayed in our bedroom.

The idea was that she'd sleep on her bed on the floor. One loud crash of thunder and she was up on the bed between us. She curled up so close that she fell asleep with her head on my chest. It was a moment I would've loved to capture in a photograph, but I couldn't bring myself to ruin it by getting the camera.

If you're at all able, adopt a pet. Go to the shelters in your area. There are so many animals who need you. I think you'll be pretty surprised by how much you'll need them too.