Yo'be: The Adoption Story
I am a dog person through and through. Honestly, since I was a kid, my main goal in life was to have a dog of my own. After Jonathan and I had been dating just about a year and were in the preliminary stages of talking about moving in together, I started looking to adopt. However, between me wanting a large, non-apartment-friendly dog, Jonathan being allergic to most pups, and us living in separate residencies, getting a dog together seemed a little far-fetched (pun intended). That is, until I became insanely-addicted to looking at local rescues.
I gave up on wanting an extra-large doggie to ensure that Jonathan would be allergy-attack free. Therefore, there were only a small handful of rescues that met our needs. Thus began the trend of sending a picture to J every time I found a possible fuzzy baby. Naturally, with each puppy-face-screenshot sent, Jonathan’s obsession grew as well. We both began to understand that with limited options, if we stumbled across the perfect dog, we would have to act on it quickly. So, when I saw Yo’be’s (pronounced Yo-Bee, and yes, he came with the name) posting on the Cleveland Animal Protective League’s (@clevelandapl) website, I called right away.
That night, Jonathan and I went to the APL’s Parma PetSmart location to visit him. The woman on the phone said that nobody was super interested in him, so we were hopeful that he would still be available by the time we arrived. However, when we got into the visiting room to meet him, we quickly understood why this seemingly-perfect, shaggy babe wasn’t immediately scooped up: as it turns out, he was mean AF! Yet, being the dog lovers that we are, we were determined to give him a chance to trust us.
Jonathan and I spent damn near an hour and an almost an ENTIRE bag of treats with Yo’be. At the beginning of our time together, he sat at the other end of the visiting room growing every time that Jonathan made a move; it was clear that he had endured some sort of trauma with men in the first 2 years of his life. It didn’t take long for him to begin taking treats out of my hand without issue, but Jonathan was a different story. After almost hour of luring the fluffball in and stuffing him with treats, Yo’be continued to growl at Jonathan and would only get close enough to take a treat and sit and eat it hesitantly next to him.
When Yo’be was too stuffed to consume any more food and his behavior towards Jonathan hadn’t significantly improved, we decided to walk away to think about going through with the adoption process. J and I were both aware that we were at-risk of making a spontaneous decision, so we decided to take advantage of the APL’s deposit option for $25, in which they hold the dog for you for 24 hours. After the deposit was made, we decided to return to his kennel for one last look before we left; When Yo’be saw us again, he was a different dog. He ran with excitement right up to the kennel door and started licking OUR hands (yes, Jonathan too!), letting us pet him through the iron slats. It was hard to leave him but we kept our promise to each other to sleep on it and make a decision at a later time.
As we were leaving PetSmart, we asked for Yo’be’s back-story: This 2-year-old angel had been living with the same human for nearly his entire life. The story this person gave the APL was that her daughter had brought him home as a puppy but never took care of him, so she did even though she never wanted him. The mom (owner) decided to bring Yo’be to the APL after “he made her sick and she could not get better.” And that was all we knew.
That evening, we went out for dinner with my uncle who, of course, did the fatherly/responsible older adult thing and attempted to talk us out of making such a huge decision, especially when we weren’t living under the same roof. However, we could not stop thinking about Mr. Y. So, on the way home, we locked in our votes in the most mature way we knew how: Put your hand behind your back. 1 finger means rescue Yo’be tomorrow. 2 fingers means no. On the count of three reveal your choice. 1. 2. 3. Go. Both hands showed 1 finger. The decision was made. Tomorrow we would adopt our fur baby.
As you can imagine, the next day was full of excitement, anxiety, and showing his APL posting to as many co-workers as possible; We could hardly wait for 4pm. After what seemed like an eternity, we arrived back at PetSmart to seal the deal. The family in front of us was filling out their initial paperwork to look at kittens, so we snuck back into the kennels to visit our guy; he recognized us immediately, further confirming our decision. He was so close to being ours. As Jonathan headed back to the front desk to reserve our spot in line, I snuck the video below:
A packet of paperwork and a small chunk-of-change later, Yo’be was ours. I still giggle thinking about choosing how to spell his name on the official papers. He knew his name and we loved it’s uniqueness so we knew we wouldn’t change the pronunciation. But, he came with the apostrophe attached and Jonathan, of course, was not willing to give that up. So, Yo’be it was.
Aside from bringing Yo’be home, my favorite part of this entire memory is the adoption photo. Out of a handful of signs, we chose one that read “It was Love at First Sight” and were semi-rushed to sit on a bench for the photo. With Yo’be in our lap, we beamed towards the camera. 1-2-3 Cheese! Before we knew it, the APL worker had taken our photo and soon, we were walking proudly through the aisles of PetSmart gathering all of the dog-parent essentials with our guy in tow. Due to the excitement and obvious distraction, we didn’t even look at the adoption pictures until we got into the car to head back home. But, as soon as we did, we couldn’t help but to burst into laughter. I guess it was love at first sight for Yo’be, too, because, well… just examine the picture for yourself.
Never once have I regretted the decision to rescue Yo’be and, in fact, I truly believe that we belong together. He is a natural therapy dog and has helped me through my most vulnerable days. He isn’t perfect, that’s for sure: he barks at every small noise, is horrible on a leash, and takes up entirely too much room on the bed for a 20-pound mutt, but he’s the exact doggie-companion I have longed for my entire life. I look at him in awe each and every day and thank the woman upstairs that he decided to give us a chance and trust humans again. He will never know it, but he has gotten me through some pretty dark days, and for that I will be FURever grateful.
IMO: There are some pretty amazing dogs out there who need a second chance at life and given a loving home. Think twice before you head to a breeder. #adoptdontshop