Long before Josh and I were married and settled into our house, we knew we were going to have dogs. Our love for those furry little four-legged creatures had us dreaming about what pups we would have and all the exciting adventures we’d have with them. We weren’t married long before I happened upon the local SPCA (okay, I planned my trip there) and fell in love with every single dog waiting for their forever home. I was able to play with the dogs and give them some much deserved loving, and I was thanked with tons of slobbery kisses.

Naturally, I took Josh there shortly after my visit. He had to have known what was going to happen when we stepped over the threshold into the bustling shelter. I’m honestly surprised he even let me take him there! There was no way he could refuse when I was more excited than a kid on Christmas morning.

Josh had always had his heart set on a German Shepherd. He first noticed a shy little pup with the resemblance of a Shepherd, but with black, floppy ears and soft features. Her name was Analisa, a one year old Shepherd Beagle mix whom had arrived at the shelter just about a week prior to our visit. We took her into the playroom and got acquainted. She was so shy, but she slowly opened up as we pet her and gave her treats. The staff explained how she had been brought here with her “brother” who was in the kennel with her, and how she was more lively when they were together. The shelter wanted to rehome them together in order to prevent depression. I insisted they bring him in the playroom with us, and it was as if they both turned into brand new dogs. Her “brother”, a one year old Lab mix named Matty, stole my heart. He reminded me of my childhood Chocolate Lab with his loving demeanor and playful spirit. That’s how we left with Analisa and Matty and became puppy parents.

Now a year later, we have seen their growth, progression, and their downright silliness. Analisa has come out of her shell and isn’t fearful of very much anymore (besides the big, scary vacuum!). In fact, she’s found her rather loud voice, which she loves to show off when she sees people or other dogs. Matty has relaxed and learned to enjoy the little things, like a new bone or a squeaky ball. At the end of the day, they are both down for a good snuggle and a movie.

If you ever consider adopting a dog, do it.

So many wonderful dogs need forever homes, and we were lucky enough to be able to give a family and a home to Analisa and Matty. They were skinny and sickly when we got them, but they have overcome their obstacles and have blossomed into healthy, happy pups. They are our four-legged children. Imagining a life without them makes my heart sink into my stomach. It has been such a rewarding year with our pups where we have grown and learned together. Not to mention, it’s incredibly heartwarming to come home to wagging tails and wet nose kisses.