I was working in December of 2015, right after Hera went missing. I checked my phone, and saw that Alan had texted me. “Babe Eric found a dog and he’s here at the shop with us.” and another that said, “He’s really smart too” After talking about the dog a little bit, I asked if we could keep him. Eric had seen the car come to a stop, open the door, and push the dog out. Then, they drove away. So, Eric tried to yell after them, but they didn’t stop. It was raining on and off all day that day, so they brought him into the oil change shop that Alan worked at, and Alan brought him home.
At first, we wanted to keep the Greek God/Goddess names, but he didn’t really answer to Achilles. We called him Achilles for about a week, then one day we were sitting in the basement with some friends, and Alan’s best friend, Chris, said, “What about Chance?” Our new pup perked up instantly.
We didn’t see any immediate problems with him, other than he was underweight. When he came into our lives you could count his ribs, his spine stuck out rather far, and the bones in his head stuck out too. We fed him, and loved him, because that was what he needed. We got him into the vet, while still looking for Hera. Chance came into our lives about 2 weeks after Hera was stolen. We had him scanned for a microchip. The Vet Tech scanned him up and down his back about 8 times. On the very last scan, when we had given up on the microchip, and she said, “Just one more to be safe.” It beeped. He had a microchip. He was registered to someone. His name was Moose. But he didn’t like the name, you could tell. We called the Nebraska Humane Society with the microchip number. They told us the information that was linked to his file there. They told us we needed to bring him in so they could contact the owner.
We had been doing walk throughs to look for our baby girl, Hera. They knew us very well down there. We were all on a first name basis. We walked in with Chance and Zeus. Zeus has always been moral support. Zeus and Chance were buddies now, had become very close because Zeus missed Hera. Chance and Zeus loved each other, because dogs love quickly and unconditionally. They had to hold Chance and get ahold of the owner. They had a policy that they would hold the dog for three days and then he would go through about two days of tempermental testing, then put up for adoption on a first come first serve terms. They called the number that was in Chance’s file, and the man who answered said the owner was incarcerated for auto theft. They had stolen the very car that they had kicked Chance out of.
They let us walk with him ino the first room and he had to wait in a kennel until they got his holding kennel ready. This felt like Doggy Jail to me. When my parents would talk about their jobs, they were corrections officers, words like: holding cell, and cell come to mind when I think about it. Each dog got a small area, a cot, some blankets, and if they had one, a toy. They were all in rows, categorized by large or small, and some had just bully breeds that were in Doggy Jail and were quarentined. A lot of them were so sweet when we did walk throughs. Although we weren’t allowed to touch them, they gave off good vibes.
We said goodbye to him. It hurt, in the short time that we had gotten to know him, I had grown to love him. He was awkward, and funny, and adorable all at the same time. He fit in, he made us laugh. He made Zeus a little happier. He broke the sadness, he didn’t completely fill the void, but he sure helped us feel a little better. He brought a little bit of light into the darkness. Sunflowers remind me of him, because he is sunshine, and he is tall, and lanky.
Zeus was broken hearted because he was the last one who had seen Hera. Chance made him perk up. You could see the small change. He had grown to love Chance, and that made me love Chance even more. Chance had grown on Alan, and he had come to love him too, but differently because he wasn’t Hera. Everyone was still very distraught from her being gone. And now, we had to say our goodbyes, possibly forever to our new friend. It hurt, a lot. Zeus was able to say goodbye when we went into the back room. It was heart wrenching to watch. The emotion you could feel was intense.
A couple days after we had to say goodbye to Chance, I stopped at the Humane Society to do a walk through for Hera. I got there, and while I was waiting, I asked about Chance. I couldn’t bring myself to call him Moose. It didn’t sound right. He was still there. I did the walk through, she wasn’t there. Then we got to Chance’s kennel. I wasn’t allowed to touch him. He recognized me, he was so happy to see me. I wanted to hug him and tell him it was ok, but I couldn’t touch him. I wanted to take him home. Our home was even more broken without him. I sat down in front of his kennel, close as I could without getting in trouble, and cried. Cried because I missed him, cried because I missed Hera, cried because this was the worst pain I have ever felt. I didn’t know what was going to happen. Would we ever get them back? Would our home ever be whole again?
The third day that Chance was in there was up. We called to check on him. We wanted them to know that we wanted him back. We had even tried to foster him for those three long days, since he was comfortable in our home. We weren’t allowed. He now had to go through temperment testing to make sure he wasn’t agressive. I didn’t like the thought of what would happen if a dog was deemed agressive and didn’t pass those tests. They said it would take one to two days for him to go through them, then he would be put on the adoption floor. We asked if they could hold him for us, but it was not allowed. We went the day after his testing started, standing at the door waiting for them to open. He was still in the process of testing.
The next day, we did the same thing. He was there! We could touch him now, it felt so good. We were about to get him back. Alan picked up the biggest bone that he could find. It was huge. About twice the size of my arm. I sat on the floor next to his kennel giving him loves. It felt so good to be able to see him again, and take him home. We talked to an adoption counselor and told her about our situation. We learned all about him and his history. We were his fourth family. He was only two years old. We will be his furever home. I didn’t want to go through that again.
We got him home, and Zeus flew to Chance to greet him. They had missed each other, and watching it was indescribable. It was an amazing feeling. Now, it was time to fatten him up a little bit. He was ours, and it was time to make him healthy again. Sometimes I wonder, did we rescue Chance, or did he rescue us?