Ten years ago, you came home.
After spending almost two years of your life in shelters, we found you. So, today we celebrate a decade of our best friendship and your 13th birthday!
While I try to write your adoption letters about you and all that’s happened in the last year, well, this one is going to be about me. Because here’s the thing, Emmett: On this day ten years ago, when we drove out to Friends of Homeless Animals in Northern Virginia, I couldn’t imagine the epic shift you would cause in our lives. Even if I could imagine it, I couldn’t have understood it because, if someone had told me that day that picking up a dog from a shelter would alter the foundation and purpose of my entire life, there’s no way I could have believed it.
Everything will change?
Yes. Everything. How could I have grasped that then?
It’s evolved slowly. It started with a question, “Why did you adopt a pit bull?”
We loved you so fiercely from the moment we laid eyes on you. And I think you felt the same way because you just jumped right into my lap before we’d been properly introduced. It was a perfect fit. Meant to be.
Now, I’m not one of those “everything happens for a reason” types of people. (See: cancer.) I do think, though, that everything happens with a purpose.
Your purpose? Well, only you know that, but I will say that you’ve changed so many lives… and touched so many more… in your life already.
You are my light, Emmett. You guide me and my work in ways you could never understand. If it weren’t for falling in love with you, we never would’ve gotten so involved in pit bull advocacy. If it weren’t for falling in love with you, we never would’ve adopted Lucas or, much later, Cooper.
If it weren’t for falling in love with you, I never would’ve started the blog that led me to changing my entire career. Literally, Emmett, you changed the direction of my work completely. You changed how I spend my time–instead of, like, wine tastings with friends, I walk dogs at the animal shelter.
If it weren’t for falling in love with you, I never would’ve applied for Pinups for Pitbulls. I never would’ve gotten involved in anti-BSL initiatives. I never would’ve gotten to know the children residents of the mental health facility where you brought smiles and better days. I never would’ve been hired by Pet Age or BlogPaws. I never would’ve gotten to spend a week at Best Friends. I never would’ve road tripped across the country with my best friend in the backseat or made some of the dearest (human) friends who have made my world bigger, brighter, and kinder.
I never would’ve had a heart so full that your snores became magic.
My life is better in every single way because of you. I truly love my work. I love volunteering with animals. I love walking you and your brother. I love the community you’ve brought me to, which is full of warm, big-hearted people who are happy to discuss things like poop and leashes and kibble for hours on end. And you brought all of that and so very much more into our lives.
Ten year ago, Emmett, we picked you up from the shelter in Virginia. We drove you home to our condo in DC. We brought you inside, sat on the couch, and looked at you. You looked back.
John asked, “Now what?”
Who knew it would be this.
Happy 10th Gotcha Day, Emmett, and happy 13th birthday! You are my light and my love, and I’m honored that you chose me to be your guardian all those years ago.
Emmett through the years! I did this in a strange order by accident: Start in the bottom left corner for the year he came home at just over 2ish years old, then counter-clockwise in chronological order ending with the biggest pic at almost 13ish years old, which was from hiking a couple weeks ago!