Emma, James

I adopted my sweet Emma, a chocolate lab/pointer mix from the animal shelter in 1998. On a whim on a Monday afternoon, I decided to drop in at the shelter to look at puppies. She was in one of the bottom cages, reserved for larger dogs, but unlike many of the large dogs, was not surly or downright hostile. She had a big grin on her face and wagged her tail wildly. I asked about her on the way out and was told she had been in the Wichita shelter for 2 days and had until Wednesday before she would be euthanized.

I went home that evening and told my three daughters about the beautiful brown dog. We hadn’t planned on even getting a dog, but all agreed I would go back the next day to rescue her, even if just to find another home for her. Under pressure from the girls, I called the shelter 5 minutes before closing time to inform the workers I would be coming for the dog the next day. The woman who answered the phone then told me that my sweet Emma was to be put down that night! I firmly told her to keep that dog for me, and that I would be there as soon as the shelter opened in the morning.

From the moment I put the collar and leash on her and led her to my car, there was no question that she was going home with me. For the next 7 years Emma bestowed on us her love, her wrinkled nose grin, and her gentle nature. She was hit by a car on January 2, 2006, while running with my husband. I was totally heartbroken, even though her daily run with him was the joy of her life. For a week, I could not work, could not cook, could not function. My husband was opposed to us adopting another dog, but the quiet of the house was overwhelming. Five days after her death, I returned to the shelter. I could not get out of the car, though, because of my sobbing. I decided to go to the Humane Society instead.

There a volunteer directed me to a beautiful yellow dog named “Banjo” by the staff. He was a very quiet, calm yellow lab/golden mix. They allowed me to meet him in a room, where he walked up to where I was sitting, and placed a paw on my knee before looking me in the eye. He was so gentle and calm. I took him home the next day. We have named him James, and he has made his own place in our lives. He was brought to the Humane Society by a woman who found him by the side of a road. He was brought in the same day Emma died. I believe that Emma directed me to James, so that he too could have a home. I still miss Emma, of course, but I am thankful every day for James as well.

Cathy from KS