5 years and approximately 5 days ago I went with my sister-in-law to a local rescue shelter. We were going to “just look” at some doggies. They had recently lost one of their dogs to a sudden illness, Rudy. The remaining dog, Chopper, needed a buddy and Heidi was ready to start thinking about a new fur baby after an appropriate time of mourning their beloved Rudy. I foolishly thought I would be just along for support of picking a new friend.

Enter Arizona. This shelter had lots of dogs, probably too many, really. We went along the rows of kennels wanting to rescue every single one. We come by one that has a little beagle and this cute freckled doggy named Arizona as roomies. I say to Heidi “look at this cute puppy!” That little doggy put her paw on my hand, and next thing I know I am asking the shelter lady about her. Yep, she picked me. I was an easy target. A big sucker for those eyes and her floppy little ears. Pretty much filled out an application on the spot, they said they would call my references and let me know. Wait, what did I just do?

I did what I had wanted for a long time: made the move to get a doggy back in my life after lots of years. But I was just helping Heidi start to look, right? Not by “Arizona’s” schedule, she picked me out and steamrolled my heart. A couple of days later i get the call, you can come get Arizona if you still want her. Aaaahhh!!! YES!!! I left work early and ran across town. Didn’t even give myself time to think about it or think of the fact I had nothing at home to be ready for a doggy. Screw that, I’m getting a dog!!!

All of that worked itself out. But that name, Arizona, had to go. She was a rescue from Tennessee, that name made no sense. So I put out a Facebook post for name suggestions, and got plenty from Freckles to Oreo and Spot and many more. My nephew Will suggested Zelda. Robin Williams had just died, and his daughter’s name is Zelda. He thought that would be a nice tribute, plus there is the Zelda game. I liked it, and that was that.

Here we are, five very fast years have flown by. Hundred of walks, thousands of treats and many, many tennis balls later, me and my girl Zelda have a pretty good deal going. And I have learned a lot! First, squirrels are not to trusted. They are little bastards that must be barked at and chased up trees. Number 2, tennis balls are like treasures, but they fit too easily under furniture. #3 Treats are awesome, and you deserve one for every little thing. The vet doesn’t know what she is talking about when she says to lighten upon them. And a big #4: Coming home to your best buddy is cause for celebration always!!! There are many more thing Z-dog has taught me and will teach me, and I look forward to the lessons.

I may have technically rescued Zelda, but she really saved me in the big scheme of things. She picked me, and I am forever grateful for that day. Heidi and Paul did eventually rescue another dog, it took a few more years. But that day at the shelter, Heidi was the perfect enabler for me to be the one that ended up with a dog. It wasn’t really my plan, but I got the best end of that day, for sure!!

Happy Gotcha Day Anniversary Zelda!! Or as I like to call it, Happy Zeldaversary!!! My special whack job, my spaz, my heart.

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  1. Are the first and last photos really the same dog — Zelda? She looks so different. I love that she “picked you.” Seems they usually do and steal your heart. Best of wishes to you with your girl. I’m still mourning mine…


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