So, we are keeping Cody.
How could we not? There are so many reasons for not keeping a second dog (time, expenses, training regimes), but none were so overwhelming that we could let go.
And, when you see Cody and Tiki together, it is clear that he chose us as much as we chose him.
I have volunteered at a variety of different places: I have spent time on political campaigns; I helped run a pro-choice group which provides shelter to women coming to NYC for second trimester abortions (Haven Coalition); I delivered food to homebound people living with HIV/AIDS (Food & Friends); but none of these have been as emotionally rewarding as my involvement with NYC Shiba Rescue.
Why is this group different from others? I am not sure. At first, I thought it was because the people involved seemed to really care, but that’s not a fair statement because the Haven folks were some of the most dedicated people I have ever met. Then I thought it was the one-on-one interactions, but I had that with Food & Friends as well as Haven. But then I realized. I give people a lot of credit for being able to persevere during tough situations. The women who used Haven’s services were able to come from all over the country (and even Puerto Rico and Canada) to NY in order to obtain abortions. The folks to whom I delivered food to through Food & Friends were all able to live independently despite the advanced stage of their illness. I admired them and felt good being a part of making their lives better, but it most cases, I knew that the people I was helping did not care if it was me or someone else helping them. Dogs are different.
Also, when Cody was removed from the shelter and brought to our home, he immediately attached himself to Husband. He follows Husband everywhere and when Husband goes into the bathroom and closes the door, Cody positions himself outside to wait. He spent three weeks at my parents’ house (aka Grammy’s Fresh Air Fund for Dogs) while we were in Europe, but you have never seen a living being as excited as Cody was at Husband’s return.
And there is the difference. In return for rescuing Cody, I got more than the fleeting good feeling you get for helping someone for a few hours or an evening, I got a dog who greets me like a soldier returning from war when I run out to get the newspaper. I have a playmate for Tiki and a dog who when I was sad this weekend, planted himself on my lap and kissed my face. Really, what I got was a constant and unlimited supply of love.