It'd been a long day at work. My feet were tired, my soul was weary and all I could do was plop down on the couch with a sigh. But then a furry four-footed friend hoped up beside me and licked away all my cares.
His name is Dakota. An energetic, happy and loving member of the family. With wagging tail and floppy ears he loves to race through the garden, chasing birds or annoying his sister, Ellie. When he is not causing trouble, he lies on the bed snoring or cuddles up to his favorite people, and he always keeps an eye out for a treat.
One of my most precious memories of him was the day I first held him in my arms. It was a sunny day in late spring when my mother and I arrived at our nearest animal rescue. Our plan was to adopt a puppy since we have always wanted to add another happy tail to our family; and a happy tale it was. We knew the moment we saw his face that he was coming home with us. He came with a name already; a big name for such a small dog but we knew he would grow into it. Dakota means friend; a name he lives up to every day.
He was a frightened little thing when they brought him over to me, but when I first took him into my arms I knew that we had bonded. On the ride home, he sat on my lap, both paws on my shoulders and a happy tongue dangling from his mouth. There's no way I can describe the gratitude I saw in his eyes. It's strange how a dog can be grateful. But they are. Dakota's tail wags when he sees a member of his family, and we know that's his way of saying thank you. When he runs towards you with a look of playful mischief on his face, you can't help but feel his joy at being given a second chance to play and dig holes and even steal a tidbit from the dinner table every now and then.
You'd cry if you'd seen the fear in his eyes the day I took him back for a check up. I could see he thought I was returning him. I had held him close, letting him know that he would forever be part of my family. Yes, he can be a little naughty at times, but love is not love if it doesn't ask for a little patience sometimes, and the reward is well worth it. You'll know what I mean when your new friend nudges you awake in the morning for some cuddles. There's no better way to start the day then with the affection of a puppy dog. There is a Dakota out there waiting for you. Just drop by your nearest animal rescue. You won't regret it. I mean, just look at that happy face...