An open letter to my benefactors!

Hi, everybody - it's me, Phoebe!  And even though this is our 100th post (wow, how time flies!), and therefore something of a momentous occasion, Tucker said that I could have today's post because today, February 2nd, is my Gotcha Day and I have officially been a part of my family for three years! 

I love my family, but as I was reflecting upon the past three years I've lived with them, it struck me that I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Heidi's Legacy (the rescue I was adopted from that bailed me out of a kill shelter in south Florida) and most especially to my foster family, and most most most especially to my foster mom, C., who loved and cared for me until my forever Mom and family found me and brought me home.  At my foster home, there was a little girl who liked me to sleep in her bed, and my foster mom C. liked me to keep her company when she watched TV at night.  There were other dogs to play with, including my sister, Claudia (she was also adopted shortly after I was and has a new name but I don't remember what it is), and toys to play with, and we were all well-fed and well-cared for, and most importantly we were loved a lot. 

Here is what I looked like back then (I was only six months old):

This is my intake form from the shelter - my name was Gissel then.

Anyway, on this third anniversary of my adoption into my forever home, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the people who made it possible for Mom to adopt me and for me to have such a happy life.  I thought an open letter to my rescuers at Heidi's Legacy would be a good way to to do this.  So here goes:

Dear Heidi's Legacy,

Three years have passed since the day my forever mom came to pick me up from my foster mom's house that Saturday in February.  I remember that my foster mom had been very kind to me, and that I loved her a lot.  So when this new mom person showed up to take me away, I wasn't quite sure that was a good thing.  But very soon, I grew to love my new mom, and also my dog brother, Tucker, and my feline siblings, Olivia & Tanner.  I settled in quickly, and it wasn't long before I felt comfortable.  I got lots of attention, lots of pets and cuddles, and lots of praise for doing my potties outside, and learning things like how to sit and lie down.  Let's face it, the treats didn't hurt either.  I also learned how to walk well on a leash and not be scared when cars went by when we walked down Bayshore.

Anyway, time passes quickly, and I've been busy, so let me try to fill you in on a little bit of what I've been up to.  In the past three years I have:

  1. Graduated from obedience school. (Got my diploma and everything.)
  2. Taken classes to learn how to be a therapy dog.  (But I decided I didn't really want to do that. The people I like best are my family and those I know well.  Random strangers don't interest me all that much, and plus I already help Mom out at her work, so I didn't really need another job.)
  3. Become a Canine Good Citizen (Again, a diploma with my very own name on it from the American Kennel Club.)
  4. Trained for agility (we don't do competitions, but we do go to classes, and I really enjoy that - again, praise is great, but yummy treats don't hurt - especially string cheese!)  My favorite obstacle is the dog walk, but I also like when I get a jackpot for doing something hard, like the teeter (which is my LEAST favorite obstacle) or when I hit all of my weaves just right.  Jackpots are great! 
So, as you can see, I am smart, well-behaved, and athletic!  I'm also a working dog, because I go to work with Mom two or three times a week and help her do all sorts of things.  Like - I let her pet me when she's stressed, I make her laugh when she's having a bad day, and for some reason she finds it especially helpful when I lie on my bed next to her desk and just look cute.  She doesn't even mind when I nap on the job, which is good for me, because I love naps.  I also love treats, and Mom always keeps a good stash at the office.  Also toys that are different than the ones we have at home.  And guess what?  Mom says it is very helpful to her when I play with my toys.  I'm even allowed in the lunch area because I lay quietly by Mom's feet and don't beg.  (Mom usually gives me just a little bite of whatever she's having when everyone else is finished eating.  I like pizza the best!)

Let's see, what else?  Well, I have also:

  1. Flown on an airplane!  (I traveled in my leopard print carrier and since the flight wasn't full I didn't even have to stay under the seat.  I sat on the seat next to Mom - well technically I was in my carrier, but the top was open so I could sit all the way up and look around and look out the window - and let me tell you - there's a reason why planes look so tiny when you see them up in the sky - because they are WAY HIGH! )  I didn't like take-off or landing that much, but the in between part was just fine. 
  2. Had my picture taken with Santa (like this):
  3. That's me on the right.  Don't I look festive? (By the way, I got everything I wanted for Christmas!)
  4. Dined out at many restaurants and stayed at several hotels.  (I am always well-behaved and am told to "come back soon!") 
  5. Had my photos taken by a professional photographer (like this):
I posted some of my other photo shoot pictures a week or so ago, but I didn't put this one up before.  Not sure why - it's one of Mom's favorites!
So - clearly, I am also well-traveled and extremely photogenic in addition to being smart, well-behaved, and athletic.  (And don't forget cute!  I'm very very VERY cute!)  But that's not even the best part. 

Most importantly, over the last three years:

  1. I have been loved every single day.
  2. I have been appreciated every single day.
  3. I have been valued every single day.
  4. I have been kissed and hugged and petted and cuddled every single day.
  5. Someone has been truly thankful for my presence in their life every single day.
  6. I have brought joy to someone's heart and laughter to someone's lips every single day.
  7. I have had a warm, comfortable place to sleep every single day. (Right under the covers next to Mom.)
  8. I have had nourishing and delicious food to eat every single day.
  9. Someone has praised me and called me a good girl every single day.
  10. I have belonged every single day.
  11. I have been happy every single day.
None of this would have been possible without the wonderful people at Heidi's Legacy who bailed me out of that shelter along with my sister, found me a foster family, and made it possible for me to eventually be adopted into the family that I now call my own.  I am no longer Gissel, the six month old puppy who was, for some unknown crime or for some unknown reason, turned into a large shelter to take my chances on ever getting out of there alive.  My prayer, the same prayer that all shelter dogs pray, was answered.  My name is now Phoebe. I belong somewhere.  I love and am loved.  I know my name, my purpose, and my place in this world.  I am home.  Thank you, God.  Thank you, Heidi's Legacy.  Amen.




Kolchak Puggle said...

Happy Gotcha Day Phoebe! You made Mama's eye's leak with your beautiful post.

Winnie said...

What a lovely post. I enjoyed finding out more about you and all the things you have done.

So happy you have such a great life xx

FiveSibesMom said...

Enjoyed your touching post. Happy Gotcha Day, AND Happy 100th post!

Anonymous said...

Happy Gotcha Day Pheobe, glad you found the perfect home. And sounds like your a busy pup too!! Congrats

Old Kitty said...

Beautiful Phoebe!! Happy Gotcha Day!! This is such a sweet and wonderful letter to the amazing and wonderful people at Heide's Legacy!!! Me and Charlie are so happy that they saved you!!! You were only a little pup too!! Poor little sweet Phoebe!! We are so happy you and your sister found amazing foster families and now forever homes!! Wonderful!!

We love your pics, sweet Phoebe!!!! Enjoy your day! take care

Cat Chat With Caren And Cody said...

What a beautiful, beautiful post!
Happy Gotcha Day and Happy 100th post! Two wonderful and momentous occasions!!

William said...

Phoebe, that just choked me up. Happy Gotcha Day!

OKcats said...

Oh my goodness, this was the sweetest gotcha day post I have ever read - I am a little teary-eyed! Phoebe, you are a lucky girl, and you are very nice to thank everyone who made this possible. We also think your mom is lucky to have found you. Hugs and kisses for your gotchaday!

houndstooth said...

Phoebe, we're all so happy for you! Happy Gotcha Day! Adoption groups are wonderful!


Minna Krebs said...

Happy Gotcha Day Phoebe!!!!!!

What a wonderful letter you wrote.......my momma thinks you are soooooo lucky to be able to go to work with her. My momma thinks her would like her job so much betters if one of us could be there with her!!

oh....and congrats on 100 posts,too!

Sue said...

Happy Gotcha Day, Phoebe. We're very glad to have met you. It sounds like you have a wonderful life and appreciate it.
Morgan, Tsar and the Porties

Trixie, Lily, and Sammy-Joe said...

Great letter! Of course it brought tears to our Mama's eyes! Did you send it to them?

Marianne said...

That's such a beautiful post! It brought tears to my eyes!