The Best Thing I Did In 2008

By Kerry Anderson

2009 is here. Like many, I have been thinking about the things that I would like to accomplish in the New Year. Take up cross-country skiing. Pay off my credit cards. Drink less Diet Coke. End world hunger. (For those that know me, I would have a better chance of ending world hunger then drinking less Diet Coke.)

As I think about these goals, I find myself reflecting on 2008 and the things that I managed to accomplish. While I did not pay off my credit cards (rather I managed to increase my balances), I realized that I did do some good stuff. I donated services to my church. I secured some good accounts for my company. I made some really great new friends (at Loving Paws, by the way.) And, I sort of learned how to give Olive a haircut that I don’t need to cover with a doggie sweater.

And yet, while all of these things are fun and wonderful, nothing compares to what I did for a very special friend of mine—Snoopy.

Snoopy was a family dog. He did all of the normal family dog stuff. Let the kids ride on his back. Stole food from the counter. Provided his family with a slobbery welcome every time they walked in the front door. And, of course, chewed a favorite toy every now and then.

Unfortunately for Snoopy and his family, life as he knew it came to a sudden end. The family learned that the toddler boy was severely allergic to dogs. “Remove the dog from the house—immediately.” Those were the doctor’s orders. Without time to find this wonderful guy a home, the family was grief stricken to think that they may have to surrender their family dog to the local animal shelter.

When I heard the situation, the words “I’ll take him,” escaped my lips before I even had a chance to consult my husband. (Don’t worry. He is used to it.) Within the wag of a tail, Laura was in my driveway on a very cold dark night, helping me introduce my own furry clan to their new foster brother, Snoopy.

The next week was anything but easy. Bear didn’t like Snoopy. Snoopy liked Olive—too much. As a result, I couldn’t leave the dogs alone together. Our daily routines were totally thrown off. Snoopy only got fed two meals a day and gobbled down his food. Bear and Olive, who normally pick at their food dish all day, were forced to eat two meals a day or lose it to the intruder. Even potty time was a challenge. My dogs use a litter box. So, I wasn’t used to standing out in the frigid temperatures, coaxing a dog to poop. I had to hire a dog sitter to let Snoopy out in the afternoon. And, my “free time” was spent making and distributing Snoopy’s sell sheet, and meeting with potential owners. But, the most difficult thing was yet to come.

Snoopy and I bonded. Maybe it was his big, soft brown eyes. Or, his silly ideas about being a 45 pound lap dog. Or, perhaps it was the excitement in his face whenever I held out his walking harness and oversized sweater that Laura so willingly offered up. But, there was something more. Somehow Snoopy knew that I was there to help him. Sure, he did not know that he was never going back to his original family. And, he didn’t know that I was looking for a new home for him. But, he knew that I brought good things. And that was all that mattered to him.

It wasn’t long before the phone started ringing. People wanted to meet Snoopy. Lucky for us, one woman stood out from all the rest. Melinda was perfect for Snoopy in every way. And he was perfect for her. I knew in my heart that we had found Snoopy his forever home. I couldn’t have been happier. Or, sadder.

Today, I am pleased to report that Snoopy is doing fabulous in his new home. Melinda frequently emails me updates on his new life. She sends me funny stories and great photos. Moreover, she shares with me the happiness that Snoopy has brought to her life. And, while I still feel the occasional tear pool in my eye when I think about how much I miss him, I find comfort in knowing that fostering Snoopy was the best thing I did in 2008.