I’m usually pretty good at quickly figuring out people. When meeting a new coworker, I can tell whether he will be decent to work with, unable to play well with others or simply annoying almost immediately. My first impression is nearly always on target. Apparently this talent doesn’t translate to dogs.
When we began looking for a new boxer, the first dog we met was Zoe. She was sweet and affectionate, but I didn’t immediately see her as my dog. Maybe it was her rough exterior. She was recovering from neglect and mange that had left her skinny and spotted with bald patches. Maybe I wasn’t yet ready to commit to another dog just a couple months after Abby died. Whatever it was, I figured the hour or so we spent with Zoe would be the last time I saw her.
We met several other adoptable boxers over the next few weeks. One needed way too much attention than we could give. Another had separation anxiety. And another was likely to pee in the house. None of them seemed quite right. Around the time we were becoming impatient, Zoe’s mange had subsided and was nearly ready to find a home. Michele convinced me to have another look. I’m so glad she did.
Zoe had put on weight—no longer scrawny. Her patchy coat had filled in and was shiny. And, most importantly, time had begun to heal my wounded heart.
A few days later, Zoe moved in. It turns out she’s the perfect dog for us. Every time she nudges my arm to request ear scratches or puts her head in my lap and sighs, I’m so glad my first impression was wrong.