This week we are sharing Nelson’s story about his second time around as a pawrent. After adopting his first pup through Wags and Walks, he knew he was destined to give another pup a furever home. Why adopt one when you can adopt two? You won’t want to miss out on this heartwarming story about the bond that Nelson shares with his newest furry friend Pop Tart and the bond that the two pups share.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your dog (when did you adopt him/her, is this your first dog, etc.).
I adopted my first dog, Jack, back in 2013 from Wags & Walks. He completely changed my life and I think we're both so appreciative every day that we have each other in our lives. While Jack gets plenty of exercise (tons of walks and hikes) and plays with so many dogs in our neighborhood, a part of me really wanted a little buddy for Jack. I thought a good solution would be to start fostering another dog -- that way Jack would have new friends come through and we could also help out other dogs.
I remember going to the Wags office and them bringing out this tiny little dog and they said his name was Pop Tart. I honestly would've never picked out Pop Tart if it was up to me -- and boy was it a blessing that it wasn't up to me. He's fun, funny, curious, and really sweet. It's a little strange to think of a dog as "funny" but many people have described him that way! He just does his own thing and always has a good time. He really loves life. He and Jack also get along real well. They have epic wrestling matches daily!
How did you find out about Wags and Walks?
I had always wanted a dog and just one day, I decided to take baby steps towards one. I somehow found Wags and Walks' website and started looking at the available dogs. Then Wags was doing an event at the Brentwood Country Mart, then I saw this incredibly cute and sweet dog (Jack), and then that Saturday, one thing led to another and next thing I knew, I was at Petco frantically trying to figure out what a new dog needed!
How did you know your dog was “the one”?
When you foster a dog, there are occasional meet ups with prospective adopters, but there are also adoption events. I took Pop Tart to one adoption event and basically suffered a panic attack. Pop Tart was sad and unhappy and I was melting down. It wasn't long after that I adopted Pop Tart.
Have there been any challenges or setbacks you’ve had to overcome? What was your biggest surprise?
Pop Tart was and is a puppy so house training was challenging. It was a little challenging with Jack too, so that helped prepare me. It took trial and error, effort, patience, good guidance from a wonderful trainer I know, and time -- but we got through it.
The biggest surprise is probably Jack and Pop Tart's relationship. Neither were happy with each other at first. I have a photo of Jack sticking his head (and just his head!) under a blanket shortly after I first brought Pop Tart home. But they quickly became great friends. They play all the time and Jack is clearly the big brother and Pop Tart is the little brother. As a younger brother myself, I recognize a lot of the behavior :)
What is your favorite thing about your dog? Does he/she have any funny quirks?
Probably how sweet he is. He's a champion snuggler. He loves nothing more than just snuggling with us (me primarily, but I'll sometimes catch him with his head just perched on Jack!)
As for quirks, Pop Tart can also suss out food like nobody's business. Also, he growls at soccer balls and garden gnomes.
What is your favorite thing about being a doggy parent?
Just the fact that they're in my life and I'm in theirs. I thank my lucky stars all the time that we found each other (and I thank Wags & Walks for bringing us together and for all that the organization does! I tell people about Wags all the time.)
How has your dog changed you?
It's hard to describe how fully things changed for me when I got my first (and then second) dog. They're just my buddies. We hang out all the time. We talk all the time. I plan my day around them. I suppose on a specific level there are things like I exercise a lot more (because of all the walks), I'm much more social (you won't believe how many people we've met over time that I would've never talked to, but did because we're constantly meeting other dogs), and I've made so many wonderful friends who are also dog lovers. But the best thing, of course, is having two great great friends and that's a beautiful thing.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about you and your pup?
If you're reading this and thinking of adopting a dog, do it! It might be the best thing that ever happens to you.
If you’re looking to be a paw-rent to a precious pup, please visit our website to see our available dogs and fill out an adoption application.