Helen Gibbs Pohlot

Do you believe in love at first sight?  I do!

It was shortly after 8 p.m. on Good Friday when Peanut walked into my Florida Keys home.  He was barely a foot tall with expressive eyes and an adorable face.  Everything about him screamed cuteness and charm. I resisted my first urge to pick him up and cuddle him in my arms.  Instead, I remembered what the experts say and let him come over and sniff my hand, which he kissed. At that point, a smile stretched across my face, joy filled my heart, and I fell in love.

Sure, he wasn’t my dog, but it didn’t matter, I couldn’t help myself.

Caroline, my son’s girlfriend who happens to be a warm, responsible and loving person adopted Peanut the week before from PAWS4YOU Rescue in Miami.

Knowing she was about to make a serious commitment, Caroline submitted her adoption application along with the required references. Once PAWS4YOU’s volunteer committee approved her application, Caroline attended a meet and greet at Pet Smart in the Palmetto Bay area of Miami where she met Peanut for the first time.

Peanut captured her heart. Her happiness and love for the little dog proved contagious especially with my 6’5” son Bruce who towers over Peanut. They quickly became best friends, sharing walks, treats and good times. With Peanuts inquisitive nature and spunky personality, he warmed up to all the people in Caroline’s life.

Just a week after his adoption, Peanut, Caroline, and Bruce came to the Keys for the Easter holiday.

We were all in a festive mood looking forward to sharing a wonderful time with each other and the sweet little dog.
When I asked Caroline if Peanut could have a treat. She gave me the okay. I opened the refrigerator handing him a small piece of meat.  He took it with enthusiasm and gratitude. We quickly connected as I learned his preference for Nathan’s hot dogs.

Bruce and Caroline quickly set up Peanuts new comfortable looking bed, surrounded by his toys. It was great having a dog in the house once again.  It amazed me how happy I felt as I drifted off to sleep that night.

Peanut was up early the next morning and went for a couple mile run with Caroline. We all questioned whether he would like the boat.  Bruce, his Dad, and Caroline prepared the boat while I hung out with Peanut.

With everything set to go, Caroline put on Peanut’s life jacket. He didn’t love it, but he looked absolutely adorable.

Initially, Peanut was not crazy about the boat.  He was a bit scared and clung to Caroline. With a little time, once he got used to it, Peanut settled down and rested comfortably in Caroline’s arms.

We only stayed out for a little while.  I hurt my knee the day before and volunteered to go back and stay with Peanut if the others wanted to go fishing.

They dropped us off, and my little pal and I got some much-needed rest.  It didn’t take Peanut long to realize the couch was pretty comfortable.  “Go ahead,” I said. With that Peanut leaped up and went to sleep.

As he lay there fast asleep, I looked at him and wondered what his life was like. How difficult it must have been when the woman his former owner dropped him off at the shelter.  Did he wait every day for her to come get him?  How painful it must have been to be abandoned twice.  I thought to myself, how could anyone do this to such a lovable little dog. He deserved much better.

It makes a person proud and grateful to the people working in the volunteer shelters like PAWS4YOU.  They care for all God’s abandoned creatures when the thoughtless, heartless owners dispose of them.

Peanut has a way of looking at you that inspires joy and hope.  I smile just thinking about him because Peanut’s story was not always happy nor easy.  As a pup, he was found abandoned on the street and taken to a shelter. He was adopted by a woman who kept him for a few years until she got a boyfriend that either didn’t like him or maybe just didn’t like dogs, period.  This woman took Peanut back to the shelter where he remained for close to a year. It is difficult to imagine a human being returning a dog who provides unconditional love and friendship. Personally, I would have gotten rid of the boyfriend.

Abandoned twice in his first years of life seems cruel, but Peanut persevered. Then on Saturday, March 24, Peanut’s life changed forever. Caroline, a beautiful, smart young lady adopted Peanut thrusting him into a happy world filled with people whose only desire is to love and care for him.

Caroline did the research on what it takes to adopt, care for and train a rescue dog. She knows about responsibility and commitment. She does not take being a pet parent lightly, knowing full well it was an adjustment for Peanut to come into a new home with new people.  Patience, concern, and love are her drivers.

Not every dog story has a happy ending. This one does! It is a true story of a little dog, nobody wanted. Abandoned twice by the time he was four and a half, Peanut’s future looked bleak. Peanut deserved better than his first four years. He got it with the help of PAWS4YOU and a loving person who will never let him go. Peanut happily found his forever home with Caroline, his forever person.


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