The day I brought Lyle home for the first time, he had already lived in 4 other foster homes, originally found on the streets of Mexico. He was energetic, curious, and a bit skittish/nervous; not sure who to trust as finally being his permanent new home. He would pee when I came home from excitement, pee if he did something ‘wrong’…he had so much energy I did not know how to handle it. He was so smart, persistent, and yet so defiant. I did not think I could provide him the right type of home. It was my first time having a dog on my own and I worried he wouldn’t get his energy out since I had a one bedroom condo…so I started taking him to meet and greets with other potential adopters. I quickly realized I had fallen in love with him, there was no way I could give him away. It’s then that I knew I was the right home for him because I knew how he felt.

I was in foster care from age 5-9, and the family that did adopt me are no longer in my life. Going from home to home and not having a sense of security and unconditional love is hard to say the least. I felt a bond with Lyle, sharing a similar background of unsteadiness and feeling unwanted. I promised myself, and him, I would give him the best life I possibly could…I wanted him to live fully, have adventures, have fun, feel safe and taken care of, but most importantly, feel unconditional love. The funny thing is, I never knew how much he’d do that for ME. This little guy has changed my life. He filled a void I didn’t even realize was as big as it was and helped me heal in other ways. He has shown me what real love is, and he has given me so much joy in the darkest of days. I never thought I’d love a dog so much but he is my everything, truly, and we have created our own little family together. Each day I’m grateful for the opportunity to be his mom and I don’t take it for granted.

© Christina Kajal. | ChristinaKajal@gmail.com