National Mutt Day : Adopting Japhy
Whoever said money can’t buy love never paid an adoption fee!
I am so grateful for the Blue Ridge Humane Society who saved Japhy from a hoarding situation. He lived there for several months when my fiancé and I came by looking for a border collie I found online. He was sitting quietly on a cot in the very last kennel when we locked eyes and I fell in love instantly and even more so, loved that his tail wagged in circles like a propeller!
We adopted him a little over six years ago and while I knew that we were quite possibly saving his life, it is him that has changed us beyond anything I ever imagined possible. From the moment our eyes connected at the shelter I knew that he was special. His happiness is contagious and his love for the outdoors fuels mine. It doesn’t matter where we are or what we are doing, as long as we are together.
Japhy enjoys many things, but he’s happiest outside on the trail. Hiking allows us both to get some exercise while reinforcing the bond we share. My favorite part of hiking with him is that he brings me deeper into the adventure. Recently, we were walking through a wilderness area on an old logging road. As we were passing through a large meadow, I was distracted by the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. But I noticed Japhy’s stance change. He smelt the air, then his ears shifted. At that moment, I saw it, about 100 feet away, a beautiful deer. He was watching us, but I hadn’t noticed.
That experience, one that I would have surely missed if not for Japhy, is forever etched in my mind. He was rewarded with his favorite treats. Not only for bringing the deer to my attention, but mainly for staying by my side and not chasing the wildlife!
Food has been a big part of our journey together. Coming from a hoarding situation, in the early years Japhy would hide his food around the house before eating it. Some days he wouldn’t eat at all. Knowing how important breakfast is, especially on days we were hiking, I constantly worried. After a lot of trial and error, plus a recommendation from our vet, we found that he loves Wellness Pet Food, especially the Wild Game recipe. Japhy’s finally on a routine of waking up, eating breakfast and depending on the day of the week, he either goes back to sleep or we leave for an adventure. Adventure days are the best days because we get to eat our lunch on top of a mountain or next to a waterfall.
Japhy brings me more joy than I ever imagined possible. Not only is it the best feeling opening the door to be greeted by his excitement and love, but when I’m feeling down he’s always there to comfort me and make me smile. He does this thing where he just exists and everything’s better! He has shown me the true meaning of unconditional love and is my best friend, constant happiness, and motivation. I want to give him the best life possible because that is what he has already given me.