Meet Wilbur, the Dog who Got Away


I grew up with dogs and for years I have wanted a puppy. Something has always been in the way. First, it was that I had to live in a dorm. Then, that both my roommates had animals. Then, right as I was able to get one, I had to have surgery and other allergy treatments and could no longer afford to take care of one. Then my landlord wouldn’t let me have one. My boyfriend has been in the same predicament for even longer, since he is the only person in his family who isn’t allergic to dogs. Last week, after months of scouring the internet, researching dog breeds, talking to our property manager, budgeting our finances, and discussing what kind of dog we truly wanted, we finally found a dog that we bonded with instantly.

Unfortunately, a different property manager then told us that we live in one of the only buildings in our apartment complex that does not allow dogs. So, we looked into moving. Like, this week. And we looked into registering the dog as a companion dog. And we looked into having someone foster the dog for a few weeks. And everything fell through. Needless to say, I’m pretty bummed. But- heck if I will let an experience go by without learning something from it, gosh darn it. So, here’s the wisdom I have to share:

It’s okay to feel what you need to feel. I was very upset because this isn’t the first dog I’ve bonded with, only to not be able to get him or her, although this was certainly the dog I bonded with the most. I was mad too, at the apartment complex for misleading us and just at impeding circumstances at large. I was also anxious for the dog, guilty and embarrassed that I had lead both the dog and the shelter on, frustrated that I could do nothing to help the dog and a little trapped and depressed, because this keeps happening. I let myself feel all those things, because if there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that it’s important to not deny feelings, but to work through them. I’m happy to say that after a few days of processing, I’m starting to feel better.


Never stop putting what you want into the world. We really want a dog. We thought it was this dog, but maybe there is another one waiting for us. We are starting to look at other places to live, and are also starting to get dog supplies so that we will be more than ready next time. I feel certain that at some point, when the time is right, we will find a little friend, or maybe he will find us.


Closure is important. I emailed the shelter to tell them what happened and donated some treats in the Wilbur’s name, and I will keep checking to make sure that he does get adopted. I’ve heard they have a very fast turnover there, so I feel confident that he will be adopted. There are worse things than fearing that a dog will find a home too soon, even though it will certainly be hard to know that home isn’t ours. And if anyone reading this is in the Virginia area, I’ve posted a link to his page below; he’s a sweet guy and I know he will be happy to find a home.

Lastly, I will just say that there are a lot of dogs just like Wilbur sitting in shelters all around the country: sweet, friendly, innocent dogs looking for a home. Not all of them will have happy endings like Wilbur probably will; in fact, a lot of them will be killed because some shelters are overpopulated and can’t find a home for every dog. If you have never considered it before, please consider adoption. Somewhere out there, there is a little guy who would be pleased as punch to be part of your family and he might be waiting for you right now, wagging his tail and hoping that maybe today is the day you will find him and take him to his forever home.

(Photos courtesy of the Roanoke Valley SPCA. To learn more about Wilbur, please visit He is still available for adoption as of 4/28/14)

(Revision: I checked back on 4/29/14 and Wilbur had been adopted. Having mixed feelings, but mostly happy he found his forever home.)




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