August 22, 2010
I always try to do exciting things for Amanda for her birthday, our anniversary, Christmas, etc. This year I thought it would be a great idea to make a scavenger hunt, but instead of leading her around the house like I have before, I thought it would be a good idea to lead her around Charleston. I hid clues behind stop signs, on top of an atm machine at a bank. I actually gave a clue to a clerk at a convenience store. I think Amanda really enjoyed running around town trying to find her clues. One clue in particular though turned out to be an unexpected surprise for Amanda and I both and will continue to delight us for years to come.
I hid a clue across a bridge under some rocks. I should have never been there, but it was starting to rain and it was getting late. It was August 21 around 10:00 pm. I had one clue left and I wanted to get home to hang out with Amanda for a while before bed. We usually go to bed fairly early on Saturday nights because we go to the early service at our church, Maranatha, (mfctoday.org) and the service starts at 9:00. The bridge that I crossed and the rocks that I hid the slip of paper under was at the Kanawha County animal shelter. It never entered my mind what would happen the next day when she found the clue.
You see, Amanda has never been much of an animal lover. She never had animals growing up and just never really cared about them. She always assumed that dogs were dirty and barked all the time. On Sunday afternoon, our anniversary, Carlie and Katie came to stay with us for the day. Amanda loves Carlie and Katie like they are our own children and honestly they are :). Amanda found the clue fairly easily and thought it was clever of me to hide it at the animal shelter. ( I have been lobbying for a dog for the last 4 years). Anyway, when we got home Amanda was telling Carlie and Katie about the scavenger hunt and where all the clues were hidden. Of course the animal shelter came up. We decided to go take a look at all the animals just for fun. We have done this a few times over the years, but always just looked and left. This time was different.
Rusty is a Golden Retriever mix. He looks just like a full bread Golden Retriever, but smaller and he has a white paw. He was lying in his cage all curled up like a cat. I didn't even notice him to be honest, but Amanda did and for some reason unbeknownst to be liked him. She never really said much about it until I asked if I could take a Dachshund for a walk. I took her out and she was a nice pleasant dog, but didn't really show a lot of interest in us. She was just smelling around and minding her own business. I took her back in and Amanda totally shocked me when she asked if we could take the Golden Retriever for a walk. We did and the rest is, as they say, history. Rusty jumped all over us and ran between our legs. He sat on command and shook hands. He was completely trained. I didn't even have to beg and Amanda let me adopt him. I am not sure if the girls had her heart soft by getting to stay with us, they barely get to, or if it was an act of God, but we paid our $70 and were proud owners of a Golden Retriever mix, Rusty.
I am very eager to write about our many adventures with Rusty during the last 2 months, but I don't have the time right now. I will save those stories for another day. However, Rusty is like our child. We love him very much and look forward to many years with this dog. He is truly our Marlee. Here are some pictures until next time.....