New pet brings joy to student


Photo provided by Ella Goodweather

Cassie lies on the ground while playing with pumpkins. Today she is a healthy dog thanks to numerous visits to the vet.

Ella Goodweather, Reporter

“Can I please have a dog? I will feed her, walk her, and do everything to take care of her!”

My parents heard this from me every day for 16 years. 

I have yearned for a dog ever since I was a little girl. Whenever I saw a dog, I stopped to pet it. My parents did not want a dog in our house, and frankly, I had no time to take care of one. When quarantine hit, all changed. I suddenly had time to take care of a dog.

I saw a video of Cassie on the Houston Humane Society website. She was an excited dog, with bunny ears on her head, hopping around one of the yards outside the shelter. She was the only dog I had ever seen hop around exactly like a bunny. Weighing about 30 pounds, she is a medium-sized dog, with her nose coming right up to my knees. Her stomach drooped down, and we later learned this was because she had recently had puppies of her own, even though she was just 1 year old. She had a long coat the color of honey and looked at us with eyes longing for our love. I wondered why no one had adopted her yet. 

The next day, my mom and I drove to the Houston Humane Society to meet Cassie. A volunteer brought her out to visit with us in a small room. Cassie walked around the room, sniffing every corner. Then she came to my mom and me to give us kisses. We knew right away that she was a sweet girl. She let us pet her and we fell in love instantly. 

She was our dog. 

We found out after the meet and greet that she had heartworm disease and was about to start her treatment. We were disheartened to find out that often, dogs with heartworm do not get adopted because it can be a huge burden on the owner to treat. As first-time-dog-parents, my mom and I were unsure if we were up to the task of taking care of Cassie. However, we could not stand the idea of Cassie enduring her difficult treatment in the shelter. Cassie needed us and we needed her. We made arrangements that day for Cassie to be ours.

The next day we came back to pick Cassie up and bring her to her forever home. She had to have a release checkup, so she stayed the night in the shelter. As soon as Cassie saw us she began wagging her tail. 

We had come back for her, and she knew it. We were to be her humans.

When Cassie first got to our house, she was petrified. For the first week, she only stayed in one room, afraid of peeking behind each corner. She was also weak and tired, because of her heartworm injections. It was tough taking care of her because she did not trust us. As happy as she was to have us around, she was frightened at every noise and movement. She did not understand the concept of having humans take care of her. However, we kept on giving her love and doing everything we could to help her feel comfortable. 

After a month, she started feeling better, and we started to see her personality. She was silly, happy and loving. She started going on the couch to sit with us, following us into new rooms and trusting us. All the hard work that my mom and I put into her care at the beginning had been worth it 

Cassie now loves to play, give hugs and kisses and hop around in our backyard like a bunny. My relationship with Cassie is stronger than I ever imagined it could be because of all that I went through with her. After the numerous vet visits and thundering anxiety, Cassie had overcome it all. Rescuing her was the most rewarding experience that created something beautiful out of being stuck at home during the quarantine summer. Cassie rescued me, as much as I rescued her. 

I believe that if you are looking to adopt a pet, go with a rescue. I believe that rescue dogs have the most love to give and will build the strongest relationships with their owners. 

When you rescue, you save a dog from the possibility of euthanization by making them a member of your family. You also open up shelter space for another dog that may desperately need it. So you could be saving three lives by rescuing: your rescue dog’s, the dog that gets the new shelter space and your own. 

So, if you are ready for the most rewarding experience of your life, a rescue dog is the way to go. Consider rescuing your own dog. Here are a few places to visit while making the decision:  Houston Humane Society, Houston Pets Alive, K-9 Angels Rescue, Friends 4 Life, BARC, Scout’s HonorSpecial Pals Shelter and Houston SPCA. To help you find pets near you, go to Petfinder and Adopt a Pet.