Phil had just turned 50 when his wife asked for a divorce. It was a normal day. He arrived home from work at 5:30, grabbed a drink from the fridge and put the leash on Bob, their Lhasa Apso, to take him for a walk. It had been a stressful day at work and he was hoping to just relax, but he knew his wife would give him a hard time if he didn’t take the dog out.
Returning home, he looked at the mail, half smirking and half groaning when he found his AARP card in the pile. “Could this day get any worse?” he thought. That’s when his wife came home and told him the news that hit him like a ton of bricks. She had not been happy for years, she met someone else, and she was leaving that night.
The next few weeks into months, Phil experienced a whirlwind of emotions. They both wanted to make the breakup amicable. With no kids, it was going to be easy splitting the assets down the middle. They came down to the end of the negotiation when he realized that they had not even discussed Bob. Who was going to take him? He never really cared for Bob much. The dog always got into the garbage and messed on the floor. Plus, he felt weird walking such a little dog in public. But, something about the loss of his wife made him fight hard to keep him. Maybe he cared about Bob more than he thought he did? Maybe he wanted to feel in control? Or, maybe he needed to have something that was the same when everything else was in flux? Either way, he decided to fight to keep him. In the end, Phil’s wife got custody of Bob and his world felt shattered.
As days went by, Phil felt more and more alone. His neighbor had mentioned that they were going to an adoption event called Clear the Shelters and Phil asked if he wanted to tag along. Clear the Shelters is a national event that promotes pet adoption throughout the country and discounts the adoption fees to $20. He thought he would just go look. At the shelter, Phil fell in love with a 5-year-old, scruffy terrier mix who looked nothing like Bob. He adopted her immediately and named her Chance.
Chance and Phil went to training classes and became close companions, going everywhere together. Whether they went on a hike or watched baseball together, each of them finally had the family they needed. Chance’s adoption marked the end of a difficult time in both their lives and an exciting new beginning as well.
The year’s Clear the Shelters event was held on Saturday. August 19, 2017. To learn more and find upcoming adoption events, visit pasadenahumane.org.