Why We Choose to Adopt Black Dogs
Three years ago, Matt and I adopted our first dog. Emma, our scruffy mutt who loved fiercely, lived joyfully, and did everything with her own kind of spunk.
She was amazing. Queen of the dog park, friend to every one (unless you posed a threat to me or Matt...especially Matt), and she was wise.
She was our companion. She was the best thing we ever said yes to during our first year of marriage.
We adopted her from a rescue when she was 10 months old. When she was 2, we lost her to cancer.
It was a loss that left us breathless. Within a week, she went from limping to incapable of walking. The cancer had lodged itself in her spine. Neuroendocrine tumors, the vets told us. It got to the point where we could barely touch her before she would cry out in pain.
Our once resilient, beautiful Emma died at the age of 2.
It's been 3 years and I still cry for her. She was my constant gardener in crime when I was planting vegetables and flowers on our apartment balcony. She would curl up beside me when I read books about homesteading and raising sheep. I wanted that life for her so badly. I wanted to give her a yard to roam and chickens to protect. I wanted her to know what it was like to not live in an apartment all her life, but in the end, I couldn't give her that.
Matt and I heard from numerous sources that black dogs are often the last dogs to get adopted, and the first to be euthanized in shelters. Some say it's because they look bad. Some say it's because they don't photograph well. Some say people think they're bad luck.
Emma was such a joy to have in our lives, and we were so honored to give her a home outside of a shelter. The thought of her never having a family during her short little life was unbearable.
So Matt and I made a pact to always own a black dog. Regardless of how many dogs we have in the home at one time, there will always be at least one black dog. The color of their fur doesn't make them any less goofy, sweet, gentle, sassy, or intelligent.
Now, Chester's carrying on that tradition with more sass and silliness than Matt and I know what to do with.
We don't have a homestead by any means, and certainly no chickens, but we have a yard with a black dog who loves it with his entire being, and as weird as it feels to say it, I think Emma would really like that because that was the kind of girl she was - inviting and full of joy when those around her were at their happiest.