My dearest readers! September has found its way to us and it's time for a new love letter of the month! I wept reading this letter (something tells me I'm going to do this with ALL the letters) because it is so very honest. No sugar coating in this one, just plain truth. We like to plan out our life down to the very last bit but sometimes it doesn't work out the way we had hoped. In such moments, it pays off to stay positive and believe in the good things that are yet to come. You never know when you might meet a soulmate dog; or a soul-mutt as Hannah, today's featured dog mom, calls her precious pup Jax.
Hannah is a reader of this blog and she submitted her letter via email. I felt very touched and inspired by her story. I often speak to readers who have had to make decisions that I find so heavy. Hannah's first adoption didn't work out as they had all hoped, but she refused to give up on rescue dogs and because of that, Jax has a loving home today - and we have another letter to sob over!
A Love Letter to Jax
Written by Hannah Gibbs
You've stolen my heart, and I'm so glad you did.
I have to admit you were not the first dog I fell in love with, there were Jordan and McGuire. I've always grown up with dogs, none of them were rescues, but I came to learn how much love a dog can give you. Neither of them could have prepared me for the love you would give me.
I promised myself that I would not graduate college without coming home to my very own dog. I also have to admit that you were not my first choice, nor would you be available to adopt on that Thursday I came to the animal shelter. Unfortunately, my first choice did not get along with my family, including your nephews, Jax. With a heavy heart, I had to return him to the animal shelter. My heart healed when I saw how happy he was to see his favorite staff member.
That's when I met you, Jax. As I was walking into the shelter, a volunteer was taking you on a walk. I will never forget the smile on your face as you were heading outside. That's when I knew I needed to bring you home. I told myself that I was just emotional, and I can't let my emotions make a decision that would define my future for the next however many years.
I visited with the other dogs at the shelter, but I kept looking for you. When you finally came back for your walk, with your tongue hanging out, and your tail wagging at top speed, I knew you were the one. It was love at first sight, you were my "soul-mutt!"
I took you home, as you slept on my lap for the hour drive. My heart melted every time you looked up at me with those big brown eyes. I named you Jax, based off of my family and I's favorite TV show character. Little did they know that you would also steal their hearts.
You would run around the yard with my parent's black lab, Doc, for hours playing fetch or just chasing each other. Doc would steal your food, but you didn't care. My parents were shocked to see how well behaved you were. You did not beg for food, nor did you potty in the house, you did whatever you were told, and did not whine when you were told "no". Whenever I ask my parents to stay with you while I'm away, without hesitation, they say "Yes!" every time.
Only after a month at my parents' house, I got my first "big girl" job and we were going to move 2 hours away. The smile on your precious face when I rolled down the window, made my anxiety and fears melt away. You would stay by my side as we moved into our new place, an apartment that was pet-friendly. Jax, you have no idea how many hours I spent looking for an apartment that would accept dogs.
You would lick my tears away when I got homesick. You would sleep right next to me at night, just so I would know that I wasn't alone.
Now, its been four months since we've met, and 3 months since we moved. We've done everything together. We go to the Farmer's Market every Saturday and stop by your favorite dog treat store, I take you back to my parents' house so you can run around with their dog, I even got you DNA tested, so I can learn as much as I can about you.
I was so happy when I saw your DNA results. I was told at the shelter that you were a Coonhound/Pointer mix, but where they way off! Jax, you are an American Staffordshire Terrier, Great Pyrenees and Border Collie mix. Which means you are extremely loyal, intelligent, protective, calm, and watchful. It also means that you get along with children, including your 4 crazy and wild nephews, Hunter, Sawyer, Bear and Brady! It means that you put my happiness and well-being before yours. It means that your heart is so big, and so full of love.
When I adopted you, the animal shelter staff told me about your past. My heart broke into thousands of pieces.
They said that you were from Tulsa, Oklahoma and was brought to a kill shelter as a stray. You were at that shelter for months and months. Your time was coming to an end and you were transferred to the Cedar Bend Humane Society in Cedar Falls, Iowa. You were quickly adopted out, but your owners then abused you, harmed you, and threatened you. On a stormy night, tied up to a tractor, you stayed up the whole night howling. A police officer drove by, picked you up and brought you back to the shelter.
After a week at the shelter again, I rescued you. No, you rescued me.
Jax, I promise you this; I promise to love you unconditionally, even if you rearrange my shoes around the apartment, bark at any living thing that walks by our window day or night, and specially after you got into my camera equipment.
I promise to never leave you, I will always bring you with me, no matter where life takes us. If my job moves us to Europe, then I will be getting you a passport because you are moving too (don't worry their ice cream is even better!).
When I get married and have kids of my own, you will be right there with me. I know you will be my children's favorite thing to cuddle and run around the yard with.
Lastly, I promise you can always sleep in my bed, because honestly who could resist that precious face of yours?
I know that you have a past full of fear and hate, I promise I will make up for those horrible horrible things.
I promise you that I will never hurt you like they did. I promise to calm your fears and worries during every stormy night, to teach you that vacuum cleaners are not scary and hurtful, and most importantly to show you how much love and happiness this world can bring you.
I thank whoever had you first. I thank them for giving me an extremely intelligent, extremely loving, well trained and caring dog.
I also thank you, Jax. You have taught me so so much in these past 4 months. You taught me to enjoy the journey, not the destination. I enjoy car rides with you, as you are soundly asleep next to me, and then you wake up and stick your head out the window with a huge smile on your face. You have taught me to put my phone down and enjoy what is happening right in front of me. Don't worry, if I forget, you will literally knock my phone out of my hands.
You've taught me to make time for afternoon naps, to enjoy every day in the present, to not worry about the future, and most importantly to love unconditionally, even when it seems impossible.
Jax, here's to our new adventures together. Here's to many more walks, tons more dog treats, more bowls of ice cream, more afternoon naps in the sun, more late night movies and popcorn, and more car rides.
I love you more than anything in this world, Jax.
Love & Always,
A story about companionship, hope, unconditional friendship and eternal love. My heart is all warm now! Thank you Hannah once again for submitting your letter and writing about your adoption experience from a very truthful place. I am so happy you and Jax have found each other!
You can support and connect with Hannah by checking out her website!
Want to submit a letter of your own? Write a letter to your rescue dog and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured!
All photographs featured in this blog post are the property of Hannah Gibbs.