In search of ponies: Pet adoptions work both ways

What does a three-legged cattle dog have in common with two purebred divas wearing $100 Coach collars?

New homes, that’s what.

This week two of my friends did something completely unexpected.

They adopted dogs.

Now why was this unexpected, you may ask. Well, because both are single ladies with extremely busy lives that have always said they love dogs but don’t have time for one of their own.

So when one, who lives in a large western metro area sent me a picture of her two new girls and I heard the other, who lives in Portales, fell in love with the three legged pet of the week from the shelter, I admit I was shocked.

One thing I have always noticed about adopted pets is that they come with the most interesting stories of how it was love at first sight, or the stars aligned just so…

My Portales friend said there was just something about Caesar that she couldn’t resist when she saw him at the shelter.

A catahoula, the poor guy lost his leg when the other dogs at his last home ganged up on him and chewed it off while he was recovering from being neutered.

But other than eating the newly signed pet addendum to my friend’s lease — She probably ought to tell the landlord it blew away if she has to ask for a new copy just in case it’s foreshadowing of some kind —and barking at the vacuum cleaner, he’s fitting in wonderfully and his favorite pastime is laying with his head in her lap and waiting outside the bathroom door for her to finish her shower … so she can pet him some more.

My metro friend had sworn off dogs, in part, because she was renting. But under contract to buy a new home, she said she realized how much she missed having a pooch in her life.

And she found out the housing market crash didn’t just create opportunities in short sale homes. Because so many families lost so much, there has been a boom in the pet adoption market too.

When she saw a purebred cocker spaniel and Pomeranian that had come from the same home and lived together all their lives, it just tugged at her heart and she was hooked.

On the way home with her new girls, still stinging a little from the two, $150 adoption fees she had to pay, she told her son to grab the two new collars she had also purchased and put them on the girls.

“Umm Mom, I don’t think you want to put those collars on them,” he said from the back seat.

“Yes I do, put them on,” she insisted.

“No Mom, I don’t think you understand. These dogs are wearing Coach collars,” he told her.

Following a later Internet search, she came to the realization those poor desolate pooches she had just saved were coming from a home where they’d had far better accessories than she ever could or would buy for herself.

And a few days later, rather than thinking they owe her thanks, she is paying the little princesses homage because not only are they perfect ladies with all the manners one could hope for, most importantly, they put one heck of a smile on her face every day when she comes home from work and they rush to greet her.

So what do a three-legged cattle dog and two pampered divas have in common?

I guess the expected answer is new homes and lots of love.

But I think maybe I got the question wrong.

It should have been: What does a lady in a western cattle town have in common with a lady in a busy metropolis?

They both got rescued this week.

Sharna Johnson is a staff writer for Freedom New Mexico. She can be reached at