by Tanner Greer
It was August 2019 when I saw a post on Facebook from the Yavapai Humane Society about a “Name Your Price” adoption event coming up. I had recently gone through a lot of change that had left me in a position where I desperately wanted another canine companion to fill a hole in my heart and my days.
I clicked through the pictures, hoping to find a senior dog known to be good with cats, as my girlfriend (now wife) Ariana had one. I wanted our future to be free of incompatible furry friends.
I didn’t have much luck with my search, but I came across the picture of a tiny 2-month-old retriever/Rottweiler mix named Bubbles. I absolutely adore Rottweiler mixes — I was in love the second I saw her.
We went that day and we were brought to a large kennel filled with puppies! I knelt down to look for her, and I kid you not, she walked right out of the whirlwind of yips and wagging tails to me.
I reached out my hand for her to sniff, and she instantly started licking me as if to say “I choose this one!” Almost three years later she is forever a puppy daddy’s girl. I will never forget the instantaneous love that kicked off the intertwining of our lives.
Ellie is not our only pet, or our only love story to come from YHS. Six months after Ellie came into our lives, so did her sister Shelbie, a Catahoula only a month younger than Ellie, who had stolen our hearts while being fostered by my mom through another local agency.
Then in December 2020, the Yavapai Humane Society Facebook page struck again, this time in the form of a post about a 3-year-old calico cat named Karina.
I never expected to willingly adopt a cat, as Ariana’s cat Nia loves her mom so completely, and barely tolerates anyone else. Yet there was something about Karina that compelled me to learn more, so I read through her heartbreaking story, and at the end of it I just knew we were the happy ending for her.
See, Karina has severe allergies to almost everything and due to this she had been adopted and returned several times. We called YHS and asked to come meet her. They set up a time for us, and I believe that everyone in the room when we walked in and saw her precious face knew this was it, this was the one that was going to stick.
We sat on the floor and absorbed all of the needs that Karina had as we coaxed her to come to us so we could introduce ourselves to her. After what felt like an eternity, she approached and gave us the sweetest little cat hugs in the world.
She came home with us that night with a bag of her specialty food and a vial of her medication, and through tears and smiles she received goodbyes from all of the people who had come to love her beautiful soul.
That very first night she snuggled up to me; she hasn’t stopped since.
We added one last pet (for now) this past January with Miles, a kitten from a litter my sister’s cat had; he and Karina became fast friends.
We are forever grateful to the amazing staff and volunteers at YHS for the love and dedication they show to all of the animals and the tireless effort they put into ensuring they live the best lives possible.