April 30, 2017
When a series of events present themselves in an order that is not random which lead you to something, that, with all your might, it is impossible to not recognize that it was no coincidence, rather a bright flashing neon sign staring back at you. These are the series of events that led to one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I wanted to get a dog right after college graduation, but instead found myself on a path that wouldn’t allow me to have one, not to mention my student loans took priority of whatever money was in my bank account. So I held off, my life path took another turn at the end of summer 2015 and I was back in a stationary home with a steady job. The urge for a dog companion grew — but with the realization that I am not adult enough to even take care of myself (and the fact that student loans were still priority over everything) I thought it best not to give myself anymore responsibility.
I had to talk myself out of going to any humane society, or really any place that contained dogs. My thirst of a dog was too real. But, eventually I went; I didn’t feel any connection with any of the dogs there, which validated the fact that I didn’t need one.
12 months passed, and my thirst for a dog had not dwindled, but because I side with the logic and the rational part of my brain, I knew I was making the right choice not getting one. I wouldn’t feel bad leaving it at home while I went to work, and selfishly, I didn’t have to wake up before dawn to let a dog out to pee.
September 2, 2016 I was driving from Birmingham, AL to Jackson, TN with my sister’s boyfriend for my cousin’s wedding. It was about 8:45pm or so, we were driving through Jackson Square and in front of the Courthouse there were a bunch of puppies. My sister’s boyfriend asked if we could stop and I said, sure, we’ll just walk from the hotel (thinking the hotel was in walking distance), but we had to get back on the interstate. Naturally, I felt bad and asked him if he wanted me to turn around.
So we made a u-turn and went back.
We parked right up front. There were so many cute puppies. I saw this dog, he was handsome. I took him out of the crate and… let’s just say his energy level was about 46 octaves higher than mine. When I put him back, I notice a small tan puppy with a black face, curled up in the corner. I tried to pick her up-she was not having that. She let me pet her, and boy was she the softest dog I have ever felt in my life. I asked one of the ladies what her name was, and in a very southern accent, the nice lady said “Delilah”. After patiently petting her, I gained her trust enough to pick her up.
She was scared, I could tell by the pressure, she was pressed up against my chest. I got a chair and sat down with her. There was something about her, I made eye contact with her, and her black eyes just said, “I’m yours”. The feeling as though I was the person who was supposed to save her was unlike any feeling I had felt before. I held her for about an hour, until they started packing up the other dogs. I talked with a lady named Wendy; she gave me her card and an application to adopt.
I told my parents what happened that night. My mom was okay with it. My dad was a no go. Like me (or should I say, I am like my dad) he is very rational. Told me to consider the financial indent it would make, the responsibility it requires (all while mentioning the adult tasks I was struggling to be responsible for already) and the work it takes to have a dog.
But I just kept thinking…she told me, “rescue me”. I have been waiting a year, and God has finally answered my prayers. I completed the application and took my parents to meet her the next day. My mom confirmed her feelings and told me I should get Delilah. After meeting her, my dad said, “You’re an adult and can do what you want, but I don’t think you should do it.”
So, naturally, I turned in my application and waited to hear back if I had been approved to get Delilah. I found out that Thursday from a voicemail that said I had been approved. I got so excited and then nervous. Nervous that she might not like me, that I wouldn’t be a good mom, that she would be sad leaving her foster home, and a million other things.
I drove back to Jackson, TN two weeks later and picked her up on September 24, 2016. During those two weeks, I corresponded with my 6 family members in a group text message (not recommended) about her name. I liked Delilah, but I didn’t feel like that name fit her and our new future life together. The night after I first met her, I pondered different names and came up with the name Rallie, to which all 6 family members quickly dismissed and said I made it up and “it sounds like you have an extreme southern accent trying to say Riley”.
But when I went to pick her up on that fall Saturday afternoon, I saw her and I knew, her name was going to be Rallie Faith Tedford.
I have had her for almost eight months now, and I never thought it was possible to love a dog as much as I love her. The happiness she has brought to my life is undeniable. Earlier in the story, when I adopted her, I said I saved her. I quickly realized that was lie; she saved me. She has helped learn patience, trust, love, happiness, kindness, and care.
She has taught me patience by chewing up three computer cords, hair dryer cords, my bible, my hairbrush, and many other things.
She has taught me trust by not listening to me when I call her name, but always coming back to me.
She has taught me love by expressing her pure love for me.
She has taught me happiness by providing me with endless smiles and funny quirks.
She has taught me kindness by the way she treats other people and dogs.
She has taught me care by the way she watches out for me and comforts me.
Rallie Faith Tedford has been an angel on this earth, and she is mine, and I am hers.
– Laura Tedford