Deb’s Long-Awaited Canine Companion

When Deb turned 60, she made a bold declaration to her husband: “I want a dog before I die.”

Though Deb had always had dogs growing up, her husband hadn’t grown up with pets of any kind. The two of them had a cat, Pepper, “a fat, happy cat,” as Deb describes him. But if she was going to add a dog to the family, what was she waiting for?

Deb started her search at Anderson Humane, where she’d adopted Pepper eight years earlier. At the time, she’d recently lost Oliver, a diabetic cat she’d lovingly given insulin for five years before he passed. On Deb’s birthday, her sister took her to Anderson Humane, where Pepper came to her right away.

As she pet the affectionate cat, Deb learned that a kid had found Pepper in a dumpster, hungry and suffering from a broken leg. Pepper wound up at Anderson Humane, where she received surgery and care and waited a full year at the shelter for someone to come give her a forever home. That someone turned out to be Deb.

“Pepper is sweet and just wonderful,” Deb said, adding that she has no lingering effects from her leg injury. But when she’d had Pepper about a year, the cat caught a cold that wouldn’t go away. When Deb took her to the vet, they discovered a cancerous growth above her nasal passage. She didn’t want to put Pepper through chemo, so the vet told her to take her cat home and care for her. “Eight years later, she’s still okay!” Deb said, adding that she likes to eat and has the physique to prove it.

So, of course Deb would return to the place where she adopted the odds-defying cat for her long-awaited dog.

“I wanted a Golden Retriever, but when I saw Pumpkin and her sister Peaches on the Anderson Humane site, I had to go see them,” Deb said. When she met the Great Pyrenees-mix sisters in person, Peaches was not interested in Deb. But Pumpkin jumped all over Deb and was very affectionate.

“I couldn’t walk away without her,” Deb said. She went home to get her husband so they could adopt Pumpkin, who they’ve since renamed Wrigley. Though it took a while for her husband to warm to Wrigley, Deb said he now loves their pup very much.

“She’s high energy and loves everybody,” Deb said of Wrigley. Including Pepper. Though Pepper finds Wrigley annoying, Wrigley is good to the cat, Deb said. Wrigley follows Pepper, wanting to be buds, but Pepper mostly keeps her distance and they peacefully share the house and their people.

Wrigley has had a big impact on Deb’s life. “I now walk probably five to eight miles a day,” she said. And Wrigley has helped Deb make new friends in their neighborhood. “She loves people. If we walk all around the park and she hasn’t met someone, she will refuse to move until someone comes by that she can say hi to.” Deb is happy to wait with her social butterfly.

“She’s a great companion. She’s brought me lots of joy,” Deb said of her long-awaited canine companion. “I just love Wrigley. Adopting her was the best decision I ever made.”

Find your own canine (or other animal) companion on the Anderson Humane adoptables page

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