Love at first sight is spectacular. Once you've experienced it, you never forget it. That moment when your eyes meet and you both know something special is happening. Something unique. Once-in-a-lifetime unique.
This was exactly how I felt when I first met Ginny, our first rescue. She ran straight into my arms. She was beautiful, freshly washed, with the softest fur I've ever touched. The love between us was instant.
Then we adopted a gentle giant, as the rescue called him. I knew the moment we greeted each other that he was the right choice. He looked a little like a buffalo: shedding in clumps, desperately in need of a wash, very powerful and difficult to control on the leash. But I never doubted that he was the one.
Now we're on our third rescued akita. We named her Luna. She is a funny looking thing with a turned up snout and extra large eyes. She barely weighs 80 pounds soaking wet.
Was it love at first sight?
No. Not for any of us.
Luna is different. She doesn't automatically love people. She is a tad standoffish, way more skittish, wary of people, quick to bark and growl at strangers (and every tiny sound within our strange home). Her affection needs to be won. It is not given lightly.
But every day, we make progress.
She is learning to walk politely on the leash, without ripping my arm off in order to chase rabbits and toads. She is learning to relax in the house instead of standing guard at the window 24/7. She is learning that when I reach my arms toward her, I'm only going to rub her belly or scratch her head, never anything scarier than that. She is learning to trust me.
Little by little, our hearts are opening to each other.