Love at first sight... it’s not just for rom-coms!
For these adoptive pet parents, one look was all it took to fall in love. Well, almost! In some cases, the when-our-eyes-met moment wasn’t fireworks, but something about the animal sunk in and turned into head-over-heels love.
Kate and Kepler
In March of 2010, when Kate Katje visited the Capital Area Humane Society in Lansing, Michigan, neither she nor Kepler expected that they would end up “fur-ever” friends. “I love my Kepler to the moon and back now, but it was not love at first sight. We met at the local humane society because I liked her look online, but when we met, not so much,” Kate says. At eight months old, the scrappy terrier mix had already been abandoned in Arkansas, adopted and returned in Michigan, and then kicked out of her foster home for bad behavior. Kepler had made up her mind never to trust humans and their promises of forever. Kate was looking for an older, low energy dog to couch potato with her. At her husband’s urging, and because she was absolutely the cutest dog ever, she decided to take a chance on becoming Kepler’s human. It was baby steps all the way, guided solely by patience and love on both sides, but Kate and Kepler Dawg completely bonded and are inseparable, on the couch or traipsing through the woods. “I’d walk through fire for her,” Kate says.
Erik and Kettle
A dedicated dog-and-cat dad, Erik Nodacker enjoys caring for a full house of animals. His herd included his cat, Eris, and his “s’mores” dogs, Hershey, Graham, and Marsha(mellow). He was then shown a picture of a scruffy looking, tiny black kitten. It took him about a day to decide to add the little kitten to his family. Getting to know him the first day, Erik pet the kitten’s pot belly. “It was a shame I couldn’t name him Pot--too much explanation--but the other half of the phrase worked,” Erik said. “So, he became Kettle.” Kettle settled in with the other three dogs and cat, and the family has since expanded to include two more dogs, Sadie and Boston.
The Cornelsons and Rowdy
The Cornelson family knew they were in trouble when they first saw Rowdy. At only 12 weeks old, he had already been through some rough times: He survived Hurricane Harvey in Texas and was brought into a shelter all by himself at only six weeks. He then made the 17-hour trip from the Texas shelter to the hands of a Fort Wayne Pitbull Coalition volunteer in Indiana. A bout of kennel cough kept him away from everybody until he was cleared and ready to go to his foster family. From the moment he walked into the house like he owned it and started bossing the family’s two other dogs around, they knew he belonged with them. Rather than a temporary foster, Rowdy became a permanent member of the family. “He is two years old now and is the sweetest, most loving dog one could ask for,” they said.
Elizabeth and Maddox
When Elizabeth Tucker Keene was taking a volunteer cat handling class at the Richmond, Virginia, SPCA, she locked eyes with Maddox from across the room. She knew immediately. According to Elizabeth, Maddox was a dead-ringer for her dearly-departed and perfect cat, Buster. She couldn’t leave him behind, so she applied to be his foster mom. She already had dogs and cats in her home, but it turned out that Maddox was great with both. On the nineteenth day of her 28-day foster stint, Elizabeth formally adopted Maddox.
Love comes in all shapes and sizes. The next time you visit a shelter, rescue, or adoption event… keep your eyes open! As each of these families demonstrated, sometimes one look is all it takes to fall in love.