The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Trip to Petco begins with puppy love, ends with broken heart

I avoid pet stores at all costs. I’ve always heard it’s best to avoid temptation. The more often I go, the more likely it becomes I won’t walk out alone. I’ve never even stepped foot in a shelter because that would be game over. Puppies are my weakness.

Petco and Petsmart are completely safe, however, because the only actual pets they sell either have scales or fall into the rodent category, neither of which interests me. So when my roommate asked me to tag along to buy fish food at Petco Saturday, I didn’t think anything of it.

But as soon as we walked through the automatic doors, I should have known to put blinders on. A visiting representative from an animal shelter was sitting at a desk right at the front of the store with a ridiculously cute dog. She looked so dejected… It couldn’t hurt to just pet her, right?

Wrong. The second I started petting her it was clear we were meant to be.

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The lady could tell I was hooked, so she started going on and on about the dog’s story. They found her abandoned in an apartment with 30 other dogs and cats. The little chunk of her left ear that was missing probably came from a dogfight. She was an 8-month-old Labrador/Shar Pei mix named Ruby, with green eyes that were just begging me to buy her.

She had been adopted once and returned by owners who were moving and didn’t want to take her with them. How anyone could ever abandon this dog was unfathomable to me. Safe to say she had gone through a lot in eight months.

I’m not delusional; I know I can’t save every dog out there, but I definitely have a bit of a savior complex.

This dog was right in front of me and needed a home. Love at first sight, for me, only exists for dogs and dessert.  And I was totally head-over-heels.

I convinced myself I was going to buy her no matter what. I could afford the food, the toys, the vet bills…I would do whatever needed to be done. I’ve been ready to get a dog since the day I came to school and had to leave the one I grew up with. And it’s not like I’m trying to replace him; that dog is like my brother. But Ruby was going to be able to cure all my lonely nights in Erie.

Just when everything started to seem right with the world, it all started to fall apart just as quickly.

My roommate gently reminded me that the contract we signed stated that if they discovered a dog living on the premises, they would charge $5 for every day the dog remained there. An extra $150 a month? Now that I could not afford.

It was worse than the worst breakup I’ve ever experienced. I had to delete all the pictures of her that I took on my phone, because I kept going back and looking at them. I went home and locked myself in my room with a bag of chocolate and a box of tissues. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I still can’t. I just hope that if I can’t be the one for her, someone else will be.

I know there are plenty of other dogs out there, but Ruby will always be the one that got away.


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