AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is Mandie Williams’ story as told to me (her mother).
HIBBING – A young Catahoula leopard/Great Dane mix, a canine breed from Louisiana, was left in a box with her litter mates at an animal shelter in Arkansas. I first heard of these puppies when I saw their picture on Wags and Whiskers Animal Rescue of Minnesota (www.wagsmn.org).
Eager to adopt a dog or two, I indicated my interest to them. WagsMN is not a facility or shelter. The compassionate team behind WagsMN is dedicated to saving the lives of homeless animals. Team members make sure destitute animals are housed in adoption homes in and near the Twin Cities while they await their forever homes. They coordinate with PetSmart to hold adoption events.
It was on a cold day in April 2015 at PetSmart in Burnsville when my boyfriend and I anxiously awaited for the truck deliv ering the puppies to arrive. I had my sights set on one particular puppy on the website who was named Aphrodite. She would be traveling with 15 other puppies of all different breeds, heading towards their forever homes.
One by one, two team members lifted out the kennels, but still no sign of Aphrodite. Down to the very last one, there she was! The very last one to be off the truck. I felt such relief and happiness for her to be off that truck and expected her to come running in to my arms.
Foolishly, we didn’t bring a collar or leash and were immediately in for a barrage of personality! She was so full of energy, excitement and anxiety that we had to switch holding on to her every five minutes. She had floppy ears bouncing every which way, a never-stopping tornado-whirl of a tail, and these huge paws she didn’t know how to use yet. Plus kisses upon kisses upon kisses! Soon she was in our car and I marveled at my good fortune on the way home. Because she seemed like she would fly if she only had wings, I named her Birdie.
That sweet little pup had my heart from the moment I saw her and every day she has only become more loveable. Birdie is the best dog I’ve ever had. She is my baby’s first friend.
Even though she gets way too excited and can’t sit still when company comes over. Or she can’t control her tail and it swings into everything near her. Or even if she hasn’t stopped shedding and the entire house is covered in dog hair—she is our watch dog, barking whenever someone approaches the house.
Birdie is loyal and is well-behaved (when it counts). I love that she is happy-go-lucky, a sweetheart and the queen of snuggles. She does take up a lot of the bed, but has an endearing face that tells me she belongs with us. Birdie is my friend and our family member.
Mandie Williams lives in Hibbing, MN. Her mother, Sheryl Kay Williams, lives in Angora, MN.