Thanks to Pat Lockley from who I learned the phrase Gotchya Day, this week I knew to mark April 6 as the day in 2016 that I adopted Felix from the Payson, Arizona Humane Society.
I had the original photo taken for me by a staff member as I left the facility my “new” dog. I also happen to have the same t-shirt I wore that day (from a trip to Tasmania in 2011). Cori helped with an attempt to redo the photo in 2023.
Until April 2016 as much as I wanted to have a dog, the extensive travel I was doing for work then (a lot of variable length freelance stuff) made it not feasible. Everything changed when I signed on to an 18 month project with Creative Commons (helping craft the design of what has become the Creative Commons Certification).Having solid work mostly from home for that length of time opened the doggy door, as one might say.
Here’s the thing about memory. My internal story was that the week I signed my contract I went down to the Human Society to look for a dog, but since I have contract files (and more reliable, a blog post), I actually started Creative Commons work March 16, 2016. My flickr photos I went to North Carolina 2 days later for an Indie Ed-Tech meetup at Davidson College.
So maybe I pondered the dog idea for a month. I started looking at the Payson Humane Society web page, taking note of what kinds of dogs were available.
I did make my visit to the Humane Society on April 4, 2016. I had met another dog first, some kind of Australian Shepard, named maybe? Jasper. I almost went with him, but thought it wise to just take another for a test drive.
Felix was one in a cage in the front corner, so newly arrived he was not on the site. He was making quite a noisy excited fuss which almost made my ask about the black labs further down, but I asked to see Felix out of the cage.
They let you set outside in a medium sized enclosure to wait to meet a dog. I was sitting on a low curb when they brought Felix out. He sat right next to me and leaned in to my side. That was it, I was chosen.
I put down a deposit, as I knew I wanted him, but they encouraged new adopters to go home, check out their home, and come back to claim a dog.
I was back on April 6, no hesitation. After signing and paying the $75 fee, they brought him out to me. Here he came with now what I know as his typical excitement:
And then they offered to take the photo of us together used above.
I remember walking out to the truck and the thought came flying in my head- I have no idea if he;s going to want to jump in a strange vehicle. What do I do if he recoils in fear?
It was no issue. I opened the door, he jumped in faithfully (like he has done 4000 times since), and we drove home. He loves rides. Still.
The next day, April 7, was our first one together. He stuck his head out the rails of the front porch and gave me the iconic look that I have even out to use as my social media icon.
It’s been lots of adventures since, tracked in his own photos (2146 of them!) and tweets. And here we are together 7 years later, living on a rural acreage in Saskatchewan with a Cori in his life plus 2 cats and a world of snow to roll in and rabbits to chase.
April 6, happy Gotchya Day, Felix.
Featured Image: Composite of my own photo from April 6, 2016– Dog Smiles flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license and a redo photo today taken by Cori Saas to be posted later to flickr under a CC0 license.
This is a lovely story. We went to see a dog other than Blake but Blake won. Some puppas just want to be loved
And eat the food
How is Blake? Our dogs should have a Zoom session.
Hey, Felix…and hi to your friend, too.
Seven gotchya days is totally cool. Take good care of him so he can keep telling us about your adventures, okay, Felix?