EVENT DATE: Oct 06, 2016
We are getting married in October 2016 in New York, and we are so very excited for the ability to "register" for one our favorite charities! We wanted to give friends and family a different option for our registry outside of the usual stores, and we think that "registering" for Jenny's favorite charity is the way to go!
Many of you have met or at least heard of Wyatt, Jenny's beloved old man black lab/shephard mix. But many of you do not know Wyatt's backstory or how he came to be with us.
NOT A KITTEN
I had decided that my fat cat, Furbutt, was lonely, and needed a kitten friend, so I went to this place in the old Cottonwoods Mall that served as a storefront for local animal rescues and their adoptable animals. They had no kittens. However, they had a sad, dejected looking black shephard mix laying in the corner of a run, not interacting with anyone. All the other dogs would run up to greet you, tails wagging, barking up a storm, but this one stayed silent and didn't move. He looked very existential (life is meaningless, all is darkness, etc). His name was Wyatt, and he was with the Utah Animal Advocacy Foundation (UAAF), a small rescue started by two lovely women named MaryJo and Jenn. They said something about how they considered Wyatt as their mascot because they had been with them for so long. He had been found with his brother on the side of the road in rural Utah by a wonderful man, Verrall May, who was friends with Jenn and MaryJo. Verrall named them Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. Wyatt had been hit by a car, and needed surgery to put pins and a rod in his hip, so he was taken into UAAF's care. Wyatt and Doc were fostered together a few times, and Doc found his forever home, who changed his name to Trout. After that, Wyatt ended up in not so good homes...someone abused, starved, and neglected him. After that, his personality changed from the rambunctious puppy that destroyed a foster home's couch to a shy, depressed dog who wasn't overly fond of men. He escaped a lot and was an experienced stray. He could hop 6 foot fences (I found this out later.)
I asked to take him for a walk. They agreed, leashed him up, and accompanied me as I was led around the outside of the mall by something that was the furthest thing possible froma kitten. Wyatt kept looking back at me as we walked, almost as if to make sure I was still there.
I had never had a dog before. I didn't know what was required or what "fostering" was. I asked the usual questions, said goodbye, and went on my way. For some reason, I drove straight to Target and bought dog food, dog toys, dog treats, and bowls. Then I went back, and offered to foster him. They lent me a crate, had me sign a bunch of papers promising to bring him to the next adoption events, and handed him over. We put a folding crate and a big black dog in my little 2 door black Isuzu Impulse coupe, and drove home to my little apartment.
When I got home, I brought him into the apartment first, then came back outside to haul in the crate. I get inside the apartment, and my bedroom window screen is pushed out and the window halfway open, with no dog in sight. I panic, thinking, crap, I have no idea WTH is going on, where is he, they will never let me foster again. I go running fullbore around my complex, yelling his name at the top of my lungs, and asking the neighbors in the hot tub if they had seen a big black dog. "With a blue bandana? Yeah, he ran that way." I see a flash of black out of the corner of my eye and take off running again. By the time Jenn gets there, I'm out of breath and shaking. Jenn joins me in the pursuit, and soon enough, Wyatt gets tired enough to slow down enough for us to catch him. The look on his face was "AH HA! That was fun!" And thus The Chase Game was born.
SO MANY CHASES
In the 12 years since then, he has led me on countless additional Chases, (usually after moving in to a new neighborhood, that was how he got the lay of the land.) I have ran across busy highways, in the dark, down a canyon, into and out of the mountains, around the neighborhood. He was a Houdini. He LOVED being chased. If he still had the strength and the energy, he would still be escaping and galavanting around today.
It took 3 years for Wyatt to allow a man to pet him (the winner was my dad), and that took a lot of work and socialization.
In the 12 years that we have been partners, we have adventured from the Pacific to the Atlantic, backpacked all around the High Uintas, hiked all over Utah, visited the Las Vegas Strip, 10 Strut Your Mutts (strutting is so exciting!) and he even went to San Diego Comic-Con as Superman. He had a best friend, Riley. He has had handfuls of cousins, both 4-legged and 2-legged. He has always been extremely picky about the people he interacts with, especially men. He has saved me from many creepy dates and even from potentially even more dangerous situations by being my guard dog.
The first time I brought Haagen home to meet "the mammals", Wyatt laid right next to him and laid his head on Haagen's lap. THE FIRST TIME THEY MET. And.....sold! If WYATT approves of this man, then I better grab him fast!
In the 12 years I have had Wyatt, I have religiously followed UAAF's work and donated when I could. Nowadays, UAAF has accidentally become experts in rescuing and caring for dogs that otherwise would not be given much of a chance at life - those puppies with mild to severe birth deformities. Jenn randomly became an expert in caring for the tiniest of puppies with cleft palates. Check out Miss Ruby Sue's Facebook page for all these adventures and stories.
UAAF helps find homes for so many animals that wouldn't otherwise have one. They brought me and Wyatt together, and changed both mine and Haagen's lives forever. I would not be here without him, and I dare say that Haagen and I would not have ended up together without him.
We selected the option of "registering" for donations to UAAF because their work is so much more meaningful than anything we could ever buy in a store.