Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at DePauw chapter.

Everyone has that one thing that they have always wanted, but could never have. For some, it might be a fancy car. For others, it might be an expensive house. But for me, it has four paws, floppy ears, and a wagging tail. This is the story of how I adopted the sweetest dog named Gus.  

First, I had to convince my mom to let me have a dog. After years and years of begging, she finally gave in, and the search for my dog started. In the shelter, all the dogs were barking and jumping on the cages—trying to catch our attention. I chose a few dogs to walk around and become acquainted with, but none of them were the perfect fit. But then came Gus, a beagle mix who peed on everything. Literally everything: the chairs . . . the tables . . . the walls. You might be wondering, what was so special about this particular dog? The reason why is so sweet that it almost sounds fake: the moment we took Gus out of his cage, he jumped up and put his paws on my hips, like he was giving me a hug. I fell in love. End of story. 

Well… not exactly end of story. My mom was NOT amused. She feared that he would constantly bark because he was a beagle, and they are known to be quite vocal. She worried that he would pee on everything at home. But, there was something in me that knew he was my dog. It took lots of convincing, some begging, and a few puppy dog eyes (from more than just Gus). Eventually, she gave in. Papers signed. Collar fastened. Heart filled. Just like that, Gus was my dog. 

When we arrived home, Gus was afraid of everything. The stairs to go to the backyard . . . the sound of tin foil opening . . . the motion of any fast arm. All of the new smells and sights terrified him. We assume that he was abused when he was with his previous owner. Along with being afraid, he also peed on multiple things in the house. I cleaned up his messes many, many times. You know, the joys of owning a dog. But after a while, he stopped peeing on everything. Gus was in the shelter for a full year. We think he marked on items to claim them, since he never felt like he owned anything in the shelter. 

Even though my mom was worried about Gus peeing on everything and barking all of the time, he no longer does either of those. Some people believe that dogs have emotions and can feel ours. I am one of those people. Gus always comforts me when I feel sad, and will refuse to leave my side. He understands me. Many people think I rescued him, but he has also rescued me. My mom always says now that even though she is still not a dog person, she is a Gus person. 

Right now, Gus is not doing well. He is in Stage 4 of Congestive Heart Failure, and is taking 7 different medications. He has arthritis in his legs, and can barely get up the stairs. With this, he still maintains a positive attitude—prancing around the house and wagging his tail. Even though I knew it was coming, I just recently learned that Gus’s time will be ending soon. Only about a month left. I can’t even imagine a Gus-less world, but soon I will have to. But while he is still here, I plan to cherish the time I have left with him, and appreciate the memories & love he’s given me. 

Hey, I'm KP! I'm in the class of 2025 at DePauw pursuing my interests in business through the Management Fellows Program. I write for the Features section of DePauw's HerCampus.