I am a BIG fan of having a fur-ever friend and always have been. Boxers, Dobermans, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Chihuahuas , it doesn’t matter. I love them all! Recently I lost my beloved Twenty Year Old Shepherd, yes 20 years old! To everyone who has owned an animal, you know how heartbreaking that experience can be. Noel came into my life when me and my daughter had made a trip to the local animal shelter hoping to get a small dog that could grow up with her. As soon as we saw this little fur-ball, my daughter swore that she was the one. Reluctantly like most fathers to their little girls, I gave in. That giving in turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. Her name became “Noel” because of my daughter’s love of the Holidays. For the next twenty years I spent my day to day life with not just a dog, but a new family member. Together we experienced happy times, sad times, sick times, moving from Illinois to Arizona, a lot of sneaking food treats and eventually that heartbreaking goodbye. The last couple of months, she could no longer bark. When excited or happy she would just chatter her teeth. She stayed with me for as long as she could. The morning came that her back legs just stopped working. She looked at me and I knew it was time. She knew it was time. I knew in my heart I couldn’t be greedy, twenty years is a long time to have a dog and I had to do right by her. As she slowly went off to sleep she looked at me one last time and chattered one last goodbye. A declaration of love to her family. After that, I became what my friends refer to as a “lost owner”. I knew that had she still been with me she would want me to go right out and save another, if not fifty more dogs. However, I guess I became a bit selfish and truly could not fathom experiencing another loss like I had felt with her. How could I ever replace what I had lost?

IMG_4441 copy


One day at the encouragement of my daughter (who is now 25 and a even bigger animal lover than I), I decided Ok, I’ll start going out there and at least look. I was referred to the Maricopa Animal Control in Tempe. I’ve always been partial to German Shepherds as that is always what I have had. I went to our local animal shelter, and started going up and down the rows of poor puppies that had either been strays or abandoned by their owners. I looked half heartedly and made every excuse in my head to not “really care”. Until the last row, the last cage and there she was. This beautiful little white and cream colored Australian Shepherd, Cattle Healer mix with sparkling icy blue eyes. Her papers said she was 2 years old and had just given birth to a litter before being cast aside by her owners. One of the volunteers there stopped to ask me if I needed help and proceeded to tell me about everything they do at the shelter. I think she could tell I had an interest in this little beauty and told me there was a three day waiting period as she had just come in. I was momentarily sad but thought “eh, I’m  not really ready for one anyways.” For the next two and a half days, I couldn’t get this little one out of my head. I had random thoughts of “How could someone abandon a dog?”, “How could they give her up?” Her sad little face in that cage telling me she didnt belong there. The following Wednesday she was available to be adopted and I found myself at the office 20 mintues early and soon had a new fur-ever friend to take home. Her name is now “Akasha” and she lives a queen’s life of feathered pillows, her personal fan and an assortment of treats. Left behind are her unwanting “parents” and a life of not being loved. She needed a home and unbeknownst to me at the time, I needed a dog. She was everything I had hoped she would be. No she wasn’t my beloved “Noel” but she did have so many of the same qualities. As my daughter would say she was sent to me and I couldn’t agree more!

Everyone at Maricopa Animal Control not only took time to answer all of my questions but the facility was super clean and all the animals were well cared for. There are so many animals in need of homes right now in Maricopa county, if you’re in the market for new fur-ever friend or if you’re like me and are unsure, it might be worth a trip over there. Not only are they an adoption center but they offer, dog licenses, Spay and Neuter, as well as other services. For hours and availability, they can be reached at (602) 506‑7387.

Bookmans also is a big supporter of animals!  Did you know we allow pets on a leash in our stores?! Thats right, you and your best friend can stop by your favorite location anytime and check out all the great books, movies and music we have in store! Dogs, cats, birds and snakes, we love them all! Bookmans Mesa also welcomes Arizona Adopt A Greyhound every third Saturday of the month. If you are interested in hosting an animal adoption event at Bookmans contact your local store and one of our Events Liaisons will be happy host your organization.

July is Dog Days of Summer here at Bookmans and we have the whole month planned and packed with fun events celebrating animal welfare and mans/womans/persons best friend!