"We had no intention of getting a second dog. The house was about all we could handle as two working parents with two children, four and seven years old, and a dog-reactive Border Collie mix. I have been a veterinarian in various shelters for over a decade. I have been tempted by hundreds of homeless, needy dogs every day during this time. I never seriously considered taking one home.
One day I was doing rounds on the floor and I walked by a 6-month-old Pit Bull. Despite the obvious appeal of puppies to the general population, most of us in the world of dog care are likely to avoid this stage at all costs! It made no sense that I was drawn to this dog at this particular time, but I was. I just knew he would "fit" perfectly in our family.
It was Christmas time and I knew this pup would see less people this week at the shelter, so I brought him home for a little vacation at our house. Needless to say, I never brought him back. The entire family, including our dog-reactive dog, loved him immediately and deeply.
Tommy is my fourth dog. I have enforced the "no dogs on couches" rule effectively for 20 years. My-seven-year-old son has been resistant to reading and this has been a real struggle for us. When I brought Tompkins home, he lept up on the couch and snuggled right next to my son and my son started reading to him. At that moment the rules changed.
A couple months later my four-year-old daughter had a very painful surgery. During her recovery she would writhe and moan and cry. Tommy would come running from the other room, circle in beside her, and nuzzle his nose under her chin. She would pet his ears and her sadness would dissipate.
Tompkins has proven to be one of the sweetest, kindest, most loving dogs I have ever known. He is comfortable and friendly with all people and dogs and I trust him 100% with our ancient cats, although they wish he were a little less interested in them. We named him Tompkins after the county in which I grew up, because, like my hometown, he represents my happy place."
-Rachel, Tompkins' adopter