Animals have an incredible ability to convey love, joy, and support. Connecting with a loyal dog, a playful cat or an empathic horse can be a powerful experience. For me, two years ago that feeling grew a lot deeper than I could have ever imagined.
In the spring of 2015, I headed to California for a three-day whirlwind adventure. We traveled to absolutely stunning locations such as Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Park. I was immediately taken with the raw beauty and splendor of the Mojave Desert. But what I didn’t know was that my biggest life lesson from this trip was yet to come.
After returning to Los Angeles, a friend, knowing my passionate love for animals, took me to a pet boutique that rescues dogs. She had adopted an adorable pup from there herself. Our plan had been to hang out for a bit, giving as much love to the four legged fur babies as possible. Just as we were leaving, a small, pointy-eared puppy with watchful brown eyes walked out from behind the counter. I was in love instantaneously. But here I was, three thousand miles from home and just hours away from leaving. The adoption just didn’t seem possible.
When I got home both my husband and I couldn’t get this little dog out of our heads or our hearts. After a lot of phone calls and the amazing help from the rescue, he was flown to us. We named him Mojave, which seemed fitting since it was a place that had brought me so much joy and happiness.
I instantly noticed that there was a big difference between adopting a dog and buying one from a breeder. I learned that I needed to let go of all expectations. With this puppy I had no idea what his past had been like, I wasn’t even sure what kind of dog he was. Though we bonded from the moment he arrived, I still had to get to know him. He required patience as he adjusted to his new life and I had to sit back, let go of control and just observe him.
There is a certain vibe with adopted pets, it’s truly as if they know they were saved. Watching Mojave play with his mountains of toys or run full speed around our yard brings him endless joy, but it also fills me with a great happiness. His love and loyalty are unmatched; he is constantly keeping an eye on me wherever I go, always by my side. I am beyond blessed that he found me, and I am so thankful that I am able to give him a life he deserves.
I had to open my heart to the unknown, trust that I made the right choice and believe that Mojave was brought into my life for a purpose. As someone who doesn’t leave much to chance this choice was very much outside my comfort zone. I put all of my faith in my heart and was rewarded with my very own kindred spirit.
Adopting a dog is a fairly common decision, but the benefits for the soul are priceless. Bringing home Mojave has taught me lessons beyond measure, but above all to be more patient, trust my own heart, take risks, and mostly to love harder.
Jessica Hallett is a writer, dog lover extraordinaire, yogi, and adventurous hiker. She believes digging deep within ourselves is one of the most rewarding journeys we can take. With a bachelor’s degree in Communication she cherishes mindful conversations that inspire self-growth and awareness.
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