Right before COVID shut down the world in early 2020, we welcomed a 12 year old little Border Collie from HSHV into our lives. We named her Joey. When we adopted her, we didn’t know how long she would be with us, but Joey was my constant companion for the next 3 1/2 years. She spent every minute with me as I adjusted to working from home and was never more than a few feet away. When we lost Joey this past summer within months of losing two other dogs in our family, our house was broken. Joey’s two doggy sisters weren’t the same, and my husband and I certainly weren’t the same.

We never knew when or if we would ever be ready to start the journey again with another dog. As the holidays wound down in early 2024, we started to talk about the possibility of maybe thinking that perhaps we would start the process of looking for a new family member. Clearly not exactly a resounding “we are READY”. In late January (within days of Joey’s adoption anniversary, which was a really tough day), the Love Train email was sent around, and I opened it for the first time in months. Right at the top was a little white dog with the biggest ears I have ever seen. I couldn’t stop smiling looking at those ridiculous things. My husband and I decided that, if by some chance she was available on Saturday, we would go meet her. But then she appeared as one of the feature dogs on Facebook, and the comments flooded in about her Yoda ears. We figured there was absolutely no way she would be there on Saturday. But when we checked on Saturday afternoon, she had not been adopted. So we made our way to the shelter assuming she would be gone when we arrived. But she wasn’t. She was one of the last Love Train pups still there. She was shy and hung out in the back of her kennel, so maybe she just didn’t make an impression as people walked by. But see, that’s how we met Joey. She was also curled up in the back of her kennel just hoping no one would look at her. We knew it was time.

And so Roo came home with us. We struggled with a name at first, which was never an issue before. We wanted it to be special and somehow honor Joey without being too on the nose. And we somehow wanted to acknowledge her ears without being too goofy. And then it hit us – Roo. Her ears truly look like a kangaroo’s, and of course baby kangaroos are called joeys.

Roo is a ridiculous creature and is as stubborn as a little mule. But she has brought so much happiness back into the house. Our other two dogs have aged backwards since she arrived, although there are certainly times Roo drives them up a wall. Roo is the cuddliest dog I’ve ever met (not surprising as she is a pit mix – heavy on the pit) and follows me everywhere just like Joey did. She loves every dog she has ever met, and with her time at day care and going out around town, I am very sure she has more friends than I do.

We still mourn for Joey and the other dogs we lost last year, but our little family feels complete again. We know that Joey found a way to send us our next baby kangaroo.


Athena now Roo