Debbie and Hal McDowell lost their dog, Mac, in August of 2010. (See Mac’s story here) Mac was the last of the McDowell’s four male dogs to pass away.
“We were devastated when Mac died,” said Debbie. “The house seemed so empty and big without a dog.”
Debbie and Hal remained without a dog for 6 months. “I know that a lot of people will think this is strange, but we were waiting for our next dog to find us. For years I’ve said that the next dog we got would be a female. I even had her name picked out - Jessica Grace. We wanted a smaller dog, but not teeny and we also knew that we wanted to adopt an older dog, not a puppy.”
Over five years time, Debbie bought items for her future pet. She bought a collar, bedding, food bowls, etc. Debbie didn’t know when Jessica Grace would appear in her life, but when she did, Debbie would be ready for her. When Mac died, Debbie and Hal really began to long for Jessica Grace to appear. When she finally did, several members of the AHNA staff were involved.
“Norma had left a message on my phone. She said, ‘we’ve found Jessica Grace! It’s her; it really is her. She’s up for adoption at the Asheville Humane Society!’ I immediately called the hospital. Norma wasn’t there, so I talked to Sheri. Sheri, just like Norma, insisted that Jessica Grace was at the Humane Society.”
Debbie went online and printed out Jessica Grace’s picture. The next day she brought the picture to work and showed it to her co-workers. Everyone said, “That’s her! What are you doing here? Go and adopt her!”
When the Humane Society opened their doors at noon, Debbie was the first person there. “I couldn’t believe how perfect she was. She was so gentle and well behaved. I was impressed by how dainty she was, not like our rough-and-tumble boy dogs.”
Debbie immediately adopted Jessica Grace, but there was a problem. Debbie had to go back to work, but she couldn’t bear the thought of putting Jessica Grace back into a cage at the Humane Society, and she couldn’t bring her new pet to work with her.
“I called Norma and asked if Jessica Grace could stay at the hospital for the rest of the day,” said Debbie. “Norma was so excited! She said that of course Jessica Grace could, and while she was there she could have her first check up. When I walked into the hospital with Jessica Grace everyone started crying. Everyone was clapping and cheering and hugging! It was such a touching moment.”
“We’ve had Jessica Grace for a little over two-and-a-half weeks now, and we love her. I couldn’t have gotten through Mac’s death without everyone at Animal Hospital of North Asheville, and I never would’ve found Jessica Grace if it weren’t for Norma and Sheri.”