“You need to hear this story,” my friend said. “It’s about Kaitlin and Joe.”


Ah, a love story. Gotta… well… love it!

But this is not your average love story. There are no romantic gestures, boxes of chocolates (heavens, no!) or bunches of flowers. It is about gifts of another kind…

I made a plan to meet them on a Friday. I should have worn goulashes. There was a terrible rain storm the day before and Joe wanted to go outside. We found every puddle, it seemed, and my feet were freezing.

“Oh, Joe,” Kaitlin said, as she sat down with him to have their photo taken. “Now I’m all muddy because of you!”

I didn’t need a photo to tell me these two were kindred spirits. They were a mutual admiration society and I wanted to be a part of that club! Luckily, Joe was obliging. I was able to hold his face in my hands and rub his ears. He jumped on me and I let him to do it.

Did I mention Joe is a dog? Oops, sorry.

Kaitlin Webber is one of us. I mean, she’s a human who loves animals. Her story begins when she was a Co-Op student at the shelter 7 years ago. Then she volunteered and when a position opened up in animal control there, she got the job. Now, she’s halfway through school to be an OSPCA Officer. Go Kaitlin!

And then there’s Joseph! He’s a Shepherd/Retriever mix, around 6 years old, and has a beautiful black and tan coat. Several months ago, he was found running close to the grounds of the NFHS. It’s a long story how he was finally captured but what you need to know is that he was very frightened. Unfortunately, very frightened dogs can be very frightening. Joe was that. But something in his eyes reached into Kaitlin’s soul and she knew he’d turn around with the right attention and care. And, boy, was she right!

When I first met him, he jumped up on me. That was okay, because I love dogs. I have cats right now but one day… hopefully… I will get another dog. And, if you know me, you know I like BIG dogs (like Joseph).

As we talked, she used words like “cuddle bug” and “big suck” to describe him. As I write this, I find myself smiling and nodding my head. It is clear she loves animals and is very proud of how far this boy has come.

Joe is happy, funny and energetic. He loves to play with toys, eat treats and jump in puddles! He walks well on a leash and loves to carry toys or sticks in his mouth.Kaitlin has made it her mission to find a good home for him. I want to help her.

“He means everything to me,” Kaitlin said. “And he’ll make a great dog for someone.”

I believe you, Kaitlin. You only have to look at their faces.

To meet Joe or any other adoptable dogs and cats at the shelter, please call 905-356-4404 or go to http://www.nfhs.ca

This week’s column written by Sheryl Hutton

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