08.21.2020 | First Farmers Financial Corp.

Meet Joe Chapter Three

Welcome back to Part 3 of Joe’s story. We’re back at the shelter with Joe, meeting a few new canine characters and waiting for the right family to finally walk through the door. Have you ever felt like the something big was going to happen? Big things are going to be happening for Joe and Ethan very soon!


While Ethan was planning his next knight’s quest and Bella was pawing through his card collection, I was still in the shelter. It had been a couple of days, and I was starting to get anxious.

I now had all new neighbors, and they were LOUD. That’s right. My pal Rocco had walked out with a young couple the day before without a backwards glance. I didn’t blame him—he’d been there longer than me, and the big guy was wagging his tail all the way out the door.

When Rocco left, I didn’t just get one new neighbor but three. Three pups. Loud pups. Cute pups, or so said every single human who walked by. I’m cute too, in a dignified sort of way. Larry, my old roommate, didn’t go in for the cute stuff. I tried the puppy eyes on him one time at the dinner table—nothing. I think it’s my size. Still, I’m a good-looking animal, if you don’t mind me saying so. Glossy fur, a respectable nose, handsome paws with neatly trimmed nails. And the things I can smell with my nose! You guys are really missing out.

But back to these puppies. Next to them, I must have looked like a monster! They were squirmy little things, with white fur and no sense whatsoever. You should have seen them tumbling all over each other at mealtime! All of them would end up with food dripping off their snout. They’d play fight with each other for a while, but then they’d fall into a sort of sad and lonely whine, which was weird. They had each other, after all! They’d stare across the aisle at me and push their bodies right up to the cage. I gave a little chuffing bark, just a friendly hello. The little one barked back, too big for his ears in my opinion, but that’s a pup for you. Still, I liked him. I liked them all. They were gone in less than a day, and I wished them well.
My next door neighbor was a husky, and she was quite the character. We’d really get going with the barking back and forth, with an occasional growl thrown in for good measure. Dogs don’t talk to each other, of course, not the way people do. But we communicate in ways you might not understand…no offense. I liked that husky. She was something special. I started to make room for her in my plans for a new home. Fuzzy plans for sure, but at least it was something. Step one, I needed to find a person. Step two, I needed to get out of the cage. That was as far as I got, but it seemed pretty solid to me.

The husky and I were just starting to drift off to sleep, lying back to back with the pen wall between us, when I smelled him. Someone new. Someone excited. A human pup, but not nearly as noisy as the pups across the aisle had been. I liked his smell, a mix of soap and grilled cheese with a hundred other subtle fragrances thrown in. I’m something of a connoisseur on smells, so just take my word on it—this kid smelled good.

I stood up, gave myself a good stretch and shake, and was just finishing up my yawn when we locked eyes. He had a smile that would light up the room.

“Whoa, look at him!” he said.

“He looks big. Too big,” said a woman behind him. She wasn’t smiling, and she took the kid’s hand and started to pull him away.

He got a stubborn look in his eyes, and stood his ground just long enough to whisper through the bars. “I’ll be back,” he said.

That was Ethan. I didn’t know it then, but he always keeps his promises. I laid back down to wait.