Adopted by Yvonne Formel – Oct 6, 2013 – Glen Ellyn, IL

One year ago I stood in the cargo building parking lot at O’Hare International Airport while my new “jube” dog from Iran relieved himself on a 1 foot by 1 foot patch of grass. The cold autumn wind ripped past us and I wondered how he would adjust to his new home in the suburbs of Chicago. I felt the need to apologize for the lack of mountains and for the frigid long winters that would be coming. Once home, Choupan was greeted by my children and Rosie, my senior beagle.

He quickly went from room to room and while going up the stairs was easy, he was unsure how to come down them. It was late and I thought a walk before bed would be wise. Choupan was new at walking on a leash and would often go in the opposite direction. He never pulled and could be easily redirected. I knew then he would never have trouble walking with me, (I didn’t think about all the squirrels that would be frolicking on the lawn the next morning!) As we walked that night he was curious about the pumpkins neighbors displayed in their yards.

I recalled as children we didn’t have pumpkins in Iran and the annual school pumpkin carving contest consisted of decorated butternut squashes instead.

Unlike other dogs that I had adopted or they adopted me as strays, Choupan had not spent his young life in a house, with a family, with a TV and a vacuum cleaner and a door bell. So his first few days and weeks were filled with so many new experiences. It was surreal for me to think he had come from a country that I had loved with all my heart and was not allowed to return.

I still look at him today, a year later and think, he has seen what I have seen, and we are so blessed to be together.

One year later he is predictable as I am sure we are for him. We run for half an hour each morning. He knows the routes, he knows when we turn, he knows when a car comes we get back on the sidewalk.

He knows my son’s cars by the sound of their engines and joyfully runs to the garage door to greet them. He knows through trial and error that he’s not to go into my daughter’s room and bother the many stuffed animals on her bed. Most importantly, he knows he is loved even if he does have to wear socks outside in the cold winter!


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