We Checked Off Our Bucket List


Meet the newest member of the Kucik family—Bucket! His ‘full of it’ personality is what landed him such a name, but we also love him for his bucket-of-sunshine heart. Rescued as a stray pup from the thicket of the midwestern woods, Bucket was taken in by High Forest Humane Society in Hohenwald, TN where he was formerly known as “Mr. Whiskers” until making an eleven-hour trip to the D.C. area to reside in a temporary home whilst he awaited adoption. And that’s when I stumbled across him on PetFinder.com and my life was changed fur-ever!

As an only child, Bucket was bound to be spoiled yet it didn’t take long to realize that he held no interest in name-brand toys and treats but rather preferred to relish in the simpler joys of life—like sneaking off with scraps of cardboard from the recycling bin and tastefully relocating my outdoor potted plants throughout the house. And while an unrooted basil shrub left on my pillow was probably a well-intentioned gesture, I think we’ll leave the house staging to the professionals.

I’m sure many would agree with the fact that this year has been no picnic; not in the slightest. Yet particular to me, for a few marked months on end I found myself often feeling like I’d hit the ultimate plateau—waking up every day merely to push through the motions of being a working full-time student, only to come home and decompress for a few hours before reproducing the same grueling schedule the next day. Weeks began to feel like one long, drawn-out day, and the heft of unfulfillment on my shoulders was getting hard to brush off.

Of course, I've thought about being a dog-mom before—a girl can dream—but the time hadn’t felt as right as it did last month. Yet I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t the subconscious lockdown loneliness that was persuading me to finally adopt, and that my post-pandemic lifestyle would still warrant the time and energy for a furry companion. Adopting a dog (as for any pet) shouldn’t be a spur of the moment decision; allow yourself to ruminate on the idea and give honest thought to the quality of life you feel you can offer both now and in the future. With all the dogs cooped up in shelters, it can be hard to hit the brakes, but it’s equally as important to make sure your potential pup gets the life he’s been waiting for. All things considered, in celebrating nearly a month of being a mom to Bucket, I don’t think I’ll ever make a decision that can top choosing to take him home.

So…if you’re ready to take the next step too, Bucket and I have good news for you! Hundreds of new pups are approved for adoption every day in the DMV and each is ready for lots of lovin’. Recent dog adoption events have been far and few between due to COVID-19 precautions, but some are still proceeding with discretion. Check out the pet adoption event calendar for up-to-date information on upcoming meet and greets at: https://www.luckydoganimalrescue.org/events/adoption. Most shelters have arranged for designated yet limited hours or appointment times for the public to come to visit available dogs, so a trip to the shelter may be just as worth your while as an event. Listed below are some local shelters and adoption groups currently open and ready to help you find your pawfect match. Check ‘em out! You’ll be so glad you did; I think Bucket can say the same.







Meredith Kucik is a 2021 graduate of UNCW with a B.F.A in creative writing alongside a certificate in publishing.

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