How WiFi the dog found me...
There’s a weird story about how I became the owner of WiFi the dog. A few years ago, we had just opened our second retail phone store in Grand Junction, CO. I was living in the back of the building and working a crazy amount of hours.
I had been single for a couple of years and simply didn’t have much time for social activities. I wanted a dog, but for years, I simply didn’t have time to care for anything besides the business my family was working so hard to build. Best Cellular was growing quickly and we were gaining lots of customers nationwide. We had been working for years to develop a nationwide company on a shoestring budget. We had a quality team in place and they were taking some of the workloads off so I was able to finally relax a bit and start to enjoy life.
As I prepared for bed one night before saying my prayers I decided it was finally time to get a dog. I envisioned the perfect dog, my perfect 4-legged companion.
- I wanted a small dog with long, fluffy hair but it needed not to shed so it didn’t get hair all over my slacks or business suits.
- The dog I envisioned needed to be friendly and love everyone.
- My dog would be playful and love to fetch.
- She would be very small so she could ride in my backpack on the motorcycle.
- She would be friendly with other dogs.
I had a few other things I envisioned as I drifted off to sleep but I was ready to go find a rescue dog who met my visions of the “perfect puppy”. The next morning I woke up, went to the gym and daydreamed about the perfect dog as I worked out.
I returned to Best Cellular to open our newest store for business. The day quickly became busy as calls and emails started coming in. Soon I quit daydreaming about the dog I wanted to get.
Was WiFi dropped from Heaven?
Not quite… We heard tires screech on the highway in front of our store. I looked up to see a stray dog running down the highway as cars swerved to miss hitting her.
I ran outside and waived at traffic to keep her from getting ran over as I tried to call the little dog to me. The dog seemed scared to death, so one of my employees went in the back of the store and got some cheese from the refrigerator so I could try to lure the stray dog off the busy highway. I spent half an hour, kneeling down and gently tossing pieces of cheese in an attempt to get close enough to pick her up.
She was obviously scared and looked like she had fallen (or been thrown) out of a moving vehicle. She didn’t have a collar but when I finally got her to come close enough, I let her eat a piece of cheese from my hand and I reached out slowly to pet her and see if I could pick her up. I spoke softly and placed my hand on her back as the stray dog ate another piece of cheese from my hand.
As I touched the dog, she spun around and bit me hard, with my entire thumb in her little jaws! Startled, I grabbed the stray dog with my other hand and picked her up as she growled and chewed on my thumb!
I ran inside our new Best Cellular store with the stray dog, in a rush to put her down so it would stop biting me! Was this crazy chihuahua on steroids?
This new Best Cellular store had a living area in the back of the retail storefront. There were a kitchen, a shower and a small area for my bed and an office where I worked at night after the retail employees went home.
That night after our store closed, I went to WalMart and purchased a dog bed and three different flavors of soft dog food to help the stray dog relax as I tried to find her owner.
When I got home, I broiled a chicken breast and steamed some broccoli for dinner. I gave the dog half a can of each of the three flavors of soft food I purchased so I could see which flavor she liked the best. When I sat down to eat my chicken and broccoli, this was the first time the dog came close without biting me. She looked at her food and refused to eat until I gave her a small piece of chicken. Next, I let her try a bite of steamed broccoli.
The stray dog had me trained. She wasn’t eating dog food but ate my dinner and I had to cook another meal for myself. We were making progress. Although I couldn’t get close enough to pet her yet, at least she didn’t want to bite me!
I showed the dog her fluffy new dog bed that I had placed beside my own bed, and I worked online with one of our developers late into the evening. She seemed to like her new bed. I checked on her a few times as she slept and around 3:00 AM I finished working and got in bed myself. As I laid there, I reached my hand down slowly to try to pet the dog as I figured she would be more relaxed after spending the evening with me and eating my dinner.
As I reached my hand out, she growled and jumped up and ran around the corner. Apparently, she wasn’t ready to be friends yet! The next day, she stayed inside the store with me as I worked. Throughout the day, I tried to make friends with the stray dog but she was still pretty scared and aggressive.
How WiFi the dog got her name
I left her at the store with one of my employees as I went to lunch and when I returned, Austin was petting the scared stray! He had made more progress while I was at lunch than I had the whole previous day!
I commented on the progress he had made with the dog and he said, “I think we have a name for your dog!” I replied, “That is not my dog. She hates me! We need to find the owner.”
Austin said he had named her WiFi and that she could be the store mascot for Best Cellular. I laughed, but it was a clever name. As the days turned into weeks, I was still unable to find her rightful owner. I had a veterinarian check her for a tracking chip, posted her pictures on local message boards and even hung up found dog pictures with contact info to see if we could return WiFi the dog to her rightful owner.
As weeks turned into months, and months turned into years, WiFi the dog is a name that stuck and I couldn’t think of calling her anything else.
A cherished companion
On the second night, I had WiFi the dog, I made us dinner and worked late into the night again as she slept in her little dog bed. When I finally got into bed, I tried to pet her again with the same result as the previous night. WiFi snapped at me and ran off again. I said my prayers and drifted off to sleep.
The phone store I was sleeping in didn’t have much insulation and was extremely hot in the summers, and it was incredibly cold in the winter. Although I had an electric heater, it was getting chilly at night. I had been asleep for a couple of hours when I felt WiFi stick her head under the covers and crawl up in bed with me. I stayed very still and let her cuddle up as I drifted off to sleep.
The next morning when I woke up, WiFi was beside me everywhere I went. I decided to take a motorcycle ride after work and she still didn’t want to leave my side. She was my little buddy! I opened my backpack to see if she would be okay getting inside. She got in and I gently put the backpack on and went outside to start my motorcycle. I started the loud bike for only a few seconds and then turned it off. I put the backpack on the ground and petted WiFi to see if she was okay. She didn’t seem to mind the sound of the motorcycle so I started the bike again and rode around the block slowly with WiFi riding in the backpack.
I went back to the Best Cellular store, parked the bike and took the backpack off. I opened the bag wide and called her to get out of the bag. She stayed in the backpack and didn’t want to get out. So I zipped the backpack up and we headed out for a long ride. She seemed to love the wind in her face!
A gift from God
As a diabetic and a survivor of a malignant glioblastoma brain tumor, there are times when I experience frequent seizures. One day as my blood glucose got too low, I noticed that WiFi was whining and pawing at my leg like I hadn’t seen her do in the past. I made sure she had water and food in her dish but she didn’t stop whining.
As my glucose dropped lower, I became confused, fell and had the first grand mal seizure I’d experienced in years. We realized later that WiFi could tell my blood glucose was dropping quickly and she was trying to warn me of the impending seizure.
As I started having frequent seizures again, WiFi would try to warn me before they happened and often I was often able to get a snack and prevent the seizure from happening. As our bond grew, she attempted to warn me of seizures. WiFi was registered as a service dog.
I later got a continuous glucose monitor that alerts me if my blood sugar is too high, too low or dropping quickly. That’s been a life changer!
Enjoying nature together
I love extreme mountain biking and have found that WiFi loves the trails as well! Now, she doesn’t have to work as a service dog but she loves exploring the trails with me! If she gets tired, she’s always got a ride back to the car in my backpack. We love exploring new trails on the bike together!
Her short hair sheds like crazy. She doesn’t like other dogs much and she bit me when I found her, but I wouldn’t trade WiFi for the dream dog I envisioned the day I decided to get a dog. It looks like God knew we’d be a great match!