Twelve years ago – on the day after Black Friday – Chester came home with me and my daughter, Angie.

A couple of weeks earlier I had seen and responded to a message on one of the local dog email groups that indicated an Irish Setter was at a rescue and looking for a home.  When they responded and told me that he was all mine, but that he was in Minnesota – just outside Minneapolis, I had to make plans to get him up north to Manitoba.  I assumed he was here in Manitoba when I first responded to the message since it was posted on a Manitoba list, but by then I knew I had to get him.  🙂

The rescuers told me that there was a dog show in their area for the Thanksgiving weekend and maybe I could find someone that was going who would have room to bring him back here.  I posted in the same group where I had seen the original post about him being available and one person responded saying that she would be able to bring him home.

I thought everything was all set but unfortunately, 2 days prior to the weekend, she sent me a message saying that plans had changed and she would not be going.  It was too late to make other plans, so Angie and I both booked off work and headed down on Black Friday to pick him up ourselves.

I hadn’t even thought about what day it was.  We decided to stop at the mall in Fargo for lunch.  We wondered why it was so hard to find a parking spot when we got there – still not thinking about the day.  We finally did find a spot and walked in, only to find the mall was wall to wall people.  We got into the lineup going our way and inched towards the food court only to realize that the lineups there were massive also.  At that point we headed back to the car and went to get lunch somewhere else.  It wasn’t until we were settled into our hotel room in Minneapolis watching the news that we found out it was Black Friday.

Other than a year or so when I lived in an apartment, I have not been without at least one dog in my life, but it had been almost 20 years since I had an Irish Setter.  I had hardly seen an Irish Setter since then, but twice in the month before reading that email, I had met a couple of them while walking and I knew it was time for another one.  We already had 2 dogs (Dakota and Lexi), but had room for more.  🙂

We did a bit of shopping that night and in the morning we went to pick up Chester to head for home.  The drive home was uneventful.  We stopped every couple of hours to let Chester out for fresh air, so it took a bit longer than it would have otherwise, but we had no problems.  We were told that he was sick in the car on his way to be turned into rescue, so they didn’t feed him in the morning but gave him some honey and ginger before we left and he was just fine.

For the last 5 years, Chester has been the only dog in the house.  He has  health issues, but is still always ready and willing to go anywhere and do anything at any time.  In between activities, he will take every opportunity to sleep.

We just had a quick photo shoot and here is my boy today.  He started off on the couch, but as soon as he saw the camera he came over to sit right beside me – so I got face pictures.  🙂

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