Yesterday was National Go For Broke Day and you know what that means? It means to throw caution to the wind and get a dog! Or two or three.
 
When I was 20 I went to Europe for an entire summer. My first stop to was to see my friend Gisella in Hamburg. She had excellent English because she had been an exchange student at my high school and we kept in touch over the years.
 
The first day there I rested and did a little sightseeing. The next day we went to the Hamburg Horn, a major horse racing venue located in Horn, Hamburg, Germany. It is Germany’s oldest horse-racing track, built in 1855. It has a capacity of 50,000 spectators. Since 1869 it hosts the annual Deutsches Derby on distances from 1,000 m (3,300 ft) to 3,600 m (11,800 ft),[1] among others.
 
It’s not as well-known as the Kentucky Derby but everyone does get dressed up and the ever popular hats were fun to see. It was my first time ever being in such a fancy place. Gisella kept urging me to bet but I was nervous because I did not want to blow any money since I had three more months to stretch my meager travel funds.
 
The noise, the smells, the excitement soon had me looking at all the horses and wanting to be part of this glorious event. Finally, I decided on a horse and Gisella went with me to put down my 50 Marks. The exhilaration when my horse won is a feeling I can still remember. Strangers hugged me and slapped me on the back. Risk-taking was not something in my nature so this go- for-broke-moment changed the way I looked at life. It helped me to understand that life wasn’t only about playing by the rules but by living life to the fullest and breaking out of my comfort zone ever so often.
 
I wasn’t a beer drinker then and I’m not now, but I took my winnings, maybe it was about $200.00 which was a lot to a student traveling by herself in Europe, and we went to a beer haus and I treated Gisella and her friends to beers and sausages and pretzels and fun. We had so much fun!
 
More years later than seems possible I am totally out of my comfort zone. I threw caution to the wind and got a dog. And then, because I fell in love with my perfect pooch, I went for broke and jumped in with both feet to start helping NEW PAWSibilities rescue dogs and to help people like you understand that adopting a dog might sound crazy but it’s the most exhilarating thing you might do this year.
 
Have you been having family discussions about getting a dog? Today is the day! Is there a dog who you think is the right size or that has an energy level that is good for your family? Yep. Today is the day for that, too.
 
Have you always wanted to be a superhero? You know the answer to that question. Yes! When you rescue a dog from a high kill shelter you become a superhero.
 
But the main reason to go for broke, throw caution to the wind, jump in with both feet, or any other cliche is because you fall in love with the right dog.
 
Your dog is waiting for you to come and claim him. Or her. That feeling I got when my horse won by a nose is nothing compared to when Coconut waddled into the visiting room, sat in front of me, looked me in the eyes, and waited. I knew that I know that I knew. This was MY dog.