Today is National Take a Chance Day. Actress Demi Moore summed it up perfectly when she said, “The thing is most people are afraid to step out, to take a chance beyond their established identity.”

My established identity did not include dogs. It wasn’t so much that I was afraid to step out and get a dog. I just didn’t see the reason why I should. I’d done it once and it was not the success I had hoped for. My new husband loved dogs, had owned a small little mixed breed when I met him. I didn’t get the attraction at all. He didn’t push me to get a dog after his Tippy died and I didn’t offer.

Sometimes life forces us to take chances we never would have thought to take. A health crisis often pushes us to change our lifestyle. Other things that force our hands when it comes to change are natural disasters, being laid off of a long-held job, divorce, and, like for me, a car wreck.

Taking chances that stems from a negative situation often seems like the end of the world. But those chances are often the catalyst for greatness.

After my wreck my doctor begged me to get a dog. I was unwilling to take a chance that something as simple as a dog would help. I was unwilling to step out of my established identity. But when all else failed, when the big move to Wisconsin wasn’t the answer, when I had tried all the conventional medical answers, I took a chance. That chance literally changed my life in so many ways and, by extension, the lives of hundreds of people and dogs.

I went into the whole dog thing kicking and screaming. It didn’t take long to see beyond any chance I could have taken this whole dog gig was the best chance for this time of my life.

Over a year later another chance presented itself. A second dog is something I never would have predicted. It didn’t take nearly as long to agree this time around. My husband and Mele could not be happier and Coconut and I are getting there, a little slower, but it won’t take long for us to be as happy about this chance we took as the one I took when we first moved here.

Our dogs need you to take a chance on them. Rescuing a dog and eventually finding them the right home is actually a series of chances. These rescue dogs have come to Oshkosh all the way from Kentucky because, after someone took a chance on them at the high-kill shelter, our owner decided to take a chance on each and every dog. Some are obvious choices, cute and cuddly puppies and specific breeds over which people fight. Less obvious chances to take lie in the senior dogs, the dog who lost a leg or is blind.

Guess what? The next chance is yours. There are some of you who are excited about taking a chance on the perfect dog. You scroll down the page, read Facebook religiously, point out the dog who might change your life. Some of you are only reading this because someone shared a post or a slew of doggy pictures and bios hoping you’d take a chance.

We have such a fabulous selection of dogs at NEW PAWSibilities and they are all waiting for you to take a chance on them. As someone who took a chance that ended up being life-changing I can tell you that it’s one of the best chances ever.

We’d love for you to come in and meet some of our second chance dogs. They need you and you need them. What could be more simple?