October 23, 2012
Our newest member of the family came home yesterday, not bundled up in blankets and strapped car seat, but rather with a spiffy new collar and a comfy spot on the floorboards between captain's chairs.
Her name is Holly. If you went to Wikipedia and looked up the phrase "cute puppy," her picture would be there. Her coloring reminds me of cookie dough ice cream: all white with nice hunks of brown and chocolate spread around.
We are no strangers to dogs. When my wife and I began dating, she had a cocker spaniel. As a couple, we had a sweet lab/heeler mix and a wonderful rescued reddish golden retriever. For a while, we even volunteered with a golden retriever rescue program and fostered a few at one time. That is not something I wish to ever do again.
We've been dogless a few years now, pouring all our energy into the two kids. But whacking them on the nose with a rolled up newspaper doesn't quite bring the same satisfaction anymore.
We've been talking about getting a dog, but since we rent right now, we needed to clear it through the landlord. I'd been dragging my feet, because, protestations to the otherwise, I knew it'd end up being me getting the doggie chores.
I knew I'd lost the battle when my wife spotted a poem our daughter wrote for a class assignment, about the death of Lucy, the golden retriever. It starts: "That old golden retriever, the old dead one/the blind late one, she'll be in my mind forever."
If you're not already crying, it goes on: "Freezing in the snow, cooling in the sun/She was the best in the world, but she had to leave me."
Really, how could we NOT get a dog after reading this?
So with the landlord's blessing, we began the search. There was talk of a small breed, but last Friday I got a call from my wife, who had just HAPPENED to stop by the Moore Humane Society shelter. There's where she found, as my wife called her, "the perfect dog."
Holly came home yesterday afternoon. If you ask "what is she?" I'm not sure I could fully tell you. She looks a little like a St. Bernard without all the size, a bit like a Collie without the long snout. Judging by the way she froze and stared at the woods behind the house, I'd say she's got a bit of hound in her DNA somewhere.
So far, she's had no accidents and taken well to gentle commands not to chew on inappropriate things. She plays like a dervish, she sleeps like a stone and, so far, doesn't snore or appear gassy. Time will tell on those, I suppose.
Everyone's happy (happier, I guess). Since I'm the early riser in the family, I deployed Holly in my wake-up routine this morning. Nothing -- I mean NOTHING -- will get a child out of bed quicker in the morning (and with a giggle!) than a licking, nipping, wiggling puppy in the face.
So there you have it, Moore County. Crazy dog-loving Moore County. One more happy ending. We'll see you at the dog park.