God spelled backwards. My daughters say (and believe) that “dog” is God spelled backwards. I sure hope God isn’t as timid and exhausted as the the dog asleep on the couch in my den. She’s lying on the grey wool sweater that I wore when we brought her home from the animal shelter.
We put our 13-year-old dog to sleep a few months ago. She had a sweet disposition and smelled like chocolate. Sydney was a golden retriever mix who shed a lot. We still miss her.
Our daughter coaxed us into “just looking” at dogs at the pound. She quickly found the website on the iPad. I had criteria–small enough to snuggle with, okay with little kids, not hyper (we are in our 60′s), NOT a puppy, and, of course, a connection that left no doubt she was my dog. Based on online pictures and descriptions we decided to check out Munchkin, Smurf, Jake, and Brownie.
We–my daughter, her almost-3-year-old daughter and her 10-m0nth-old son, one front-facing car seat and one rear-facing car seat, the retired man I live with, and I–piled into the white Camry and left on our quest. We included my daughter in Raleigh using our phones to talk and text and making many promises to send pictures of the dogs. We were all excited.
The Guilford County Animal Shelter vibrated to the rhythm of barking dogs. The kids were unfazed. The place smelled good and was spotless–hurray for the staff and volunteers! We walked up and down the rows of cages looking for Munchkin. We found her in the second room, put her on a leash and paraded out to the fenced-in play yard.
Adaline tempted her with a tennis ball, but Munchkin ignored her, even when the ball hit her in the face. Point 1 in her favor–she tolerated a rambunctious kid. The dog explored the big pen we were in, came over to where I was sitting, plastered her body to my leg, and laid her head on my thigh to be petted. Point 2–we connected. She didn’t care about anyone else.
My daughter went back in to get the 3-legged dog we saw in the cage next to Munchkin. I took her into the next play yard to check her out. I’m a little disabled, she is disabled. We had to try. And we could really feel like heroes if we adopted her. But…no connection. She didn’t care that I was there. Plus she drooled a bit. Feeling like an executioner, I shook my head from side to side. I don’t remember her name.
Munchkin, by this time, was on my daughter’s lap in the other yard. I felt a pang of jealousy. “Mom, do want to just get this one and not try any more?’ I nodded my head yes. We never got to Smurf or Jake or Brownie.
We completed the paperwork and paid the fee and left her to be spayed. The retired man I live with and I went back the next day. The staff person brought her out from the back and stopped in front of us. Munchkin pooped on the floor. I wanted to cheer for her feisty little self! Or at least laugh. She clearly was ready to leave the shelter.
She and I rode home in the backseat. She rested her head on my leg. When we went in the house, she jumped up on the couch, I sat down beside her, and she curled her body around my side like a nursing baby does.
Oh–we changed her name to Lucy. And she still likes me best.