Thursday, March 04, 2010
Do You Want Another One? -- Happy Anniversary, Tulip
I figure that it's time to tell a dog story. This one takes us back to just about this moment a whole 365 days ago. It had been an interesting 4 months with our puggle puppy Bella. She was chewing on everything and excreting about anywhere she could. When we went to pick her up for David's birthday, Kerry and I discussed dog names and she said, "I've always wanted to call a dog Tulip." I told her that there was no way I would call a dog that. So, Twilight fan that she was... she had another name set aside. So when we put the puppy in the car, I asked David what he wanted to call her. He asked his mom what she thought was a good name... hence, Bella came into our home and vocabulary.
So it was now 4 months or so later and I'm sitting at work. My friend Corey came up to me out of the blue and asked, "Do you want another one?" Of course, my reaction is, "Another what?" So he goes on to explain that his wife has a bad habit of scanning the LIED Animal Shelter dog listings every night and she found another puggle. I didn't know what to think. If you asked me a year beforehand if I'd wanted even one dog, I'd have said that I didn't have the time, energy or room to devote to one. Now, I was entertaining the idea of a second dog. So, I told him that I'd check it out online and see if it was still there.
Kerry woke up when I got home early the next morning (as I usually do.) I was checking it out online and told her the story. We then both looked online and saw a very small photo. We talked about how another more mature dog could calm Bella down and keep her company when we weren't there. We decided that I'd go to the shelter the following morning and check out the dog just for kicks. I woke up early on March 5th and walked through the area looking at all the dogs. I didn't see this puggle anywhere and was heading back towards the car when I decided to ask someone.
When I asked about the dog, the man at the desk's eyes lit up. "You've come to check her out? She's such a sweetheart. We have no idea why she's been here this long. Here, let me get someone to show you where she is." She was there for well over a month (or about 3 if I remember right.) I guess, there is a viewing area and an area in back where dogs can go potty and sit in the sun a little... so I didn't see her. I used my cellphone and took a few photos of this shy little dog and sent them to Kerry. She quickly responded, "Get her! Get her now!" So, I didn't protest. We went to a little fenced-in grass area to see how she'd get along with me. She kind of kept to herself but was very calm. She would even hide behind the worker's leg. She'd been abandoned and that can't do well in the area of trust. "I'll take her," I said.
I sat there filling out the paperwork at LIED and it really hadn't hit me yet. The same man that called her a 'sweetheart' told me that because she'd been there so long, they'd let her go for... $25. Yes, that's right. After I got my jaw off the floor and handed him the money, he had me resume the paperwork. That's when he said, "You can wait to name her if you want and send the rest of the papers in later." If you know me by now, I don't do well with loose deadlines so I wanted it out of the way. That's when I remembered how Kerry really wanted a dog named Tulip. I started biting my nails. Was I going to break any manly oath that I'd made to myself to not name a dog after a flower and please my wife? You bet.
We were still a little concerned as to if she'd been fixed as she didn't have any scars or stitches but we'd later find out that she just healed really well. We hadn't told David and he was even more excited than before (as he'd been avoiding the little chew-monster Bella.) It was when I raised my voice at Bella, my heart first broke for Tulip. She peed right where she stood. Then she slowly went to the other side of the house. She thought I was upset with her and it worried me that this dog had to have gone through some really hard times. Never again! Never again without a home. Never again not knowing she belonged. I had to work later that night, but all I could think about was her adjusting to her new home. Kerry went shopping for a crate and extras on her way home from work.
So, this dog, that hops on our bed in the morning to snuggle near one of my legs, mini-howls when she's excited (usually around food) or licks me just because my hands are near her, has changed me more than I ever expected. We've always thought of Bella as Kerry's dog, as she follows her wherever she goes and snuggles up with her on the recliner at night. Sure, she's David's dog but emotionally, there is a bond there. And I have my own bond with Tulip. She makes me smile for some of the silliest reasons but she also has a piece of my heart that I will never get back. So, I'm thankful that one year ago today, a friend asked me, "Do you want another one?"