"Oh Susie Q,
Baby I love you
One of my father's oft repeated sayings was: "The best way to get over losing a pet is to go right out and get another one." That's kind of the way he dealt with his emotions. Don't feel the loss. Cover it up with something else. (Note to self...perhaps this is the same as packing away all that BluebellDutch Chocolate ice cream.) I suppose getting a new pet isn't as detrimental as say gin or vodka.
When Black Beauty died, Dad wanted a new dog. While my heart could have applied the "new dog" theory, all Sweetie and I could see was more work. Beauty was an old dog that required little more than good food, a soft bed and lots of love. Her days of walking around the block or playing fetch were over. I didn't see how we (I) would add dog training/walking/playing into my already busy schedule. And, truth be told, there wasn't enough room on Dad's bed for a dog, which, in essence, was what he wanted.
At first we said no.
Then we said, well, what if we just looked?
Then we said what kind would we get?
We looked on line at labs, shepherds, and mutts.
We looked at puppies, teenaged dogs and dogs like Beauty whose sleep patterns matched Dad's.
Let's face it, if you can walk past the cages at the Humane Society and come out with your heart still in tact you are probably not quite ready for a new dog. A heart can only take so much yapping (pleading) and so many sad eyes. Each time we looked, we came away empty handed. We weren't ready.
Then Dad passed away. While thoughts of lovable Labrador Retrievers still danced in my head, actually getting a new dog was on the far back burner. We had more important decisions to make. Stay in the house or buy an RV? Keep the "antique" furniture or buy new? Paint the walls? What color?
On Monday I made the mistake of going back to the Humane Society website. Just looking I told myself. Then I saw him, Raven. A 7 year old black shepherd. An older dog than I wanted, but worth the trip to meet him. Upon closer inspection, Raven, had one major problem. He was huge! Big feet! Big Tail! Big nose! So Sweetie and I made a sad but quick decision that he was not the dog for us. Then we had to walk past a whole row of caged pooches to get to the door.
And the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say, is we (well maybe ME) stopped for a little chat with a dog named Susie. I know, not the best dog name. According to her information chart Susie is part Beagle, part shepherd, approximately 4 years old. She was found roaming loose and not claimed by anyone so most of her history is whatever anyone wants to make up about her. She could be Anastasia's lost pup for all anyone really knows. What you can tell by looking at her is that Susie is bigger than a Beagle (think Hound) and smaller than a Shepherd but the same brown black combo. She has gentle brown eyes that spoke to my sympathetic green ones. She didn't run away when Jack spoke to her. This was a good sign. We decided to "just talk" to the adoption lady. [Photo: After a lot of romping in the back yard, Laci and Susie pose for a picture. Check out that smile!]
Talking led to signing papers. Signing papers led to picking her up and bringing her home this morning, with the stipulation that she get along with Laci and not chase cats. In other words we were given an "adoption option" to bring her back if things didn't work out.
Let me just say for the record that Miss Suzi Q
(a slight twist on the name that the Humane Society says she answers to, but in fact ignores completely) is one sweet dog. She has been barked at, chased, humped, and befriended by Laci. She has been hissed at, swatted at and completely frightened by Boy Cat, who for some reason has turned into a wildebeast cat. Who knew the skinny little thing could puff up so big?Girl Cat was curious but not enough to get within sniffing distance. [Photo: What the hell is that?]
In many ways this old house is
shaping up to be a home for Sweetie and ME. We've still got lots of work to do. But having our own dog, not just a visiting dog, makes it feel one step closer to the house that Jack and Mary built. [Photo: You can't see it too well, but that black spot behind the chair is Boy Cat standing his ground.]
I'm a little sad, that Dad isn't here to
meet Suz. I think he would give his approval. Yeh, I know how crazy that sounds. My father is 2 and a half months gone and I'm still looking for his approval.
But that's a story for another time. Right now I have a ball tossing date with a dog.
[Photo: Home Sweet Home]
Wishing for you 4 legged things that warm your heart,