Tuesday, May 02, 2006

How much is that doggy in the window?

This is *Beatrice* (not her real name...I am obliged to protect her anonymity).

She is a rescue dog. That means, 10 years ago, we were fortunate enough to meet and adopt her.

I was wanting a dog. We already had a cat, and a bird from hell, so it was definitely time to add man's best friend into the mix.

I knew we needed a dog that would get along with a cat, 2 kids, a bird and a husband (not necessarily in that order). So the hunt was on.

I read the newspaper daily, searching for the perfect dog to fit our requirements. One day, there it was... an ad describing a dog that had been abandoned, along with a cat, at a groomer's. She had subsequently been taken to a kennel, where she apparently resided for the next 6 months.

She was taken in by a local rescue group, that was actually in someone's home, to be put up for adoption. Upon reading the ad, I quickly called and set up an appointment to meet her the next day. My children, who were only 9 and 6 at the time, and I, piled into our big red van ( we no longer have) and off we went on our adventure to add a new family member.

We arrived and immediately met *Beatrice*. She was so shy and forlorn. Her head hung low, but her sweetness shined through. The kids took to her immediately...it was love at first sight.

She was free, neutered, came with a collar and leash and 10 pounds of dogfood. And...she was returnable if we found that she didn't fit with our family.

Interesting concept, don't you think? If only this arrangement could be made with children. (I'm only kidding, or am I, no need to call the authorities on me).

We completely surprised Mr. Cruisin, who had been expecting a black full-bred lab. OOPS!

Upon entering our home, her first task was to befriend the cat. Knowing our cat, this would not be easy. This cat was a bully from the get go. He was declawed and still managed to bring squirrels and birds to their knees. Other cats ran when they saw him coming. Let's just say, that to learn this cat's last name was Corleone, wouldn't have come as a great shock.

The dog and cat were brought face to face. They looked, they sniffed, and the cat made his decision. He picked up his paw and proceeded to smack poor *Beatrice* across the snout!
He showed her. I'm grateful he didn't leave a mouse's head in her bed the next morning.

Well, the cat made his point, but the funny thing is...for the next three years (until the cat died) they slept together in the same room. They had made their peace.

I am the pooper scooper. Yep, that's my job. I wanted the dog, so I felt it was my responsibility. You know, it can be quite relaxing to scoop poop. You're out in the fresh air (well, if you can stand the smell), all alone with your thoughts...it's rather zen-like, actually.

So, here we are, 10 years later. No one loves me like *Beatrice*. No, really, it's true. Even Mr. Cruisin can't hold a candle to the amount of kisses and attention she lavishes upon me every time I walk through the door. I suppose that is something only another dog lover would understand.

When a pet dies, very often people go through a grieving process, equal to that of losing a human. And why not? For some, a pet is the closest friend they will ever or have ever had. I don't say that's the case for me, but I do know the day *Beatrice* dies, a little piece of my heart will be broken.

She has been loyal. She has been loving. She listens to me no matter what I have to say. She never contradicts me. She always wants to play. Even if I accidentally step on her, she forgives me. She follows me wherever I go. She wags her tail and lights up when I walk into the house.

How many people in your life give so selflessly?

I do not think dogs replace human relationships or contact. But I do think, that the love and companionship that a dog gives to the well-being of one's soul, should not be underestimated.

Thanks *Beatrice*...you will always have a special place in my heart.

inspiration for this post from Pearl


Stacey said...

What a cute dog! My own beloved dog is turning 13 this month. I have had her since she was 6 wks. old. I have had her longer than the husband and daughters! She is getting arthritic. When the day comes, I will be in hell.

Ezer K'negdo said...

Funny Godfather reference. Our cat lives outside as much as inside (and has all his claws), and when he leaves us a "gift" on the stoop of our deck (which we refer to as "the Alter") my husband lets me know by hummimg the theme from the Godfather (it is usually the head of something our lovely cat has left us). 'Beatrice' looks so sweet, btw!

kasamba said...

The word in hebrew for dog is Kelev because a dog is Ke Lev- like a heart. Out of all the animals dogs seem to be the warmest to a human soul.

Sweettooth120 said...

Aww so sweet. I love the line "I'm grateful he didn't leave a mouse's head in her bed the next morning." That's hysterical.

I want a puppy, but hubby said I would have to be the one to do the walking, etc, and I hate getting up early in the morning. Perhaps when I start my kickboxing class at 6:30 am, I will be prepared to walk a dog. : )

Regina Clare Jane said...

That's a wonderful story, CM- thanks for sharing. Lately, my family has been losing animals like the plague. It's so sad... and I feel sad for them. But, they have all those years of licking and loving and scooping- that's priceless!

StepIma said...

what a great face... I posted about my own dog not long ago and it's true - the bond is so tight and there's just nothing like it.

Now I have to stop typing so I can go hug my own snorting ball of fur.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Enjoy your dog. I am scared of dogs but am happy to see people enjoy their pets.

Amishav said...

Sounds like an awesome dog. I hope that she lives with health and happiness in your family for many more years to come.

torontopearl said...

I'll have to tell Max that he inspired your post...he's gonna be so flattered.
BTW, I give this post one paw up. And I really like Kasamba's interpretation of "Kelev" -- of course I knew the Hebrew and what it meant, but I'd never broken it down further, to compare the word to "heart."
I think you and "B" are lucky to have each other. And now, a word from Donny Osmond: "And they called it puppy love..."

JMK2006 said...

I'm with you, randi. Dogs and cats were like siblings to this only child (And none of them "borrowed" my baseball mitt, or favorite shirt, etc. without asking first. :) )

Head over heel said...

okay nose tingling, a little blurr infront of my eyes...sniff thanks for this beautiful story. Pet love is very special, I grew up with 5 dogs (not all at once but sometimes 2 at the same time. Anyway when the last one (Bobby) died he was 15 years old and it broke my heart. I still dream about him. And if he would know that I am today a loving cat owner he would probably die twice :)

Mia said...

I always wanted to be a dog lover. But I am scared of dogs. I find them beautiful, but I am scared to walk by one, I rather change the side of the street. I would like to hug and cuddle them, but I am too scared. I got bitten by a poodle when I was a child - and never got over it. So sad, as I really love dogs (but I am scared, terribly scared, even of a lovely family dogs).

cruisin-mom said...

Stacey: Wow, that's a long time. I can imagine how hard that day will be.

E.K.: Our cat used to bring gifts through a doggy door...squirrels, birds...lovely!

Kasamba: that is BEAUTIFUL...you made me cry.

S.T.: Kickboxing? You go girl!

RCJ: Sorry about your family losing pets...it's harder than most people realize.

Stepima: I'll go find your post. "snorting ball of fur" LOL!

SWFM: many people are afraid of dogs, don't feel too bad.

Amishav: Awww, thanks!

Pearl: Max is so cute...*Beatrice* would eat him alive if they ever met (she doesn't like other dogs)

jmk2006: so true...and they don't yell at you!

HOH: wow, you've had so many dogs to love (I love the name Bobby for a dog!). And, like a typical dog, Bobby is probably happy that you have a cat to love.

Mia: you are not alone. Many people have a great fear of dogs, and especially if you've been bitten as a child, it's very understandable.

PsychoToddler said...

You know, it can be quite relaxing to scoop poop.

Can't say I've ever heard that one before. Thanks.

cruisin-mom said...

P.T.: Yoga shmoga...I have found the true path to inner peace.

Sweettooth120 said...

Maybe I should have said, When Pigs FLY that I will be getting up at 6:30 am.

wanderer said...

Any time you need a little extra "inner peace" come by our backyard, we've got plenty for you to scoop...

Wendy said...

I've never been a dog person. Though secretly, I do have some dogs in my life. Some of the neighbor dogs and I are quite close. Shhhh. My cats would be horrified.

I hear that having a dog is life-changing. It sure sounds like *Beatrice* has enhanced yours!

But about the poop? Ewww.

cruisin-mom said...

S.T.: I've seen a flying pig...really, I mean it...better set your alarm.

Wanderer: you don't find sweet Bella's poop to be zen-like?

Wendy: Isn't is funny how some people are definite "dog" or "cat" people? Hey, your secret is safe with me...the cats will never know about your secret relationships from me.