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