Three and a half years ago on my birthday, Ed and I went for a jog with the little boys(really little now that I think about it), and about a half mile into the jog we were faced with a tiny, yellow furball chasing us as we headed towards a busy street. At the time, I did not want another dog. I was very verbal in my opposition to keeping this flea ridden mutt who I knew would grow into a large-sized mongrel dog. We already had two dogs and a plethora of cats. Taking care of those animals was really more than we could comfortably care for.
By that evening, the furball had a name and a new home. Ours. Ed has a soft spot for homeless animals. Ed also has this look that he gives me which basically makes me melt and give him whatever he wants. Please don’t tell him that the eyes work on me, okay?
The yellow furball grew and grew into the sweet dog pictured above. He also became my dog. He follows me around like I hung the moon. To him, I am THE KEEPER OF THE FOOD SCOOP. This is a very important spot to hold in a dog’s heart.
Our other two dogs were older. Fitzy, our black lab mutt, died a little over a year ago. Our English Bulldog, Annabelle, died a month ago from cancer. In that time, Pippen grew to love the companionship the other dogs provided. Pippen has been despondent since Annabelle died and he has been the lone dog. Cats just don’t seem to provide the same level of comfort and companionship to him.
Ed wanted to get another dog immediately. I refused. I demanded an appropriate time of mourning be observed. We talked about the next dog we would get at length. We were going to get another Golden Retriever mutt. Pippen has thus far been perfect with the boys. He lets the boys ride on his back, pull his tail, and has endless tolerance for them. And for me, Pippen is the perfect size. I like dogs I can pet on the head from a standing position. I’m stumpy. It’s okay. I’ve grown used to my stature. Pippen also refuses to lick anyone’s face, which makes him surpass perfection.
At our local pet store, people will show up with a pen full of free puppies as they come of age. I thought this would be perfect for us. Free is the perfect price. Mutts have the best temperament. I was willing to wait until my version of the perfect mutt was available. Ed was not so patient. He looked on the website of the county pound. They only had a couple of female dogs and none were puppies. We stalked the pet store religiously. Ed was not appeased. Ed finally checked the website for the county to the south of us. It turns out, that ritzy county doesn’ t have a pound. They have the Humane Society which places puppies into a foster home system. Ed looked at the picture of every dog on their website. There were two that met the female and puppy criteria, though neither was a golden retriever. They were sisters. Black labrador-Boxer mixes. At least they’d grow up to be the right size. So Ed emailed the Humane Society to inquire about each of these dogs.
After several dozen emails, we went to meet the puppy to see if we’d be a good match with her. We passed muster and signed 35 documents and met with a notary. Then we got to take our new puppy home.
Bringing home our (Ed’s) new puppy coincided with the boys’ sixth birthday, so we called her the boys’ birthday present. Isn’t it awesome that “we” would get the boys a puppy for their birthday?
So far, she’s impossibly fast and refuses to stay still for any pictures. Unless some crazy woman with a camera using a flash sticks said camera in her little sleeping face until the flash finally wakes her up. I foresee a lot of this in her future.