Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pippa. And not the royal one.

It's situations like this that give me a good chuckle at my agnostic husband.
Also, they make me a little smug, and I kinda enjoy being smug, as I don't actually GET to be smug with good reason very often.
This week was a hard one. After losing our girl, we were all a little out of sorts. Big K especially had a hard time of it, and the kids could definitely tell. As groundbreaking as the words were, it still broke my heart to hear little C tell his daddy, "Don't cry. It's gonna be okay."
Never having had much use for any of the dogs, he himself was fine--but he was determined to comfort his daddy in any way he knew how.
We discussed the possibility of (eventually) getting another dog. We're big fans of rescue animals, so to us it's not about getting another pet as much as it's about saving a life, and enriching ours in the process. We agreed to take things slow, just start looking around and getting the lay of the land.
Big K found a dog on a rescue site that was going to be at a local pet store for adoption last weekend. He liked the look of him, his description seemed to mesh with our base criteria, so we agreed to go look. Just look, we decided. If it felt like it would be too soon, we'd let the kids play with the dogs a little, maybe get our name on a mailing list, and leave.
What followed was an almost magical situation, the kind in which I feel God knew exactly what we needed, and proceeded to drop it into our laps with a tidy little bow.
We showed up to see "Jasper," but couldn't find him amongst all of the other various canine candidates. A little disappointed, we were about to leave when we decided to ask the very busy looking lady at the table, just to make sure he wasn't there somewhere.
Turns out, ol' Jasper's foster mom was taking a smoke break outside with him, so out we went to check him out. We were disappointed again, initially. Jasper was on edge, marking his territory and barking agitatedly at passing dogs. We'd had in mind a more docile, friendly female, and we could tell he wasn't QUITE what we had in mind. Again, we turned to go.
Just then, we heard one volunteer talking to another about some horrible person who'd just DUMPED this poor little dog off with them, minutes before. The dog had been found wandering around a neighborhood, begging for scraps and bone thin. Attempts had been made to find any possible owners, but by all accounts she had been wandering, abandoned, for weeks.
When the workers explained to the woman that they were a non-profit organization completely dependent on volunteers and foster homes, and didn't have anywhere for this dog to GO just now, she snapped irritably, "Fine. Tell me where the nearest pound is."
Knowing that the pound would mean a death sentence for this dog, the wonderful volunteers took her, no questions asked.
Listening to their story, I had it in the back of my mind that surely the dog wasn't what we were looking for. She would be old--and we couldn't go through losing a dog again any time soon. Or she would be big--too much for our small-ish house and small-er kids. Worse--she would be short-tempered, and not at all suitable for a family with rambunctious children still learning the difference between roughness and play.
But we asked anyway.
She was small, we learned. A chihuahua-daschund mix, only ten months old or so--and initial reports were that she was very, very sweet. She was getting her shots just then, but would we like to stay and check her out? Even if it was just for the weekend, until they could find someone to foster her with?
Of course, we had to. How could we not?
She landed in my husband's arms, shaking like a leaf but pitifully eager for attention, and he looked at me and simply said, "Okay."
She's been with us for three days now, and Pippa (or "Hot Mess" as I've come to think of her) has made herself at home. Initially skittish, she is now bossing around our Italian greyhound, hoarding children's shoes the size of her head, and eating like a truck driver. In between, she has lavished affection on every one of us (even little C, who is decidedly NOT IMPRESSED with the little whirling dervish intent on stealing his shoes and determined to snuggle with him against his will).
There are few feelings more satisfying than rescuing an animal--watching them go from terrified and suspicious, to adoring and spoiled rotten.
And all for just the price of a little love.
Thanks for bringing that back to us, Pip.

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