Recommended wine for today’s entry: Cuatro Pasos red. This is another of the Courier-Journal’s recommendations for summer wines. It’s from the Bierzo region of Spain and features paw prints on the label! Perfect!
My brother and sister-in-law just got a new puppy. She’s a very cute, mostly black, border collie mix. They are searching for the perfect name, so if anyone has a girl’s baseball-related name, please send them in via comments.
The first day with a new pet is usually very special. Unless it’s Beanie, our may-she-rest-in-peace beagle-chihuahua mix that we got in Dallas in 1985.
One day at work, my friend Sheryl came in after lunch and reported that she had saved a small dog from the middle of the 8-lane LBJ Freeway. After the dog ate the crotch out of all the garments in her laundry basket, she gave the pooch to another guy at work, who turned it in to the SPCA before the weekend was over.
Frantic, I called my husband (who worked downtown) and told him that we have to save this dog. He had just enough time to get to the SPCA … but after banging on the door, he was told that dogs that are turned in have to stay a week.
Here’s the first day with Beanie:
Noon: One week from the drop-off day, I took my company car and went to the SPCA to get a dog I had neither seen nor was able to describe – at any rate, after much discombobulated conversation, I loaded the ugliest dog in the building into the backseat of the Cutlass, where she spent the ride weaving her wiry white hairs through all the fibers of the navy cloth seats.
Once home, I got some water and set her in the backyard, securely surrounded by a five-foot high privacy fence. We wanted to be there while she got to know her brother, Buddy, the best dog ever, who was in the house at the time. Then I hustled to an appointment.
Three o’clock: My husband called to report that he was going home to meet the new family member. Heartwarming huh? I was anxious to hear what he thought.
Three thirty: My husband called to report that there was no dog in the backyard. The cute little thing escaped through a trench (that could serve as a bunker for large men) under the fence and through much of root system feeding the neighbor’s rose bush.
Four o’clock: My husband called to say that, while looking through the neighborhood for a dog he’s never seen, and who has no name for him to call, he found an old woman in a housecoat and slippers sticking a piece of paper on a telephone pole: DOG FOUND. That’s us, he said. What’s her name? the lady said. What’s your name? hubbie asked. Ellie, she said. Then Ellie it is.
But when we found that she could leap high into the air from a standstill, we changed that to Beanie. Like a jumping bean. I don’t think Ellie ever knew.
Four thirty: I got home and we carefully introduced Buddy to Beanie and they played, a little rough at times, but they had fun. At one point, I rolled little Beanie over and I said, Oh, look, he must have scratched her. She’s bleeding just a little.
I might add here that not only had I had a million female dogs before, I read, very attentively, Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret – the bible for puberty-bound preteen girls. I should have recognized it. But I didn’t.
Until Four forty-five: Buddy and Beanie were stuck together on the driveway. Now you can hear these dog-sex stories all you want, but until you see it, you don’t know how you’ll react.
Uh, Dr. Van? Hi, it’s Ashley. Buddy’s mom. Well, we got another dog today, her name is Ellie. Or Beanie. She jumps a lot. Well, it seems that Buddy and Beanie – Ellie – are stuck together. Jeff is squirting them with a hose. I know that’s not what we’re supposed to do, but oh, never mind, I see that they’re apart. Thanks. Ooh, wait, Buddy is dragging … Then I hung up. Dr. Van never said one word.
One a.m.: Me to hubbie: Hey, wake up. I think the dog peed on me. Hubbie: Don’t be an idiot. She did not. You’re just sweaty. Go to sleep. Me (the idiot): OK.
Three a.m.: Me to hubbie: Hey, you butthead, wake up. Look. The dog IS peeing on me. The little 12-pound dog straddled me and peed on my torso. Twice. And I don’t even think I reprimanded her, because I was so glad to be right. So we closed her in the den.
Seven a.m.: Me to hubbie, half asleep: Careful when you sit. The dog ate the sofa. Yep, not only two cushions’ worth the foam, she had nearly eaten through the wooden frame. Hubbie: Where am I gonna sit to watch 21 Jump Street tonight?
That’s how we spent the first 19 hours with our new dog. And she wasn’t even cute. Our friend Greg maintains that she was actually a rat (her paws were quite rodent-like, I will admit.) But she was ours and she lived with us for 12 years. I’m sure some of her other antics will appear in this space at a later date. But nothing ever compared to that first day.
I’m not saying that my brother’s experience will be like that…