As you all know, I have been wanting a dog for a little over a year now. Call it what you will, but I have a full blown case of the puppies. I am constantly adding myself to shelter rescue email alerts, browsing the websites of breeders and reading every dog and puppy book I can get my hands on. It really is just that bad. Say what you will, but in addition to the sinus infection and bronchitis I was diagnosed with yesterday, I also have one of the most serious cases of puppy fever.
The night before my birthday, Jenner and I were watching a movie and he suddenly grabbed hold of my hand and very seriously said, "Baby." Convinced something was wrong, I became worried. Then he turned his blackberry to me and showed me this photo on a friend's Facebook page with the caption "looking for a good home."
Instantly, my heart melted. I looked at Jenner confused because for months now he has been the holdout in expanding our little family to include a puppy. The next two sentences he uttered had to be one of my favorite things he has ever said, "I think it's a sign. I think that's our puppy." I couldn't believe it. Although she wasn't exactly the dog I had in mind, she was perfect and from the second I saw her, I loved her. A friend of Jenner's (and now a friend of mine) had found her lost, dirty and scared. She estimated that the puppy had been lost somewhere between three days and a week. They posted signs, but heard nothing. On March 17th, the day after my birthday, she came to live with us.
We named her Lucy and from the moment she came into our home, we became a family in a way we hadn't been before. Jenner (who has an innate way with animals) immediately became her best friend and they snuggled and wrestled the first hour we had her. Next, we went on a little trip to PetSmart and bought the necessities needed for our little pup and then took her to meet her uncle, Russy. That night, I set about crate training (see Dog Whisperer? I was paying attention) and was so proud of our new little girl. In the night, I would crawl over to her crate just to make sure the baby was still breathing and in the morning, she just looked at me happily through the crate door excited to get out and pee all over me. (We were still working on the potty training and having only one working foot made that a little more challenging than I had anticipated.)
Later that afternoon, we sat outside and, between frantic calls to my best friend and Lucy's auntie Carina begging for dog advice on almost every topic you can imagine, enjoyed what has to be one of my favorite afternoons. Just sitting there on that gorgeous, warm day watching my new little pup discover the world, try to play with insects, happily hop through the sprinkler, run up and sit on my lap, stare at the pigeons and bark uncontrollably at the crazy lady who feeds said pigeons (good instincts, Lucy) made me realize that those precious moments right there are why people have dogs. To sit in the sunshine and discover the small things around you is a beautiful thing and I wouldn't trade that afternoon for anything.
A couple of hours later, we got the dreaded call. Lucy's owner had seen one of the signs and called. Jenner and I were both heartbroken, but knew we had to give her back (although I did suggest taking our new baby and fleeing to Mexico). There were many, many tears on my part that night (and even a few from Jenner) and I was surprised that I could grow to love someone that much in just one day.
Now that some time has passed, I look back at our day with Lucy as one of the happiest days I can remember. I am so grateful that she came into our lives not only to show us that we are ready for a dog, but because it gave us so much joy and turned our little green shag carpeted condo into a home. We miss you, Lucy (we found out her name was, gasp, Teasha), but are so happy to have known you and, even in losing you, we were comforted (although not surprised) that you were loved by so many. You were a good, good girl and our next dog will have some big (okay, tiny) furry shoes to fill. Thank you for teaching me how lovely the world is with a dog by my side.