Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Two years ago

It's been two years now since Mandy, the very young mongrel dog I had raised from a puppy, was hit by a car and killed.

She had spent nights with me in my cabin; we had bonded. She had just gotten over her puppy ways and stopped chewing on shoes and woodwork. She was finally coming to me when I called her. When Cliff and I went on walks, or were working outside, Mandy stayed nearby, glad for our company.

Then, just like that, she was gone.

I don't know when I've cried that much.

Cliff wanted to stop the crying, and insisted we go to a shelter and find another dog. I told him that's the wrong thing to do, that you are never supposed to choose a new pet while you're grieving for the old one. He was insistent, and I couldn't help thinking about how cute a puppy can be. I remembered how much fun Mandy was, as a puppy. So I agreed to go dog-shopping.

We went to Wayside Waifs on a Saturday, and there was quite a crowd there waiting to adopt pets. I told the lady at the front desk I wanted to see puppies; she said, "Oh, I've been fostering some half-Chows that will be ready next weekend; you need to see them!"

When our turn came to look at available dogs, a lady directed us to a large room with caged dogs. We walked up and down the aisles looking for puppies. Before we'd found any babies, though, we passed a cage containing a medium-sized dog who, when we paused beside her, rubbed against the confining bars as though trying to get closer to us.

Continuing through the rest of the area, we did find some puppies... very cute ones. Cliff asked what I thought, and I said, "I want to go back and look at that one dog, the one that acted like she wanted to get out of her cage."

We went back. Then we checked out puppies again. Then returned to that one dog I couldn't get out of my mind; that's when I asked someone if we could get a little closer look at the dog.

A lady opened the cage, snapped a leash onto the little female, and led her to a little room, with us following. The door was shut and the dog was released. All she wanted to do was rub against our legs and whine; she seemed so happy to have somebody petting her.

The lady got tears in her eyes.

This was on that dog's cage that day:

She's no more Manchester than I am; I'd be willing to bet that she has at least four breeds in her background, but I wouldn't venture a guess on what those breeds are. I changed her name to Sadie. I've never turned her loose to run the neighborhood as I did Mandy, because I can't stand another untimely death.

I do, however, turn her loose in the pasture when Cliff and I walk. She happily carries a stick around, insisting we take it from her and throw it sometimes.

According to the experts, I went looking for another dog too soon.

But I think Sadie was meant to live here, all along.

Even Cliff loves her (but don't tell him I said so).


thewishfulwriter said...

you had tears in my eyes at the first sentence of this post.

and at the last.

i like animals more than i like most people. they heal all wounds and are the greatest comfort.

i'm sorry you lost a pet you loved so much. and i'm thrilled you gained one you were destined to have.


Glo said...

I loved this story. I also loved seeing you cabin.
As you know I grew up in Henrietta. Well that small town got all unwanted dogs and cats,mostly dogs dumped at the north end of town....yes I ended up with most of them. I remember one I named Sally and she blessed us with 9 puppies. Now we know why they dumped her. The best dogs I ever had were someone elses throw a ways.
Tell 2E Happy Birthday from Gloria. I was trying to remember when I saw her last. I think it was at a funeral. I believe it was just last year. This year has been a bit crazy with Mike just home from Iraq,my surgery,etc.
Have a great week.

Spyder said...

Another great post. Beautiful, & sweet looking dog.

Diane J. said...

I love ALL animals, and dogs are good people. ;o)

You can tell Sadie is a smart, loving dog, the best kind. I have 2 cats; my old lady cat, Candy, going on 15, and Dolly, 2 years old.

I'd love to have a small house dog but my landlord won't allow it.

Love the afghan in the picture. Did you make it? I really like the pattern, and your hubby and Sadie seem to like it pretty well, too. ;o)

Love and hugs,


jefftexas said...

I'm glad you ended up getting Sadie-she looks right at home! I got my dog Taylor 9 years ago at the shelter here in town

When I first saw him, he stayed in the back of the cage and was shivering but when I leaned down he ran up to the front of the cage, sat down and put his paw up! Then when I went to walk away to tell the front desk I wanted him, he yelped.

The funny part is that from that day on, he has never made another sound-no barking or yelping. The vet said he has the capability, but just doesn't.

Muhd Imran said...

Beautiful post. Tragic to loose a pet like that, but Sadie is here and looks right at home for you both.