Insurance and Real Estate
Eight years old. Only child at home. In a home where the parent’s bedroom is on one side of the house, & the other bedrooms are on the other side of the house – way on the other side of the house. 8 years old. Not a lot of friends. All alone on the other side of the house. Sure, we have 2 cats. But cats are not always good company. They are cats.
The 8 year old wants a dog. We are the parents. We discuss a dog. You have to let a dog in & out. A dog wags its tail. You have to walk a dog. The dog walks give you needed exercise. You have to feed & water a dog. The dog wants to give you a kiss when you walk in the door. You have to bathe a dog. The dog gives you love & knows when you have had a long hard day. You can see it in their eyes. A dog is expensive to care for. A dog loves to fetch when you throw a toy, & tug of war with it. A dog can’t always wait for you to finish what you are doing so far from its home. The dog puts its head in your lap. You must rush home to the dog. You rush home because you love the dog.
OK we say. OK, you can have a dog. If the 11 year old had a tail, she would be wagging it! OK, BUT…the dog must fit certain criteria. The tail stops wagging.
OK, so here it is: No puppies, I have no time to train a dog, to stop it from teething, to teach it toilet habits (no puppies means NO PUPPIES!). The dog must be small, but not too small – 20 to 30 pounds (closer to 20 is better, because it will grow) (no, a boxer is too big). It must have short hair – not so much to groom or shed (a sheltie is pretty, but you have to comb its mane & back to get out knots & dirt). It must not be a breed that barks too much (love a beagle, hate the baying). Hopefully it will be a dog that likes to sleep during the day when we are gone to school & work, so it doesn’t get in too much mischief (like a Jack Russell terrier). Has to be a female (male dogs have many problems – sort of like men, but that’s another story). She must like cats (we have 2). And it can’t be too expensive (a char pei is cute, but pretty pricey). This is not going to be easy.
The pound may have just the dog. So we started by calling the pound for its operating hours. Then we visited & filled out prospective parent cards. We looked at big dogs, & small dogs, & mean dogs, & sweet dogs. They all wanted to come home with us, but they weren’t the right dog. Too big, too little, too much hair, this one might bite, too lively, too young, too old. None just right.
We visited, & visited, & visited, & visited, & visited. We went to the County pound & the Humane Society. We went to private homes. To the dog show. Even to a cat shelter. We live by a pet store. They sometimes bring dogs for adoption. We visited the pet store. They had no dogs that were just right. No dog was just right.
The pet store suggested the Suncoast Humane Society. All the way in Englewood. We had lived here 5 years, but had never traveled 25 miles down the road to Englewood.
It was way over there. And we were here.
But, they thought there was a dog there – our dog. Short hair, female, about 25 pounds.
We call. Sure enough. They might have our dog. Does it like cats? We don’t know, they say. Wait a minute, we will put her in with cats & see how she does. We wait a minute. Back she comes on the phone. The dog doesn’t seem to care about cats at all. We are coming, we say. Do not give our dog away. We are on our way. Please hold her for us. Here we come.
We jump in our car. All 3 of us. To go get our dog. We travel down the 25 miles. At last, after 6 months of looking, will we find our dog? My wife says yes. I can’t argue with my wife. I never win. So I know we will find our dog.
We hunt & finally find Englewood. Then we hunt & finally find the Suncoast Humane Society. We park. Pretty nice outside. We go in. Pretty nice inside, too. We are here for our dog. Our dog. Fill out the paperwork. Then, at long last, go inside the hallowed halls to find our dog.
Too big - Not our dog. Too small - Not our dog. Jumping up & down - Not our dog. Smallish dog, female, short hair, seemingly very friendly, looks smart, doesn’t bark at us.
This is the one we told you about, they say. This is your dog they say. We have been looking for a long time, we say. We have looked at a lot of dogs, we say. We must have time with her to know (although we already know). We go in the little fitting room, & get fitted with the best dog - just the right size, female, smart, short hair, not overly lively, doesn’t care about cats, doesn’t seem to bark. Our dog. Our dog. Our dog. The dog seems to know it, too!
On the way home, we cuddle & talk to Midge (her adoption agency name from Suncoast) & discuss names. We must have had a hundred names we bandied about. But Midge was Midge then, & we knew that Midge was Midge now & forever. Our Midge. Our dog at last!
Not a puppy. Already trained for both the bathroom & behavior. Small, but not too small – 25 pounds. Short hair. Likes to sleep during the day. Barks only when there is a reason. As I said…Our dog.
She takes us on walks. She protects us & the house. She is company. She wags her tail with delight & especially upon recognition. She makes us laugh. She is the light of our life. She is our dog, Midge. And we are her people!