I had another blog called Me and My Shadows. It was all about my pups. I’ve moved it here to All Things Home. I haven’t published any of the posts yet, but once in a while I want to share stories about my furry friends. I’ve only been a dog lover for 8 years ! Puppy love is still new to me. The following is the tale of how this non-dog-lover’s heart was captured by an angel disguised as a little puff of white smoochable love…
Life was not good. My little brother David lost a long battle with cancer. I was grieving. My only son, Timothy moved out of the house to live on his own and I missed him terribly. Our small business failed after only four years and my husband Mike was, for the first time in his life, depressed. Our oldest daughter Bethany was leaving for college in a few months and I couldn’t let go of an overwhelming dread about that. There was a constant pressure on my chest that made it difficult to breathe. It had been so long since laughter filled our house and I missed laughing.
One Sunday I was flipping through the newspaper and I saw this picture of an adorable dog. Fluffy and white, his head cocked sideways and two big black eyes staring back at me. I was not a dog person. I’d never really loved a dog. But looking at the picture I felt warmth spread all through me. Warmth and something a little bit like joy. “I want a dog” I told Mike. “One just like this.”
Mike brightened. “Let’s find you one then. Today”. (I have to be careful what I say to The Husband because it’s no sooner out of my mouth than it’s done!) Mike was a long time dog lover. I think he was just waiting until I left the “dark side” and realized what I was missing.
I had no idea what kind of dog I’d seen. Checking the internet for white dogs I came across what looked like the dog in the paper. It was a Maltese puppy. I found a brand new litter in the Atlanta area and the next day, I drove an hour in the pouring rain to look at the pups. I was only going to look, probably wouldn’t bring one home. (You know better don’t ya? )
There was one pup outside of the pack. He was small and crouched alone in the corner. He was even shaking a little. While his litter-mates were rolling around playing with each other, this pup looked like I felt. Unsure about life. Terrified in his surroundings. I know now that you aren’t supposed to pick the insecure terrified runt of the litter. But I didn’t know that then. I approached him slowly, knelt down and scooped him up. He looked at me like he wasn’t sure he could trust me. Cradling him under my chin he nuzzled closer. My heart filled with love and an overwhelming determination to give this little guy a happy life.
On the ride home he whimpered and cried. He sounded so afraid. So desperately sad. I understood those cries, I was sad and afraid too. In a matter of seconds I was crying. Sobbing actually. I put my hand over his trembling little body. He cried. I cried. The rain continued to pour. “Don’t worry”, I whispered to him, “I’ll take care of you.” (That was the first time I talked outloud to a pup. It didn’t seem at all weird then and still doesn’t now as I do this all day every day!)
I fell madly in love with that little pup. He somehow brought hope back to our family. At night Mike and I would sit around like a couple of children and play with him. We laughed at his antics. He slept with us. I wouldn’t let my children sleep with us when they were babies, but I couldn’t bring myself to crate this little dog. When worry would wake me in the middle of the night, I cuddled with that tiny pup and somehow felt better. On mornings I didn’t want to get out of bed he’d kiss me awake and make me smile in spite of myself.
I named him Boo Radley because like the character in To Kill A Mockingbird, he was my unlikely hero.
So there’s the story Morning Glory, of how an angel disguised as a fluffy white puppy brought hope and laughter back to our house. You can see, I suppose, why I’m lover of all things puppy. Do you have an animal that brings you joy?