I come from a long line of animal rescuers. From freeing toads in our storm drains to trying to nurse a dying mouse back to life in a shoebox, my mom, sister and I have devoted many hours to saving the lives of wounded or lost animals that showed up in our yard. I have vivid memories of sitting out on our deck with my sister, watching in awe as my mother fed worms to an abandoned baby bird with a pair of tweezers. I guess that being an animal lover is in my genes.
And being a dog lover is in my blood. I love all animals, but I’ve always had the strongest affinity to canines. I’ve volunteered at our local animal shelter walking dogs on Saturday mornings and I make visits to the pet store in the mall almost weekly. I stop and pet almost every pooch I see on the trail, and Clayton calls me regularly to tell me what dogs he spotted out walking on his way to work.
On Friday afternoon, right as I was about to clock out for the day, a mass email popped up in my inbox from a fellow co-worker. My co-worker’s girlfriend found a puppy on the side of the road in a city about 30 miles south of here and took her to a nearby animal shelter to see if someone would claim her. After waiting only a few weeks, the animal shelter decided no one wanted her and scheduled for the puppy to be put down on Monday, today. My co-worker’s email was a plea for someone to adopt this puppy before it was too late. Reading his email and seeing the attached pictures of this darling dog broke my heart. I felt angry at the unfairness of it all.
I immediately called Clayton. “I know we don’t want another dog right now, and I know that we don’t even have room for another one,” I said breathlessly. “But can we please help this dog? We can just keep her until we find a home for her."
Clayton didn’t even hesitate. “Yes, of course,” he said.
So I made a few phone calls and it was arranged that my co-worker (the hero in all of this) would pick up the puppy over the weekend and drop her off to us on Sunday. We can only keep her in our tiny apartment for a few days, but we are going to use those few days to help search for a loving, safe home for this delightful little dog and give her the life she deserves. If we aren't successful, we'll trade her back to my co-worker and he'll see what he can do.
This is Geeta. She’s a six month-old black lab mix who likes to steal bras off the bathroom floor and stick her head in the shower to watch your bathe. She also likes to dunk her entire snout in her water dish. We’re guessing she’s around 50 pounds and, judging by her enormous paws, she’ll probably get even bigger.
For being a young pup she is remarkably well behaved and hasn’t had a single accident in our apartment. She walks well on her lead and doesn’t whine when put in her cage. Geeta even sleeps through the night! She’s a major cuddle bug, too. She spend the better part of Sunday evening lying across Clayton’s lap (and she follows him everywhere. But I don’t blame her; he’s pretty cute.)
I’ve placed ads in the local paper as well as on Craigslist and Facebook. My co-worker and I already have two appointments lined up for families who are interested in this sweet girl in addition to numerous emails and text messages. But it comes as little surprise ... I mean, you saw how cute she is! This morning, after I ate my bowl of cereal and watched a re-run of Will and Grace, I snuggled with Geeta for a few moments before leaving for work, thanking God that she was safe. I looked into her big, beautiful brown eyes and couldn’t believe that today was supposed to be her last day in this world. I am so thankful my co-worker rescued her. I'm so thankful I could help in a small way. Lastly, I am so thankful that I have a husband who understands how deep my love runs for these animals. I’m confident we will be able to find someone who will cherish her.
Joey, on the other hand, is not happy about our new houseguest. He won’t have anything to do with her, and I feel bad because he’s so obviously jealous. He has no idea what’s going on and doesn’t know that she’s a temporary visitor who won’t be in his territory for long. When we first brought Geeta home, Joey sat in my lap and stared at me for several minutes like, “Seriously?” And now he’s resorted to giving me the cold shoulder. I went to give him kisses last night and he rolled over and turned his back to me.
And what’s even worse is that Joey is scheduled to get his teeth cleaned tomorrow. So on top of feeling like he’s being replaced, he’s taking an unpleasant trip to the vet.
I wish he had the capacity to understand that Geeta doesn’t have a mommy and a daddy right now and how fortunate he is that he’s never been abandoned or had to sleep in a cold kennel.
He just really wants some attention. So much so, that when we took Geeta over to my in-law’s to roam in their giant fenced-in back yard, Joey went into their garden and dug up a dead rabbit he’d been hiding there for safekeeping. He brought it up to the porch where we were sitting, and laid at our feet with a hairy, motionless leg dangling from his mouth.
“Look at what I brought you!” his eyes seemed to say.
Lots of shrieking and panic ensued.
I fled the porch.
I think Joey was mad we didn’t want his present.