Wednesday, August 17, 2011

pet orphanages

Growing up, none of our dogs started off as "ours"; they were strays that came onto the place. Even though they started out as strays, they became part of the family. Tuesday evening, while the hubby was watering the lawn, a dog ran onto our place. He was a full grown husky mix with a bit of yellow mixed (I don't know dogs, all I know is what labs, beagles, Lassies look like; and yes I know that Lassies are not the name of the dog). I was scared at first, because he wasn't "Shadow" (our dog back home). After some time outside with him, we knew that he was used to humans and was fed. Our initial thought was that he was dropped off by someone, which happens a lot out here. As much fun and safe as I would feel with a dog outside, my mind went to the dreaded question that Aaron hates.... "How much is this going to cost?". I ignored that stress inducing, debbie downer emotion thought and remembered all the warm and fuzzy memories of our own dogs (Bubbles, Tacky, and Shadow). All the times coming home from church, errands, school, etc and Shadow running up as we pulled in our circle drive, excited as ever to see us. I want our kids to have that attachment with a family dog. Cats are great and I love our cats. Coming home, I always ask "Where are my kitties" (yes, as that crazy cat woman). But, there is a special bond that I have with dogs, again, based on my own upbringing.

Oh, the times of puppies in the cement garage. I still can see Alayna, who is now 19 years old, in a old tattered green heavy coat looking at the puppies for the first time (I can't remember which dog and which liter it was). The pure look of bewilderment on her face as the little pooches cuddled together for warmth (we didn't get out much, you have to understand....) It was a beautiful time for our family. It was a bonding time. And I want our kids to have that same lessons in life. Losing a family pet was a feeling that we were used to; in the country, cats would "disappear" due to coyotes, etc. Again, another life lesson that country kids grasped on and lived through.

We decided that if the dog was still on our front porch by the morning, I would call a couple of our surronding neighboors to see if they knew whose dog it was. The next morning, pup was still on the porch, as if to be guarding our house. I was excited and yet still disappointed. I didn't want him to be someone else's dog and that same morning, they would be looking their dog and worried. There was no need to call any neighboors......

A fellow neighboor pulled up to our place in his beautiful silver pickup, as the dog ran up to his pickup, my heart sank. He lives about 2 miles south of us and farms around our place. Chances are, the dog knew this place (we are living in his parents old home) and found his way here. As the pickup pulled off and he waved to me, I began to bawl. I sat on the front steps and bawled. And I am not sure why. I am sure it has something to do with the feeling of attachment that I had with the memory of having dogs. It is humorous how those memories of childhood, that we don't think are really important, are. Growing up, I thought I'd be emotionally scarred from having to ride the "horrible" bus daily or wearing clothes that my mother made (Kdg and 1st grade). It's the little passing moments that live with us. The ones that affect our life goals and values are the ones that we don't always "scrapbook" about; they are the ones that you can't see.

But, I can't wait to see a puppy running up to me when I pull in my driveway......