Five months ago, our 12 -year-old lab passed away. We were devastated. It wasn’t unexpected:he had been slowing down for the last couple of years. Still, it was sad and the house felt empty without him.
We are a dog family even though we have always had a cat or two. Cats are cats, and if you suit them, they are wonderful pets—if it suits them. Our current feline loves Sadie, tolerates my husband, and only seeks me out when her bowl is empty. She hisses through the screen at the neighborhood cat, watches birds at the bird feeder and finds mice to catch that I never knew we had.
Starting right after April vacation, we have ,been on the hunt for a new canine member of the family— not as easy as it used to be. When I was in college, you just dropped into the pound and picked out a pup. Now, unless you are going through a breeder, you are “rescuing”. There are a lot of dogs out there but not always a lot of puppies. We had very few parameters: we wanted a dog with short hair and a light color so we could see the ticks. The first puppy we applied came with a very long, very detailed application and then never materialized. The second older pup (almost a year old) was not really available, but they had others—older life- weary veterans not suitable for a family with four young grandchildren. Some of the puppies we saw weren’t actually in Vermont but down south in foster care. Some of the puppies were still on an island in the middle of the Caribbean. It had all seemed so simple when we started out.
On Tuesday, our luck changed. We located one shelter where they got shipments of puppies from Georgia twice a week. Once your application was approved you could choose and adopt a puppy in one day. Their website had pictures and boy did those puppies go fast. On Friday morning a litter came in that looked perfect for us and by Friday night Parker was home.
The house feels better already. Yes, she’s a lot of work. Yes, she is very naughty. But that face and that wagging tail more than make it worthwhile. If I could, I would have ten! So far, Parker has found every lost toy in the house, dug numerous holes in the garden, carried shoes from place to place, and “buried” her bone under the towel in her crate. So far, she and the cat are wary of each other but last night Amber was out and curious, being so bold as to come right up and growl—yes, some cats actually growl. I have no doubt who will be the boss and no doubt that Parker is already a member of the family.