It's not unusual to come into my kitchen and see a cute blonde boy and a big white hairy dog curled up on the carpet. Usually the boy is feeding the dog his peanut butter sandwich or individual pieces of kibble. The dog is usually slapping his tail on floor with a happy thump, thump. I love their relationship. From the day Little T came into our home almost three years ago they have loved each other. When all the people around him were still strangers that big gentle dog was a safe place to head for a hug. Little T doesn't care if she smells, or leaves hairs all over his clothes. Their love is unconditional and their relationship has warmed my heart.
And that is why I was so concerned when our dog went missing.
During the warmer weather she sleeps outside and has an invisible fence collar to ensure she doesn't wander out of the backyard. The collar is largely uneccessary as she is generally found sunning in my garden beds or lounging in the sandbox under the deck - or playing with the kids. When I went out on Sunday morning I didn't see her anywhere. We were on our way to take the girls to camp and rushing around so I sent Coco out to fill up her food bowl and water and soon we were off to camp.
That night I completely forgot about checking on her and Monday morning I went out to give her food and the bowl was still full. Then I began to worry. We hunted through the neighbourhood, called the vets and dog catcher but no one had seen her. She had seemingly gone missing.
I don't think it fully hit me as I expected to look out the window and see our white furry friend come bounding up to the front door to see his best friend. But she did never show up. And my mind went quickly to Little T and what we were going to tell him. I called him over and gave him the news. He looked up and matter-of-factly stated we needed to get a new dog. As if it would never occur to a four year old that a house would not have a dog in it.
When my husband and I spoke about it that night he agreed that we needed to look for a new dog for Little T. But we both agreed that we would never find a dog more gentle and perfect anywhere.
I got on the internet the next day and began researching breeds and sizes and availability. We agreed on one breed that we wanted to look at and found a place nearby to go visit. That night we headed out with little T and his brother Coco to see the dogs.
And, that night we came home with a little 10 week old Schnauzer/Wheaton terrier cross. Her name is Lucy and she is a little perky doll. She is remarkably quiet and cuddly for a puppy and Little T is beside himself with happiness. He has been carrying that dog around everywhere creating another special puppy/boy relationship.
I wasn't really sure I wanted to take on another pet. When our golden came into our house whe was already 2 years old, well mannered and extremely hairy. I cleaned up fur constantly wondering what I had gotten myself into. There were many days I wished we lived in a pet-free house. And when she went missing I thought back to those days wondering if we could be free of that. And then I looked at Little T and remind myself of the love they share. I counted the cost of the training, the pooping and peeing, the grooming, the vet bills, the whole package. It was going to cost me convenience and stretch me to clean up messes but it was going to give our children, especially Little T a relationship that is worth the cost. When we got to the breeders the puppies all looked exactly the same. How were we going to chose. And then we picked up little Lucy and I handed her to my husband. She promptly laid her head down on his hand and made herself at home...and we just had to bring her home.
We will miss our big puppy - maybe someone will find her and bring her home and we will have double the mess and double the joy. But if not we will enjoy little Lucy and this new puppy chapter and remember fondly our big white mutt.