Heart Tug/Heart Break

IMG_6642Meet Abby. We dated twice before she moved in yesterday, adopted from Center Valley Animal Rescue down the road.  She seems to be the perfect dog…..smart, sweet, spunky, intelligent, quick to learn, and all about love. She loves the outdoors, the sights, smells, to be petted and to sit calmly in a lap or at my feet.  Abby, has not had a perfect dog life. No one knows for sure her complete history, what is known is she is nine  years of age and was one of 16 dogs removed from the house of an elderly woman who had 30 miniature poodles and was breeding them.  In short, a puppy mill and a dog hoarder.  Her daughter was able to take 16 dogs from the woman’s home and place them with two rescue organizations.  CVAR received five dogs.  For some irrational reason of hope, I went to visit them.  I found them all to be friendly, happy for the visit, and full of playfulness.  Considering they came to CVAR with various health problems, none of them spayed or neutered, most with dental problems, some with more serious challenges, it is remarkable what happy dogs they are. Of course Sara at CVAR has made sure all their health challenges have been addressed.

We have not had a dog for 7 years. Our last dog, Tippy, also a small rescue dog, died when I was quite ill in 2006, the night before I went into the hospital for surgery. Three days later I came home to an dog-empty house for the first time in nearly 30 years.  A few years earlier I had developed a severe allergy to some dogs, especially a few Bichons I knew.  We decided not to have any more dog buddies, though we did waver and checked out a few dogs the first few dogless years.

On my first visit, Abby calmly crawled into my lap, and my heart. She had a quiet grace to her. I went back and spent more time with her, but decided with all that was going on in our life, and given my dog allergy, it was crazy to consider adopting.  A month passed, I was hoping someone would adopt her, but checking the web site I saw she was still available. If there was a possibility of a dog in our life again, she seemed to be a perfect candidate. A poodle (known for their ‘hypoallergenic’ fur, which really just means they don’t shed, not that they don’t have dander)  older, and very calm.  I was wrong, in spite of her poodle status, even away from all the other animals, I have had an allergic reaction to her.

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Reggie and Tippy

Mike and I have had five dogs between us, plus three ‘foster’ dogs we found homes for.  Plus we each had a childhood dog.  Our lives have been full of doggy personalities and companionship.  There was Oki, the resilient border collie mix who walked Washington’s clear cuts for years side by side with Mike as he planted trees. He was in his geriatric years when Mike and I met.  Pan, my collie, like his namesake, cared for other animals, including Oki when he went deaf.  Pan loved everyone, my older brother once called him a Yogi due to his calm, sweet temperament. Leonard, the mixed breed dog I moved to the peninsula with, was my protector and companion when I settled into a solitary life in the woods. And there was strong willed Reggie….the too-smart-for-his-own-good Corgi, also a rescue dog, who gave us challenges, endless entertainment and companionship.  He especially loved to travel and we had several adventurous trips with him. Once he attended an animal communication class with Penelope Smith, a well-known animal communicator.  Attentive, alert, Reggie sat in the middle of a circle of people with a rabbit, a chicken and a cat. He needed a job, and that day he had an important one.  People were amazed at his composure and focus. This from a dog who went berserk every time someone went out our front door!

Tippy arrived in our life and our front yard by crossing the busy county road from the neighbors where she had been left by friends of theirs.  When we adopted her she also had health issues and was quite old, yet she outlived Reggie and brought us 5 years of pure joy with her spunk and happy disposition. (not evident in this photo!)

We miss them all, and are grateful to have shared life with each of them.

So now here is Abby, she seems a blend of Tippy’s joy, Reggie’s intelligence, Pan’s meditativeness. Yet she is her own little self. Unable to bark (she has been de-barked, I withhold my thoughts on that!), she communicates her love and thoughtfulness through her eyes and her happiness through her prance!IMG_6639_2

We will hang out a few more days, perhaps my body will adjust, but with an immune system already coping with cancer and Epstein Barr Virus, it will take a miracle. I’m always open to miracles, especially in matters of the heart. If a miracle does not happen, she will go back to CVAR and be available for someone else to adopt.

Post Script: Abby stayed!

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