Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Girl and Her Dog

While he looks like a lab, he's only about a foot tall.

Crisp and sunny, it was a beautiful fall afternoon in October.  We had no plans in particular for the Saturday afternoon... just a few errands up in town and spending some time together as a family. Costco would just be a quick visit for some fruit and a couple essentials.  Across the parking lot, a crowd was gathered.  Little fences had been erected, and a couple dozen small canines were running about in the enclosure in front of PetSmart.

"Oh, let's go look!" I casually said.  

"Ya!!" said the boys with sudden enthusiasm.

I had absolutely no intention of adopting a dog.  I am reasonable, and I research and plan things out.  I do not let dog rescues pull at my heartstrings.  At all!!  This was merely a fun little visit to "the zoo" that afternoon.  We had lost our 20+ year old leopard gecko, Lizzie,  a couple weeks earlier, and while we all missed her quirky, spotted little presence, we had not discussed getting any type of replacement reptile yet, let alone a dog.  For crying out loud,  the burial ceremony and eulogy next to the apricot tree had only been days ago.  No, this was just to maybe think about another pet for sometime in the future.

The dogs were cute and lively... various mixes of Dachshund, Terrier, Chihuahua, and other small breeds.  Some were being rescued and adopted, going home with their smiling new owners.  And then I saw him.  A small blonde, short-haired pup was up on a bench, curled into a blanket and taking a nap in the midst of all the chaos. His ears flopped forward, and he looked as though he was a yellow lab that got in the way of a shrink ray.  What happened to me next, was that I was instantly and intensely smitten.  

Could you resist this level of cuteness?  No, right?

"No, Linda!"  I scolded myself.  "You are going all on emotion here.  You did not come here today to adopt a dog, you are here for Costco!!  You are forgetting what it is like to have a puppy.  Do not pick that dog up.  Leave him right there on the bench where it is safe."

"Could I hold that one over there on the bench,"  I heard myself asking the pet attendant.  What?  Who said that?  If you hold him you will fall in love.  Stop.  Right now, before it is too late!!!  Stop already... don't do it!!!!!!

The next thing I knew, he was in my arms, snuggling his soft fur under my chin and licking my skin.  He was friendly and a bit tentative at the same time!  Patrick went to look for his stats, while this pup worked his wiles on my vulnerable heart.

"He is part Chihuahua and part Beagle.  Five months old,"  Patrick reported.  

Oh, no!!  I had always wanted a Beagle, for as long as I could remember.  No, I needed to be strong. One does not just get a Beagle and bring it home without any rational thought or discussion.  Take Sophie, for instance.  We thought about her and then prayed for her, and when the time was right, she found a place in our home.

"Should I fill out the paperwork," Patrick asked with his sly little grin.  

Paperwork??  Heavens no, paperwork!!  Was he crazy?  He went to fill out the paperwork anyway.  We never made it to Costco, as there were bowls, leash paraphernalia, a crate and dog bed to buy.  We were completely unprepared, and yet this little Cheagle mutt was suddenly going to join our family. 

The only way I can really describe what happened to me that afternoon was that I was stunned, completely at a loss for reason, and that I decided to receive a very unexpected gift.  A little gift who is also a clever escape artist. a lightning fast race horse, a bumbling clown, a ditsy surfer dude, and a very affectionate pint-sized companion.  The rest of my family refer to him as "mom's dog," and I protest, calling him the family dog, but I know they are right.

Sawyer.  Stilts.  Mr. Stretchy Pants.
It is not likely he will respond to any of these names...
but that is part of his charm.

His name is Sawyer.  It might have been, Scout, Brinkley, Skeeter, or Jack, but he is a lovable little scoundrel, and Sawyer just seemed to fit the best.  Sometimes he goes by "Stilts" and "Mr. Stretchy Pants," too.  He is my adorable, charming gift who completely surprised me one fall day.  I needed a chance encounter and a bit of crazy in my life, and  I'm thankful that my sweet husband gave me the leeway to think with my heart.  Every night Sawyer sits next to the couch and looks up at me with his chocolatey brown eyes.  I whisk him into my lap and he curls up into a little ball and falls asleep.

And I'm just so glad he's mine.


Anonymous said...

Awwww, Mr. Stretchy Pants. Love this post, it shows more of your tender heart. I wish we knew each other when I lived on the Central Coast. I'm pretty sure I would've liked you ;-)

Denise said...

Michael will not let me have a dog because he is Mr. Meaniepants.

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