Monday, October 24, 2011

Meet the Pooch.

A few weeks back, while doing photos in the park, the lady I was photographing asked if I knew of anyone looking for a dog. Jessica is a nurse at a nursing home/assisted living facility, and she relayed a story about a dog that needed a home.  Turns out, there was a couple there who were admitted at the ripe old age of 88. But the assisted living facility didn't allow pets. So when the elderly couple moved in, their grandson Ben agreed to take the dog until they found a home for him. Ben, being the wonderful grandson that he is, lived in Michigan three hours away. He would drive down on the weekends with the dog when he visited his grandparents. He did this for months without complaint. Ben and the dog had grown quite attached, in fact. But when Ben got his dream job in Manhattan--and it required that he travel a lot--he knew that something had to give before he relocated.
I have to be honest here.  I'm not a huge dog lover.  There are dogs in our lives whom I have loved, no doubt.  We had a dog growing up and when he died at the age of 17, I cried for days.  I don't know why--but I always thought that people who went completely gaga over their pets seemed genuine--I just didn't relate.  I didn't "get it."  Not that they weren't fun to play with--but the dressing up, taking them everywhere, attaching human emotions to it--it just seemed foreign to me.
Our daughter is the neighborhood pet-sitter.  We have taken in dogs, cats, hamsters, fish, etc. in our home often.  We have watched animals for short time periods, and the kids have loved the experience.  They'd always ask, "When can we have a dog?"  We put them off a lot.  Mainly because my husband's idea of an ideal dog was vastly different from my idea of an ideal family dog.  And there was no middle ground here.  In fact, I can say that in the 25 years I've known him that this is the ONE THING on which neither of us would budge.  We're talking two years, people.  Line in the sand.  His ideal dog = big and playful and young (puppy), preferably not white and male.  My ideal dog = small/medium and cuddly and not a puppy, in any color.  Of course, female.

I don't know why, but that day in the park, speaking to Jessica--I knew that was going to be our dog.  That story was so beautiful.  Some of the details with what happened to the elderly couple touched me and their sense of devotion really moved me.  When I called and asked questions, the series of events that took place that led him to us--it was nothing short of a little miracle.  Serendipitous, really.  He was meant to be here with us.

Last weekend, Ben moved to NYC.  He stopped by to say goodbye and to check on things before heading out to visit his grandparents with the moving truck in tow.  I promised to take the dog up to visit his grandparents at the assisted living facility.  I look forward to visiting with them again.  Both elderly grandparents made me and the kids promise to love and care for him before they hugged us and gave us their precious pooch.  Our oldest son nearly cried he was so happy.  I'm glad they got to see the joy on their faces, although I'm sure it had to be hard on them.

The dog's name with his original owners and Ben was Spunky.  Honestly--he doesn't live up to his name.  He is calm and gentle and 8 years old.  The hubs renamed him Cooper.  Our youngest son calls him Fred.  Our daughter and I refer to him as Poochie or Baby.  He doesn't listen to any of these.  But he does respond to commands and hand signals, thankfully.  Poor thing.  Must be so confusing.  The humans in this household are wacky, for sure.

In these few short weeks, it feels like it is honestly the best decision we've made in forever.  We are like giddy parents all over again, with a newborn dog.  Unsure of what to do, watching every move he makes, showering him with attention and affection.  Everyone here has witnessed the other evolve into pet owners in this family, and it has been both touching and comical and wonderful just the same.  He goes everywhere with us.  We bought him a Halloween costume.  We've introduced him to other dog friends in the hood on walks.  We've turned into crazy pet owners that can't get enough of him.  And that includes my husband!  (He's such a softie at heart--I knew he'd be fine with whatever dog we ended up with...) 

Welcome to our family Spunky Cooper Fred Poochie Baby.  You are home, and we're so glad you're here.  :)


Phillisa said...

Oh, I love this! Thanks for sharing - It made my morning! Both your son and the newest member of the family are adorable!

LisaNRoxy said...

Awesome. What a lucky pooch to adopt such a wonderful group of humans! Can't wait to meet him.

Candace H said...

Aw, Trish... reading this made me cry (happy tears, mostly...) But also maybe some "tears of conviction" that it is time we get a dog... nothing in the world my daughter wants more and after dog-sitting the best dog on earth this summer, I can see we'll all be happier when we finally find the right dog for our family.

Kiku said...

I enjoy your blog. What a touching story :) Isn't it wonderful when things work out like that and you just know it's the right place to be? We adopted our furry fellow under similar circumstances, not even looking for a dog at the time. And he has been such a sweet, fulfilling part of our family ever since. We love him, it was meant to be. Congrats on the new pooch!

Deb said...

Crying tears of joy for you and your fam, for the elders, for Ben and most especially for Spunky Cooper Fred Poochie Baby, who has another great family to love and be loved by. What a wonderful tale with a happy ending for all! :)

Christy said...

We too were lucky enough to adopt a dog that desperately needed a new family. We say that we don't know who is more lucky. Us or the dog. I hope you feel that way too!

Ryzmomplus2 said...

Such a great story and a sweet, sweet dog! I could take him home with me, and I'm so glad I got to meet him!

Molly U. said...

Welcome the the WONDERFUL world of dog owning!!! They have brought so much joy into our lives! Our golden is now 11 and we gave Max a home after my Mom died. Worth every minute of it. What a win-win deal!