Wednesday, August 4, 2010
A Magical Day
Monday dawned with gray skies and drizzle. Another dreary day... with no indication of what was in store for us.
My husband left at 8:00 to take a bike ride to the State Park just a ways down the road, and I had my coffee and posted on the blog about the past week and listed a few new things in the Etsy shop. Around 10:00, Abby and Empi started barking and rushed to the front sliding doors, a signal that John was coming up the driveway. But when I looked out the window, he was coming from the woods and through the yard... very strange. Then the dogs took off up the stairs to the window which overlooks the back side of our property, and they were squealing with alarm and concern. I took a look, and there in the back yard was a black dog.
We all rushed back down the stairs just as John was poking his head in the door and calling for Abby. I went out with her and John led her to the back yard to meet the stranger who was in the fence there. As they sniffed and circled and met each other, John told me the story. He'd seen this dog a few times over the weekend, thinking at one point that she was dead because she'd lain in the same spot for hours on end without moving. But today she was hanging around some construction guys who are working on a new building between our road and the park. He wheeled up on his bike and asked what they knew about her; not much, they said. He looked her over, petted her, and immediately, there was a bond because as he rode off, she followed him home, no short distance.
She seemed just a wee bit thin, and we gave her some food on the porch and talked about what to do. We decided to take some Found Dog flyers down to the houses close to the park to see if anyone would claim her. But first, we introduced her to Empi, who normally is fairly territorial (though this is only her home away from home), but there were no problems at all. Seems that Empi and Abby would both accept her without any trouble, and she was very accepting of them too. She even does quite well with our cat, Scout, who has rubbed up against her and gotten a kiss. Next we gave her a bath, cleaned off all the mud and dirt, and inspected the scars in many locations on her body. She's got a bad limp and it appears that her right shoulder may have been broken somehow and healed without surgery.
A few hours later, after a nap and lunch, John headed down the road with the flyers, and he found the owner at the house where he'd first seen the dog over the weekend. The man said that he'd planned to move into town soon and didn't want to take "Ladybird" with him. He said she's about 8 months old, has never had shots or been to the vet, so of course she also hasn't been spayed. He said she is part Pit Bull, part Boxer, and part Lab. She'd had a brother who was larger than she, but he'd been hit and killed by a car. When John asked about her injuries, the guy said he didn't know anything about them. He was more than happy to leave her in our care.
She is definitely not a dog we would have picked out at the shelter, not a breed or mix we'd be inclined to search out, but it seems clear to me that "Ladybird" picked us out, that she found us. I believe she knew where she wasn't wanted and knew where she would be loved and cared for.
Last winter, when Bruschi died and I'd posted about the sadness and grief of that experience, one of my followers wrote this: "Our kindred spirits never go far from us in this universe, Bruschi will be watching over you and when his spirit is ready he will be at your side again in fur form." I could not help but think of this as, on Monday afternoon in the drizzle, I went out to pick blueberries, and our new dog came out to the bushes and sniffed around, happily eating the berries I offered her, wiggling her whole body with delight. Then she laid down and patiently waited for me to finish. That evening, when I was cooking dinner, I looked up the stairs and found her laying at the very top, with her paws draped over the edge, surveying the goings-on in the kitchen. Let me tell you, I got a bit teary-eyed because that is just what Bruschi used to do.
Tuesday morning, we finally reached a consensus on her new name. I simply could not live with "Ladybird", so we chose Cooper, and it seems to suit her. She has easily made her way into her new home. She likes to go up the hill with John to the shop, and she lays there, quite content just to be near him, while he works; occasionally she'll wander back down to the house alone and ask to come in. She has no inclination to leave, and it's a marvel at how well suited she is for us and we are for her. At bedtime, she has her own bed upstairs with us and Abby and Empi, and all three dogs sleep peacefully through the night. Yesterday I bought her a collar and leash, as well as her own puppy food (Blue Buffalo... natural and holistic without all the crap and fillers that most commercial dog foods have; it's what we finally started buying for the adults dogs when Bruschi was sick and needed less protein and better food), and tomorrow she'll take her first car ride to the vet where she'll get her shots and an appointment for spaying.
Last week was a hard week... full of fear, pain, emotional issues. So I'm very thankful and feel quite blessed that this week is balancing out with light, life, and love. Amen and amen.