The coming of the dog

25 Jul

I haven’t blogged in a while. My life routine got shaken a bit and when you are a creature of habit like me, most any tiny change can throw you off your game. In this instance, it wasn’t all that tiny a change. It seems that I have let a dog into my life.

This is not the first dog for me. I’ve been to the dog rodeo a few times before. Over the years my significant other and I have had countless cats and dogs in our lives. I say “countless” because I refuse to count. Numbers in general scare me, and quantifying the number of pets that have passed through my life is an especially scary number. Let’s just say, “l0ts” and leave it at that.

Our last dog, Ripley, passed away a couple of years ago. As we still had cats and were not “petless” (a state I have not been in for, literally, decades) we did not feel an overwhelming need to fill the dog-void in our lives. Ripley, like all of the other dogs who had come into our lives before her, was a stray dog who came to us at a time when we were not looking for a dog or even making plans to add a dog to our household. So, we decided that we would leave the dog-void in our lives where it was–open, thereby being receptive to whatever stray dog might want to come along and fill it.

A few weeks ago, one of our more senior cats, Tiramisu, passed away. I have used an image of him as my Cat Zen Space logo and the bond was pretty strong. He used to insist upon crawling up on my chest and resting his head on my left shoulder. If I tried to relocate him to my right shoulder, he would wiggle right back to the left one. I have no idea why my left shoulder is better than my right one, but he was convinced it was.

My significant other doesn’t handle pet death well. Many years ago, when his favorite cat died, he decided simple burial in the yard (a time honored tradition) just wasn’t good enough. Instead, he was determined to build a little cat crypt out of concrete.

I know this sounds demented, but frankly, I expected him to fall to pieces and was so pleased that he set his mind to a creative project instead , that I just went along with it.

That was more than ten years ago. How was I to know he was going to build a crypt every time a beloved pet died? The pet crypts do make lovely plant stands throughout the yard, but I admit it is a little odd.

Of course, Tiramisu’s death triggered the need for another cat crypt project.

Unfortunately, the cat passed on to his great reward on a Friday afternoon. The significant other needed some extra time to get the crypt ready and in the meantime, what to do with the body? He called a nearby vet’s office. They were happy to be accommodating and, yes, at no charge, agreed to store Tiramisu’s remains in their deep freeze until Monday.

I have a friend who believes that when a beloved pet passes over, that pet will then send a new pet to you. This may be too “woo woo” for some of you. All I know is, a mutual friend lost her dog companion of many years a few months ago and the next thing she knew not one, not two, but three dogs of the same breed came into her life in surprising and unusual ways in a very short span of time. She was beginning to think she was going to have to hire a pet psychic to tell her friend on the other side that enough was enough already.

I mention this theory about the deceased pet sending new companions our way because, on Monday, when my significant other pulled into the vet’s parking lot on his mission to retrieve our frozen cat, there was a dog in the parking lot. A dog in a vet’s parking lot is not a particularly surprising sight. However, this dog was without human companionship. She was sniffing the tires of a truck that was parked in the lot and there wasn’t any one else around.

My significant other happened to have some pet groceries in the van and so he made the universal kiss kiss noise that always gets a dog’s attention and she happily responded to him. He offered her a can of cat food and she was more than happy to imbibe.

He took the dog inside of the vet’s office where the staff assured him that a) this dog had not escaped from their boarding kennel and b) this dog was not known to them.

What was a poor man to do?

My significant other felt that he had no choice but to a) collect his frozen cat, and b) take the dog home with him.

I arrived home within an hour of his return to our house with the dog. I put my bike away and then I entered the kitchen to find my significant other just standing there with an all too familiar look on his face. As he is a man who had brought home many a stray in the past few decades that I have known him, I knew that face. A mix of anticipation and apprehension.

I didn’t have to ask. I had only to look. Sitting next to my significant other, perfectly still with a look of apprehension of her own, was a black and white puppy.

“Where did you come from?” I asked her in a friendly voice that made her stand and move warily toward me with a wagging tail.

My significant other and I are in the habit of providing the voices for the animal’s side of the conversation. It is always a high voice. “From my mother’s womb,” the dog responded–as channeled by my stray animal collecting boyfriend.

What can I say? It was love at first sight. The dog instantly took to both of us. She immediately acted like she had lived in our house all of her life–she’s about 5 to 6 months old. She finds our bed quite comfortable. She gets along with the cats, although they have to tell her to back off from time to time with a well placed smack on the nose. She always complies.

I don’t know why Tiramisu sent us a dog. Maybe he figured we had enough cats already. Certainly if Tiramisu hadn’t passed away on that particular Friday and been put on ice until that particular Monday, my significant other would never have gone to that parking lot at that time on that day.

It required the perfect juxtaposition of cat passage, cat crypt building plans and a need for a pet deep freeze to finesse this dog encounter.

Of course it crossed our minds that the dog was someone’s lost pet. I scoured the lost pet ads, but she never got a mention. The vet’s office is located across the street from a soccer field that is notorious as a drop off spot for unwanted dogs.

My theory is, someone dropped her off and she made her way across the street to the vet’s parking lot. Perhaps she heard dogs barking inside. Or maybe she smelled other animals and was drawn to that spot.

Or maybe, just maybe, an orange and white cat appeared to her in a dream and suggested she slip across the street and hang out in vet’s the parking lot.

At any rate, she is my dog now.

We’ve named her Domino. She’s a keeper.

2 Responses to “The coming of the dog”

  1. Fred Lehman July 25, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    🙂

  2. Pamela N Red July 25, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    Domino is a great name, she does look like a domino. Our furry kids are so special and make our lives complete.

    You should do a story on how to make a pet crypt. I can’t picture it in my mind.

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