DeVos: Stop by for a bite
March 26, 2015
A couple of months ago we got a new dog. We named her Surely, as in "Surely that's not my dog". While we've considerably warmed up to her, she's surely not like any mutt I ever imagined I'd own. But in life it follows sometimes that you just have to take a bite out of that sandwich.
We rendezvoused with the rescue group for the handoff on a dark, stormy night in a derelict Target parking lot in southeast Denver. We just stuffed her in a crate with no idea if she was sociable or had the manners of a trapped weasel. Actually I let my wife do the stuffing because dogs like her, plus she's good with bandages and heals quick.
In the dim light of the storm, we really weren't even sure what color she was. When we got home and were able to get a good look, I scrunched up my face and asked, "What the heck kind of dog did you say this was? Wasn't there a picture on the website?"
"The picture was a little blurry," she said, pulling it up onto the screen. The out-of-focus shot looked like Charles Manson's booking photo, "the description said she was cute and affectionate, but the thing that got me was that she was going to the gas chamber if somebody didn't speak up."
"Um, I know this is a little late, and we've had this conversation countless times, but you simply cannot save them all."
"You say that," she said with the passion of a jihadist, "but how will I know unless I try?"
The mutt was busted in New Mexico by an animal control officer. She'd been scrounging for hot dogs outside a Gallup Home Depot. She was doing all right, not living large but getting by, hanging back in the shadows. After a busy day poking her nose in everybody's business, she was sleeping off a two-day old chili-cheese dog she'd found in the dumpster when she got collared and pitched in the slammer.
A week later she was in Fraser, sleeping in a new, luxurious Martha Stewart pet bed, eating canned bison and freeze-dried chicken livers and, in general, being cared for like Anubis, the jackal-headed god of ancient Egypt. We figured that this was a radical departure from her earlier existence as evidenced by her broken teeth and the buckshot our vet dug out of her hide, along with some doggone impressive scars. Still, she was very sweet and timid. For the first month.
Who knows what dogs think, but we suspect she had a tough life and became fearful that someone was going to take it, or her, away. Totally unannounced she flew across the room, not touching the floor for the last eight feet, actually gaining a little altitude, and bit a houseguest soundly on the butt.
Great, I thought, I finally get to meet somebody from the Frickey Law Firm, but the guest was tolerant and understanding, although she did leave hurriedly nonetheless.
My wife and I stared at each other, stunned. We have very low expectations of our pets, just happy that none of them have ever stolen the silverware. This put a new dimension on having friends over for a bite.
We rushed Anubis … I mean, Surely, to Denver for private therapy lessons from a famously expensive dog therapist. There, Surely learned to embrace her inner chi. He helped her visualize her stress and anxiety as a cool, meandering river that begins at the tip of her nose and flows away out the tip of her tail. He was instrumental in getting her ying back in balance with her yang.
Shin guards, anyone?
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