April 25, 2011
There's a new furry face at our house. We spotted Tali on Petfinder, and after a couple of weeks checking the site and finding her still available for adoption, Jim and I went to see her in person. She was so much smaller than I expected. Listed as a golden retriever shepherd cross, she was the size of a cocker spaniel puppy. Jim wanted a dog that didn't shed much. In the few moments I held her, my coat was covered with hair. I like co-operative, eager to please dogs. Circling the adoption room, she seemed interested in everything but us. I couldn't decide whether it was a sign she was smart and curious or antisocial.
When Jim and I stepped out to talk about whether we wanted her, neither of us was sure one way or the other. Finally, I said, "I don't think we should take her."
Decision made, we walked back in, and she rocketed across the room to us, her tail wagging and whole body wriggling with puppy joy. Jim looked at me. In his eyes, I saw we weren't going home alone. Four weeks later, I'm glad we didn't.
I have no idea what breed of dog she is. No idea how big she'll get or what her soft, fuzzy coat will look like when she's a grown dog. I do know she and Sadie get along well. She waits behind Sadie at the water bowl like a kid in line at a drinking fountain and trots along beside her when we go for a walk. She cuddles Jim's neck when he picks her up. She lays by my feet when I'm writing. She's learned sit and stay and watches everything that goes on.
Sure, she's piddled on the floor and chewed on the deck and torn a hole in my yoga pants. But when she tosses her toys or pounces on a daylily or runs laps around the house simply to run, I'm reminded of joy I've been in danger of forgetting. That pup knows how to live.