One of the perks of taking a walk after work is meeting up with the many perky dogs who are out walking their owners around the neighborhood.They look as blissful to be out and about as I do–except I don’t have a tail to wag. If I did, it would be wagging.
After a day in my cuble–an office cubby that feels like being incarcerated in a kennel, it feels glorious to move about and see changing scenery.Not only do I feel a sort of kinship with the happy pupdogs I meet –but I enjoy getting to know them–and their owners.
Because I spend so much of my life in a cuble (and it must be said, with my evening obligations) I cannot have a pet, as the pet would be a very lonely creature.So like the childless maiden aunt, I enjoy other people’s pet children.
Like Louis—a handsome Havanese who I was quite taken with–he was short in stature, but had a sturdy build and an expressive face.I’d never heard of this breed before, and his owner tells me that it originated in Cuba. Louis though hails from Mississippi.He was really a pleasant little dude, and I have put him on my list of “someday” possibilities.
Next, I met Molly, who, being a fluffy white toy poodle, was traveling appropriately with an entourage that seemed to include grandmother, grandfather, grandson, and grand-daughter. Molly could out eager the most eager beaver you ever met–the girl put me in mind of the poem, “If Only I Could Live at the Pitch Near Madness.”It’s one of my favorite poems, but I have a feeling that fluffy white Molly makes her bed right on the edge. My life is already too stressful to share with a pupdog that has the temperament of a Zelda Fitzgerald.
And then finally, I met Ozzie, who was the bi-polar opposite of nervous Molly.Ozzie oozed stability. Ozzie may have exhibited as much effervescence as a piece of furniture–but let me tell you, Ozzie had character to the nine’s. Ozzie could run for president and win.With beautiful markings
and a muscular build, he expressed only a nonchalant interest in the lady with the i-phone until he decided that it might be that I was after all the kind of human who would love on him with a friendly scratch behind the ears.
There is one home that I often pass by that has a stone Scottie curled up as if he is getting ready for a contented nap in one of their flower beds. I suspect that this little statue represents a beloved pet that will be forever missed, like a member of the family.
This reminds me of my daughter’s dog. Back when I was home all the time, my daughter entreated me to care for her puppy until she could move into another apartment where she could have a pet.She had named this pupdog, “Angel”, but I just called her pupdog, because at the time, “Angel” seemed like a rather silly sounding
name to me.
Pupdog was a golden cocker Spaniel–and although she was undoubtedly one of the most singularly loving and benign animals on the planet, she seemed to have the mental aptitude of a hamster. I would take her to the tennis courts where she loved to run with wild abandon.
It was this same abandon that led her to race down the stairs of my daughter’s new pet-friendly residence (when she finally did find one–6 months later) and out into the field next to the building.Adrienne posted signs and looked for weeks to no avail. Pupdog–who was a truly beautiful dog, was gone. I feared she had probably been hit by a car–she had no sense whatsoever, but I told Adrienne that she had undoubtedly been found by a family and had a wonderful home. I did not believe this, though.
Then, about a year and a half later, Adrienne was at a nearby shopping center, and saw a large family walking toward a pet store with a beautiful blonde cocker spaniel.The dog began to go berserk (as Pupdog AWAYS did when Adrienne would come to visit her at my house) and it was clear to everyone immediately, when Adrienne called out her name “ANGEL!” that daughter and dog were reunited.
And here is where Adrienne did something that made me so proud.
She visited with the family a bit and learned of Pupdog’s lucky rescue. The mother told Adrienne that Angel was Queen of the House, and that the King of the House even allowed her to sleep in his easy chair.
And then, Adrienne, to her credit, thanked the family, and told them how happy she was that her “Angel” had been found by such a wonderful family–and that she was grateful to them all and wished them all the best of luck with her dog.And then she walked back to her car.
It is a story that tugs at my heart, as so many memories of my daughter do now.It was a moment of unselfish wisdom, when Adrienne demonstrated the grace it takes to let go.A lesson for me, to know that when someone you love has found a better home in the presence of a greater love–that you can develop an unutterable peace that allows you to let them go.
And now that Adrienne is in heaven, it seems so very right that her beloved pupdog would have been named “Angel”.
I guess that’s my tale. Turns out I have one after all.