Part one is two entries down. Title courtesy of Brigitte.Quick links: Tour dates, Alabama and then all the Carolinas are coming up next. Come see me!
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Bagel had been agitating for a dog-friend for a long time. He is a hound, and they are very packy sorts. So we haunted the pet rescue adoption days for quite some time, hunting a Bagel-friend. (and here it is understood that WE means me and the kids, while Scott made patient eyebrow shapes at us and tried not to tap his foot.)
Maisy Jane was advocating for a little smart girl dog, which is sort of my ANTIDOG. But she made a good case.
Small so she could walk the dog. Bagel is a scent hound, and he outweighs her, so she could never have a leash turn on our walks; he would drag her down the street whenever he smelled something truly compelling. Say, a dead woodchuck. He would haul her right to it, and then roll in it. No one liked that. Except Bagel. And after he did it, no one really liked HIM that much. At least not until he had been thoroughly bathed.
Smart because she likes smart things. She IS a smart thing, and so perhaps it is a case of like likes like.
And female because Maisy defaults, like my friend Sara, to liking GIRL animals; she presumes all her counter pets—fish and mice and newts and frogs—are girls, even though they have no visible genitalia. She names them Ashleigh and Anastasia and Annabel, while mine are presumed to be boys and get named Rufus and Dipstick and Pieterfreunde, and Sam’s are mostly called the gender-neutral name Spotty, whether they are fish or fowl, whether they have spots or not. They are all called Spotty, and they can LIKE it. (Often they do not even know they are named Spotty because many counter pets have no visible EARS.)
We went dog hunting in the adoption day cages for nigh unto a year. Casual. Just if we happened to be passing. Keeping an eye out. We didn’t want some random another dog. We wanted OUR other dog. The right dog. The love match perfect auxiliary dog.
One Sunday post-Church, the lines at Sam’s Club were 30 miles long, and we abandoned Scott with the cart and wandered across the lot of PetSmart to look. Jennifer’s Pet Rescue (where we got Bagel) is always there on Sunday afternoons. I was distracted by kittens and never even made it to the dogs, when Maisy Jane ran up and grabbed my hand and dragged me over to a cage to look at a long-bodied, bat-eared, small-eyed, worry-faced, moderately smelly little dog-like thingy.Maisy Jane said, “MAMA, THIS IS HER! THIS IS MY DOG.”
I was quite doubtful. She looked pretty crappy to me, quite frankly. She was so WORRIED and HUNCHY…I was mightily unimpressed. But when Scott came driving up to get us in the overloaded-by-Sam’s-Club-Bargain-Bulk-Toilet-Paper car, Maisy Jane BEGGED him to just come look. She insisted she had found her most perfect exact dog. She was POSITIVE.
He rolled his eyes—he had been dragged to look at a good 35 or 40 dogs over the last year, but he parked and dutifully trudged up to run a cursory eye over the bat-eared mini-smellephant hunched nervously up in her cage.
He knelt by the cage and talked to her for a couple of minutes. And then he looked up at me and, in that same slightly surprised, musing tone he had used when he first laid eyes on Bagel, he said The Magic Words:
“This is a good dog.”
30 minutes and 20 pages of paperwork later, we somehow found room in the overstuffed car for an extra 17 pounds worth of passenger. It was Ansley.
Next up: Back Story is over, and we come to EAT, BAY, LOVE, (Jan) or How Ansley Made Me Flower into an Improved Personhood Even Though I Am Categorically Opposed to Spiritual Growth (me) , or Extremely Loud and Incredibly Ansley (Jill) or Ansley Way You Want It (Roxanne) or Ansley Which Way You Can (DebR) and so on.