Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I Have Lost My Doggone Mind

I am a cat person. I love the gentle way that they crawl up in your lap on cool nights. I love the soft purr vibrating through their bodies. Cats are my homies, early risers that like to take short naps. When I am up in the middle of the night, the cat is my only companion. He has his ferocious side too, as evidenced by his recent "gifts", but for the most part he and I have a quiet understanding. I will feed him and pet him, he will agree to not chew on my hair or scratch me when I clean his toenails.

But I have always had a dog in my home. Always, that is, save for the last year since my beloved Doberman died. She was old and the first dog that was really just mine. I adopted her from a foster home for abused and neglected animals. She was timid and shy, so scared of men that when I brought her home to live with my dad and brother, she sat in the corner shaking and peeing on herself for two days. My father won her over with peanut butter crackers, a treat that to her final days was the only thing that would perk her up and make her jump around like a puppy.

Her name was Andromeda. Andie, for short, and she was the perfect dog for me. At 5 years old when I got her, she did not jump on people when you came through the door. She rarely barked, saved for when she thought that I was in some sort of danger. She never went too far from my side and the few times that she would run, if she should notice that I was not giving chase, she would come back quickly nudging me with her nose.

She was afraid of balloons, of shoes and of the cats. She would enforce the house rules though. should a cat decide to go all maverick and scratch on a wall or carpet, her would come Andie pouncing her large paws in their direction, never getting close enough to be scratched but close enough to make the cat run in the opposite direction.

She was large enough to scare away anyone that would think to bother me when I was home alone, but small enough to fit in my lap, except when I was pregnant. Then she would settle for laying on the floor next to my feet, carefully watching me for any signs that something was changing.

After Z was born, I sent the Hubs home with a blanket that she had been swaddled in so that Andie could know her smell when we came home. Oh, she loved that little girl. She changed her demeanor towards me, now focusing to protect our newest addition. Should I change a diaper while the baby was crying, Andie would nudge me thinking that I was in some way hurting our girl. Z learned to stand by pulling herself up on the dog's back. She learned to walk because she was trying to follow her.

Constant companions. Where Z was, Andie was sure to follow. 
As Andie got older, she slept more and more. When she would get up, it would be a slow process for her to finally get into a standing position. It broke my heart to see her this way and I worried daily that Z and I would come home to find her dead. After two days of her almost sleeping continuously, not even waking up when she would relieve herself, I kissed her goodbye and helped the Hubs carry her to the car to take her to the vet. That was the last time I saw my girl.

This morning, watching the news, I saw the most gorgeous red hound mix on the news report for the shelter. Gorgeous to me anyway, she is skinny with the same sad doe eyes of my Andie. On Thursday, she will be on sale for 4 dollars. I want her to live with me, to be my dog (if you have read A Dog's Purpose, you will understand this next part). I think she is my dog, my beautiful Andie's soul wrapped in this new young body. While the Hubs and I have discussed getting another dog, we both recognize that this is just not the right time for us. And my heart yearns for this girl to be part of our family.

Please someone adopt her so that I can't. The Hubs will kill me if I bring home another pet. 
I think I may have lost my doggone mind.

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