Column: A case of puppy love at first sightI had to break the news to Farmington fire chief Tim Pietsch Monday: for the first time in I don’t know how many years, I will not make it to Turkey Bingo this year. And as much as I enjoyed the 451st Army Band concert two years ago, I won’t make it to that, either.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
I had to break the news to Farmington fire chief Tim Pietsch Monday: for the first time in I don’t know how many years, I will not make it to Turkey Bingo this year.
And as much as I enjoyed the 451st Army Band concert two years ago, I won’t make it to that, either.
Instead, I’ll be holed up in my house with The Beau, and our new addition – a 4-month-old rat terrier named Rissa. Yep, that means The Beau and I are taking our relationship to the next level of commitment. We’re adopting. We’re becoming “parents.”
I grew up in a house where we always had pets, both dogs and cats. I had one cat, Mama Kitty, for 13 years. Our family dog, Roscoe, was with us for about as long. My last pet, Michke (pronounced Mich-Ka) was with me for 14 years.
Michke became my pet 20 years ago. Coincidently enough, The Beau bought her for me back then, during our first go-round. Corny as I am, her name was a combination of my first name and his. I had a much longer relationship with her than I did in my first run with The Beau. She was my best friend, she was there to greet me when I came home.
When she died, I mourned her for a very long time, despite the best efforts of friends who thought I needed to get a new kitten as soon as possible. I just wasn’t ready. I didn’t want to replace Michke. I needed to take some time.
It’s weird how life turns out. I’ve been without a pet for more than five years. I’ve been with The Beau again for a year and a half. I don’t know exactly when we started talking about a getting a pet, but it started all the same. A “we should get a dog” here, an “It would be cool to have a dog” there.
I came home from a convention two weeks ago to find him sitting on the couch, laptop propped open. “What do you think about shelties?” he asked. Apparently he’d spent part of the day looking through different breeds and thought they looked kind of nice.
I suggested we consider finding a rescue animal. I’ve taken enough Pet of the Week photos for Last Hope to know there is no end to the number of pets looking for homes. They live with foster families, they receive all kinds of love and care. But they need permanent homes. The Beau liked the idea.
Naturally, I looked to Last Hope first, but didn’t find the doggie of our dreams. I expanded my search to browsing more animals through the online program Last Hope uses, Petfinder.com. Four hours later, I spotted two that I thought we’d both like. As a bonus, we were able to meet them both at a meet and greet event Saturday.
When we met Rissa, this whole puppy thing became real. Here was this little pooch, wiry and sweet, chewing madly on a squeaky toy. She interrupted her chomping to come over and investigate The Beau’s coffee mug. Next thing I know, I look over and Rissa is kissing him on the nose.
We visited with the foster mom for about 15 minutes, then met with an adoption coordinator who reviewed our application. We asked questions, they asked questions of us.
I dropped The Beau off at work Saturday afternoon and somehow, my car missed the turn to go home. Instead, I found myself at PetSmart, picking up squeaky toys and pricing crates. I spent most of Saturday evening looking for sparkly, cute collars and leashes. On Sunday, I got a call to see if we were still interested. Later that night, we set up a home visit and puppy arrival date.
I realize now that I’m going to be corny with this little pooch, just like I was with Michke. Her mug shot is already plastered on my computer’s desktop. I’ve hunted high and low for the perfect set of dog dishes (mission accomplished Monday evening). I bought a dog tag that reads “Princess,” and I can’t wait for Saturday morning.