Saturday, October 4, 2014

Thanks for choosing me, Willow.

Willow was not a planned addition to the family. My Doberman was 9 years old, and doing well, and while I knew another dog was in our future, I wasn't actively looking. A routine trip to the dog food store always included a perusal of the bulletin board- and that day, a sign was hanging which advertised a group of Boxer pups (see this blog's banner- can you pick out Willow?) and my curiosity was piqued. We called the number and made a trip (I cannot remember if we went directly there) to see the puppies. (I already had it in my head that I wanted the reverse brindle female, before meeting the puppies in person.) The puppies were adorable- all of them. We sat among them on the floor, and they scampered around, pounced mercilessly on the breeder's cat, and ran amok. There were 2 large brindle females, and one of them climbed on my lap, and promptly fell asleep. She had a tiny brindle dot on her flashy white ruff and I remember petting the little spot as she slept, while I watched MY puppy, the smaller, reverse brindle, run about. The breeder agreed to sell us the dark female, we gave her our deposit, I handed the sound asleep puppy back and we left.  The pups were very young, and the breeder recommended that we come back again in a week or so to meet our puppy again, because their little personalities were not quite developed yet. We agreed. The little female would be named Belle, and we arranged to pick her up on March 10th, after a quick trip to NYC for my friend's birthday. This meant she would be 10 weeks old, staying with the breeder and her dog mom an extra 7 days beyond her siblings. When we returned a week later to the breeder, we sat again on the kitchen floor and called the puppies to us. Some came and ambled over us and then went their separate ways, chasing each other and sliding across the kitchen floor. Heartbreakingly, my little Belle acted skittishly and wouldn't venture near us at all. I sat and waited, but she just watched us suspiciously, and never even attempted to come over. Meanwhile, the big brindle female found her way over, plopped down on me, and again, fell sound asleep. I looked at my husband, looked at the breeder and said, "Is this one spoken for?" She wasn't. "We want her," I said. We named her Willow, as in BtVS, my at-the-the-time TV addiction.

Willow and the orange ball. One of my favorite photos, taken the day we chose her. 
Willow was always thinking about something, even as a puppy.

She wasn't the puppy I initially wanted, but, true to form, Willow knew what was best. I'm so glad I paid attention and listened, it was only one of many things Willow would come to teach me.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Willow 1/5/03-9/5/14.

Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936). Verse: 1885–1918. 1922.

“The Power of the Dog”

THERE is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware 
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie—
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head. 
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs 
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find—it’s your own affair—
But … you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!). 
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone—wherever it goes—for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way, 
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve: 
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long—
So why in—Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Dogs Love Blogging!

It's been a while since I put up any new posts, but that is because I have been very busy. Gramma and Grampa came for Christmas, so I had to get all ready for that, and then I've been on a few trips with Mom, and I go to see friends a lot and I work a lot. Here are some pictures of what I've been up to, because they are worth a thousand dog words!