One Tuesday morning as I backed out of the driveway and drove past the house, taking my daughters to school, my youngest daughter Lindsey yells, “There’s a dog in our chair.”
Naturally, I thought there was a stuffed animal left in one of the booster seats.
“Move it and sit down.” I said, in that or-else tone.
“No,” she said, “In our red chair on the porch, there’s a puppy.”
I stopped the car and backed up. Sure enough a little, blonde terrier was snoozing in one of our red cushioned outdoor chairs.
“Can we keep it?” The cries started from behind me.
“I Doubt it.” I said under my breath.
“Don’t let Daddy shoo it away.” Lindsey said, as her brow creased the middle of her forehead.
“Daddy said no more pets, girls. I’m sorry.”
“No fair,” the outspoken Lindsey fired back, her little hands balled up into fists; a deep frown tugged at her face.
The talk about the dog went on the entire six minute ride to school.
“Have a great day girls, I love you. I’ll see you this afternoon.”
“Take care of the puppy, Momma.” Lindsey whispered in my ear before getting out of the car.
I drove home thinking the dog would be gone. I figured it just needed a place to crash for the night. As I pulled into the driveway, the little blonde hair-ball was still in the same chair, unmoved. I parked the car, got out, and it greeted me on the sidewalk. She was dirty and mussed, skinny and skittish. It was obvious she had been on the run for a while. When I bent to touch her, she jumped across the mulch and into the wet grass. I followed and just as quickly she jumped into the road and trotted down it a ways. Okay, I thought, that’s that. I came in the house, washed the breakfast dishes, and before heading upstairs, I looked out onto the porch and there she was again: the sandy colored dog curled up in the red cushioned chair.
I went upstairs and told my husband, Derrick, to look out on the porch. When he did, she turned her head toward us. She got up, put her paws on the brick window sill and moved closer, her nose nearly touched the glass. He stepped onto the porch to see his new friend and when he did, she bolted from the chair to the grass and finally the road, again.
We had errands to run. We couldn’t spend the day coaxing a dog out of the road or chasing her around. We went about our day all the while thoughts of the disheveled pooch hung in the front of our minds. We worried she would get hit by a car.
Later, when we pulled onto our street, there was the little dog lying in the middle of it. She got out of the way, but didn’t follow us home. After a while, I peeked outside and there she was under my car. I tried coaxing her out with a piece of cheese, which didn’t work. Derrick tried the same thing without success.
Later that day when I went to pick the girls up from school, the conversation shifted from the puppy they saw that morning to what they did at school and surprisingly, the dog wasn’t even mentioned– knock me over with a feather.
We pulled up to the house and I told the girls to look on the porch. They craned their necks to look out the window and saw the little, blonde, dirty mutt still curled up in the same chair she was in that morning. They got out of the car, ran up the sidewalk and up to the dog. Much to my surprise, the skittish, touch-me-not canine let my two daughters come right up to her and pet her. She didn’t even flinch. This time, when Derrick or I bent to pet her she didn’t run or jump away, but rather, she hunkered down making herself as small as possible as if she were about to be pummeled. She’d been abused, mistreated and now abandoned we guessed.
Derrick and I were unsure if we wanted to take on pet. I had a dog for fourteen years. She died three years ago along with the responsibility and expense of having a pet, so Derrick called the animal shelter. A Humane Officer was scheduled to pick this dog up the next day. Which he did, but not before I took her to the vet for a quick once over. There was nothing wrong with the blonde bundle; the vet however, suspected she might be pregnant. A-ha! The reason she was abandoned finally surfaced.
I felt horrible when the Humane Officer took her away. I felt like I had betrayed the trust of this animal that had seemingly been through hell and now I was handing her over to another unknown. I struggled with what would happen to her if she weren’t adopted. I pushed the thought to the back of my mind, deciding someone would adopt her. Of course they would, she was young and cute. I never imagined, though, that someone would be Derrick. Unbeknownst to me, Derrick checked the humane society’s website, looking for her picture. He called repeatedly asking if she had been claimed. You have to know Derrick; this behavior is completely out of character.
At the end of the week and after grappling over do we or don’t we want another pet, we went to the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association, in our hometown, and adopted our four-legged daughter. We did it, I think, mostly for our girls.
It’s been six weeks since her adoption and Flax is thriving. She’s nurtured and loved. She no longer cowers in fear when we bend to touch her and she seems happy. She’s playful, fun, good with kids, and an all around good dog. Plus, as an added bonus, she’s housebroken! (That’s a load off)
The downside to this story is Flax was pregnant when we took her to have her Spayed. The vet had to euthanize her puppies. So please, if you have a pet or are thinking about getting a pet, be a responsible pet parent and spay or neuter your animals. It cuts down on the pet population, unwanted pet pregnancies and it puts an end to abandonment due to pregnancy. The way I see it, she crawled onto our porch on a chilly Monday night and into our hearts when we least expected it. She found us.