Sunday, September 24, 2017

November 2016

It was a month that began and ended with dread. There were several levels of dread wrapped up in the gift that was November 2016. The surprise gift was one I think everyone wanted to return at the time, but all things being what they are, the month would be like an earthquake. The shaking on the surface doesn't even really help to explore all that is under it.

It was also the month that I knew I was going to be okay to get a new dog. On September 25th, 2016 two small dogs were born on a farm in a city outside of St. Louis. This small dogs had their pictures taken a few days after birth and placed on a website with a for sale sign. It was in September around the 25th that I was online looking at shih tzu puppies. Not because I had lost any love for my dear, sweet, monkey who had passed but because I could finally think about him without breaking down into a pile of tears and sadness.

For me, that was the requirement I had to meet before I could consider getting new dogs. The two little guys I was looking at were both so sweet and adorable. The harder part of this adventure was choosing between the two of them, because I was rather sure I could only afford one.

After several days of looking I reached out to the seller and asked about the price of the one I had settled on. He had a big black muzzle, and was dark brown and black all over, a mirror negative of Tino who was brown all over with white spots when he was a puppy.

In for a penny, in for a pound, I asked about the price if I were to pick up the pair. The pair would include the brother from the same litter who was brown all over and had the cutest little pink nose. To my surprise, the cost of the pair was what I was anticipating to be the cost of one. And so, without very much discussion, it was decided that I would be picking up a pair of brothers in November. After being on the road for months in airplanes it was rather a thing to pile into the Monster with the Bard and the Electrician for a 20 hour road trip to ass-end of America to fetch two small dogs. Not nearly as fast as a plane but worth all the trouble for what we found at the end of the journey.

Driving through the American Midwest tends to be pretty damn boring, and this was a good example of a pretty damn boring flatland trip. All hail the Electrician for managing the drive and getting us all home in one piece. In the future, we should probably get a hotel. The plan was to drive out and meet the dog lady in a parking lot at a gas station near her home. I had already paid for the dogs and we would meet, get instructions, and pick up the puppies.

"You mean, like a drug deal?" the Electrician asked.

"No, I mean, of course not."

It was actually a lot more like a drug deal.

We dog to the parking lot and waited until an old station wagon pulled up. Out popped a grey haired old woman.

"They are pretty upset with me. I gave them a bath this morning. Had them in front of the heater all day to try to warm them up."

She turned around and reached into her car and then placed one, and then a second, ball of fluff into my hands.

It was love at first handful.

To get them home I had brought Tino's old travel bag and even the two of them together could not fill that bag very full. I had my hand in the bag for most of the ride home, with a few pit stops on the way for others to hold the dogs, and one bathroom break to clean up boys who had wiggly tummies from all the excitement. The drive back seemed a hell of a lot faster than the drive there, but it was near midnight that we all finally pulled in.

The month prior to our epic road trip I had secured some dog supplies and we all sat around in the living room, looking at our new charges as they stumbled and fumbled in the little pen I had picked up.

"Bandit, is the one with the black face. Bear is the one with the pink nose."

I brought out water in one of the little bowls that had belong to Tino that I couldn't think of parting with. Bandit took to water right away, but Bear was not so sure. I dipped my finger in the water and brought it to his mouth until he started licking. Then I slowly lowered my finger to the bowl until he was drinking out of the bowl by himself.

And so the learning would begin. They will be one year old tomorrow and life is truly better because of their tiny adorable presence. I'm fairly sure the fact that I have them makes me slightly more tolerable to everyone that has to put up with me.

Happy birthday, boys.

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