Sunday, February 05, 2012
At some point it had to happen. I just couldn't stand being around me anymore. I needed to find someone who needed someone who needed to be found. Still, I can't say it was love at first sight.
He came to the pound as 'Felix', a starving, mangy, parasite-ridden stray of dubious decent. He was called 'Wild Man' by the time the shelter people rescued him, and his picture shows a scrawny, badly shorn, befuddled but defiant little mutt. His foster mom, Tracy, told me she sat him down one day, told him his wanton behavior would have to stop and from that day forward he would no longer be known as the lunatic 'Wild Man' but as the aristocratic 'Reggie'.
"He knew," she said. "The minute I told him his name was changed and he was to behave accordingly, he did. I swear to you, that dog speaks English." With an accent.
I met him on Adoption Day at Petco. I thought he was kind of homely, and he thought the same of me. But there he was, front and center, pleading with everyone who came by, dancing tirelessly on his hind legs, thrusting his paws delicately forward, begging to be loved. I resisted, cuddling puppies and walking out with some of his handsomer mates. But those damp, yearning button eyes kept calling me back. I sensed a kindred soul. I took him home that night, my head filled with images of the things the two of us would do together: pictures of us climbing Half Dome in the fall, kayaking with the whales come spring, bicycling to Huntington Beach in summer; me in the basket with wind-whipped hair, he pedaling away furiously. Just a girl and her dog, sharing adventures, living the dream.
So far, mostly, we laugh.
It's been a couple if weeks now, and aside from some serious separation anxiety (Reg, I swear! I'm coming back!) he's happily settled in. We read the paper together in the morning, chuckle cozily at 'Modern Family' and '30 Rock' at night. We take long walks and marvel at all the things we never noticed when we used to walk alone. He reluctantly lets me take his picture, worrisome as the camera may be, and gnaws contentedly on his rawhide bone when I am being dull. We are good for each other. I chose him, and he rescued me. Thank you, crazy pound pup. I needed that. I think I needed you.