Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m suffering from serious dog envy. I miss my precious puppy dog so much. Four months and 19 days after his sudden passing from intestinal cancer this past Easter Monday, and I want another dog now more than ever. I know I can never replace Max but I have a great desire to celebrate his life and all the joy he brought me by providing another rescue dog with a loving, caring, and stable home.
Yesterday afternoon, I took a walk at a huge park near home and happened upon two different dogs in the off leash area. The first dog was a golden haired cross between a lab and a golden retriever. He was following behind his owners but as I approached, I swear he flashed me a smile before venturing over and sniffing my hand. He gave my left kneecap a welcoming lick as I leaned over and pet him ever so tenderly. I heard one of his owners say, “Awwwww”. After a couple of moments, I pried myself away and started walking up the trail but, even though his owners kept calling him to come, “Pacer” didn’t move a muscle and instead stared at me intently as I moved progressively farther away. If I thought I had the slightest possibility of successfully hoisting his sizable girth off the ground, my instinct would have been to ‘make tracks’ with Pacer.
Further up the trail, I happened upon an older gentleman who was walking a full-sized husky. Max had been a combination husky, shepherd, lab so I asked if the dog was friendly. “Too friendly” was the response. Boy, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’d used that exact phrase to describe my Max. I decided that huskies must be inherently social.
As soon as I started petting the dog, he moved to stand in front of me sideways and then leaned into me heavily in that oh-so-familiar way Max used to. I was enthralled. I reluctantly extricated myself and continued on with my walk, making a conscious effort not to look back this time. If that dog had stared longingly after me too, I may well have snapped and crossed the line into the shadowy world of ‘dognapping’. And we all know there’s nothing more logical than to stuff a mid to large sized dog into the confines of a tiny bachelor apartment.
The way I see it, I have three options: keep Max’s memory alive by remembering how quirky, loving, funny, and kind he was; keep going for walks where I can have random meetings with other great dogs; or volunteer at either the Humane Society or the Animal Rescue Society so I can make a difference in the lives of these wonderful dogs until the day I have a pet friendly place to bring a new dog home. Thankfully, I don’t have to choose. All three options are more than possible, and highly probable.
So, who are the front runners if I were able to bring a new dog home today? The list changes from day to day as dogs come and go through adoption but a 5 year old Shepherd/Cross named Charley is currently high on the list. The other main contender is a dog named Petey, a special needs dog, who had a leg amputated after being found wandering with a badly injured and severely infected leg.
Dogs like Charley and Petey, who’ve had a pretty rough start, appeal to me the most. Max had a pretty rough start but, in the two short years we had him, we gave him as smooth a finish as any dog could hope for. To be able to give this gift to yet another dog is high on my list of things to do.
So, it goes without saying that some day, some way, some how, another dog will join Max on my list of “main men”. It will truly be a dogged pursuit.