NOTE: I’ve moved my weekly blog updates to post on Mondays instead of Sundays for various reasons including, but not limited to, who the hell reads a blog on Sunday morning?
Karma the Dog was irreplaceable. When we lost her in August, we knew that – and we still acknowledge that in our hearts.
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Does anyone else remember that Semisonic song? There’s still relevance in late nineties pop rock.
It’s been five months of coming home to an empty apartment after thirteen years of being greeted by a furry loved one. Over the past couple of weeks, Shannon and I have passively talked about considering another dog. Nothing like, “let’s get a dog!” More along the lines of, “did you see that someone was looking for a home for that dog?” when reading things online and conversations like that.
It all came to a head on Saturday when I got home from working most of the day and after driving four hours (round trip from Orlando). All I wanted to do was pass out and catch up on sleep. Before I did, Shannon made sure I knew that “Bark in the Park” was taking place down the road and that they usually have dog adoptions. It was 2:30 PM at that point, and the event ended at 4:00 PM. I told her we could go, but I needed a short nap. After thirty minutes, I was casually woken up by my spouse and reminded that if we were going to go, we would have to leave soon. Running on minimal sleep (I had woken up at 5:00 AM that morning,) I hopped on the scooter and we drove down to the park.
Sadly, all the adoption areas were gone and only vendors remained. After wandering around a bit in a park full of fur kids, we headed home.
We stayed up pretty late that night, and slept in the next morning. (Shannon’s still dealing with residual coughing from her cold.) Once awake, Shannon pushed me out of bed stating she wanted to get out of the house and do something. “Anything. Let’s get lunch or see a movie or something.”
So, we hopped in the Mustang and started driving. On a whim, I drove us to the Humane Society in Vero Beach. That place is NICE. Seriously. It was THE nicest Humane Society I’ve ever been too. Super clean large building. It felt like the Apple Store opened a Humane Society… complete with J.J. Abrams lens flare when we walked in. Since we’re a small town, the place wasn’t packed (which, honestly, is a good thing.) There are a large number of cats and larger dogs, but none the size we needed in our life.
Correction, there WAS one. Her name was Princess. She was awesome. She was already adopted, though.
Living in the mindset of “if it’s not meant to be, it’s okay,” I drove us to the next closest Humane Society about 60 miles away. Not that many dogs (which, again, is a good thing,) so we moved on. I did local research on pet stores to see what was out there.
Now, I’ve never really gone the route of pet store/AKC certified animals – but something Shannon mentioned to me made me consider it. You see, we rescued Karma when she about about nine months old, so we never got to see/experience “baby” Karma. I only remember two puppies in my childhood: April (a Peekapoo) and Muttley (a Weimaraner mix,) so the idea of getting a PUPPY did hold some appeal.
After a few stops, we wound up at a pet store with a long series of certifications for their animals for sale. Also: the place is family owned it it’s been around since the nineties. (Google and I did some digging.)
We spent time reviewing each of the puppies, and we initially found interest in three. The third we decided to exclude since it was a Yorkie and we felt we would be attempting to “repeat” Karma. The other two were a Shih Tzu and Bichon-Poo.
The Bichon-Poo was a kisser. She loved Shannon and enjoyed the attention. It was a very sweet and loving dog. And it liked to kiss. A lot.
The Shih Tzu was bit on the insane side. When we sat with her, she loved the the attention – but wanted to kiss AND play. And run around. And chew on my toes. And Shannon’s shoelaces.
The Shih Tzu, beyond just love, had personality.
We were informed that the Shih Tzu couldn’t be sold for another five days, however. She was on puppy medication for a stomach something-or-other and had to get a drop of medication each morning for the next few days. As mentioned before, Shannon and I live in the “if it’s not meant to be, it’s okay” mentality. They offered to let us put down a deposit, but we told them we’d swing by in a couple of weeks and see if she was still there. (I will be out of town on business.)
Shannon REALLY liked the Shih Tzu, and kept playing with her while we were there. “Maybe she’ll still be here in two weeks,” she said while tiny teeth made work of her shoelaces.
Shannon kept talking to the woman working in the store about the puppy and about how this was a big step since losing our other dog of fourteen years. “So you have no other dogs at home?” the employee asked.
“Nope,” Shannon said. “This would be our ‘fur kid’; and only child.”
The employee walked away for a bit to let Shannon keep playing with the Shih Tzu. Long story short, the store manager came over and explained what the dog’s medication regiment was and explained that if we could handle it, he’d allow the dog to go home that day.
Shannon was already smitten, so I (of course) said yes.
The puppy is still without a name. (An online conversation about it exists here.)
For now, I’ve been calling her Princess Floofball.
Floofball is a ten week old baby, and there’s some work ahead… but our home is a little less empty again, and I think Karma would approve of her.
ADDED NOTE: Princess Floofball likes falling asleep on top of my brown Converse. Currently, she has done so with her face IN the shoe.
UPDATE: A name has been chosen…