Friday, August 27, 2004

Dog Days of Summer
Last night as Pappy and I were leaving doggy school, there was a four month old Papillon puppy waiting for the next class. How wiggly. How cute. How snuggly.

We have three dogs. We do not need a puppy.

This morning as I was coming out of my sleepy stupor I briefly thought it would be fun to look at Papillon puppies on the internet. Bad idea!

Every September I start looking for something different, something to add a little excitement and interest to my life. That's how we ended up with three dogs. Fortunately, as I sipped my cup of coffee, sanity reigned. I realized that this September unrest is an annual cycle and it will pass.

September 2001 I started looking at small breeds on the internet intent on getting my first lap dog.

Sunny was born around September 1. Her mother and two of her siblings were found along side the road, taken to the pound, and ended up at a foster home in Big Rapids.

I found her on Petfinder, a wonderful site where you can search for any type and breed of pet in any geographic area. (Warning: Lots of sad pictures. Soft hearted people will end up with a new family member if they visit Petfinder.)

My search was for "terrier". Sunny came up as a papillon terrier mix. In reality, she is much more mixed than two breeds, but she did look like Jack Russell and papillon mix with some poodle for curls. I was smitten, sent in the application, and waited.

Fifteen families applied for Sunny. Fortunately, because she was so small, her foster mother thought she needed to live with a older couple, so we were selected.

Late October 2001, we became the parents of a unique and wonderful two pound mutt puppy to go with Glory, our five year old lab mix. I named her Sunshine because she brought sunshine into our lives. I had forgotten how much work it is to have a new puppy. It turned out to be the perfect cure for my September ennui.

Around the first of September, 2002, I went out to Petfinder just to see if there were any Papillons for adoption in the area. We had never had three dogs at the same time, and I was sure I didn't want three dogs. Just looking.

And there was Pappy, looking back at me. I briefly considered what life might be like with three dogs, said a little prayer, sent the link to DH Bob, and promptly forgot about the sad little dog in the picture.

That evening I was sitting on the couch, Bob was online, and I heard him say,

"We have to get him."
"This little Papillon. We have to get him."

The adoption of Pappy took almost two months. It required a seven page application, references, and a home inspection. Really.

Late November, Monette and I drove a round trip of 500 miles to pick up Pappy. He was in much worse shape than I had been told, both emotionally and physically. A dog who has been abused or abandoned always comes with "issues" and needs plenty of work and attention. Another canine project and cure for my September ennui.

September 2003 life was exciting enough without getting another dog. I was anxiously waiting to lose my job and it was just about September when I learned my January termination date.

This September it is not going to be another dog. I think I'll just give lots of love to the three dogs we have and wait out the September blahs.