Random Thoughts has written a beautiful piece I’m strongly recommending, especially if you’re a lover of dogs:
He was a medium sized yellow Labrador Retriever mix, sitting patiently behind the chain link gate of the very last run in the kennel. Almost all the other dogs were barking, but not Dexter. He just sat there, gazing out, with a look on his face that said “What did I do wrong to end up in here?”
He’d done nothing. Nothing whatsoever. According to the papers clipboarded to his kennel, his name was Dexter and he’d been brought in with his sister Daisy two days earlier. The reason was simply stated: “DIVORCE.” He’d been brought in by a man, who had given the shelter a file of vet records, and those indicated that Dexter’s owner was a woman. The kennel sheet also bore the notations “Good with other dogs,” “Good with cats,” “Good with children,” “Loves to ride in cars,” and “Housebroken.”
He was, in short, the perfect dog. And he’d been dumped at the pound right after Christmas by an angry soon-to-be-ex-husband. His sister Daisy had already been adopted, but Dexter remained behind, bewildered but waiting patiently for someone to retrieve him.
“Stay right here,” I instructed Youngest Daughter, “I’m going to the office to get someone to let us look at him up close.”
And so I did. Unbeknownst to me, a few minutes earlier a woman with two young boys had also gone to get one of the attendants to let her and her sons interact with Dexter in the shelter’s grassy introduction pen. When the attendant came to get Dexter for the boys, she found me waiting with him. I sized up the situation, grabbed youngest daughter’s hand and said, “We’re waiting to see this dog.” So the attendant handed him over to us.
The mom with the sons tried to intervene, but her boys were a handful and far more interested in wrestling with each other than in the dog they’d ostensibly been about to meet.
Dexter for his part completely ignored the two boys, walked over to Youngest Daughter and nudged her hand as if to say, “You. I’m going home with you. I’m yours now.”
“We’ll take him,” I told the attendant.
“Dad’s gonna kill us,” Youngest Daughter told me.
“I’ll deal with it,” I told her. “This dog does not belong here. He’s going home with us.” And I filled out the shelter paperwork transferring ownership of Dexter to our family.
The only thing remaining to do was introduce Dexter to the Dalmatians, who had been waiting patiently in our minivan. I opened the van door, they looked at him, he looked at them, tails wagged all around, he jumped in the van as if he’d been doing it all his life, and they acted as if they’d known him all their lives.
Dexter became part of the family immediately. Even Mr. Random Thoughts (after a startled “Who’s dog is that?” upon seeing Dexter sitting in our kitchen) recognized the exceptional nature of this dog.
He was indeed housebroken, great with kids (including Youngest Son, a rambunctious 5 year old at the time) other dogs, both our cats, and perfect in the car. And he absolutely adored Youngest Daughter. She was His Girl. He was frisky when she was happy, knew when she was sad and in that unerring way the best dogs have, would rest his head on her knee as though trying to comfort her. They took long walks together, and when Youngest Daughter joined her high school track team Dexter would jog on the local trails with her.
Of course there’s more at RT’s place. Do go and finish with her… but first heed this word of advice. Stop now and get something with which to dab the eyes. You’re going to need it. Trust me.
The Dexter piece takes me back to my chronicling of Sadie, our own good girl, and how much she meant to us. Hard to believe 11 years have passed since she entered our lives and nearly 6 since she left.
We’ve since picked up Harley and love him as much but God, do we sure miss Sadie.
Here’s hoping she and Dexter are romping together today, waiting on the big reunion.