Then, the first large dog we acquired came by heart-pounding anger and sadness. In our former neighborhood, there was this one neighbor who had a litter of puppies in her backyard. The house was literally crumbling, the roof had large open holes in it, the yard was mostly dirt and through the chain-linked fence, we could see these little puppies as we passed by on our walks.
To get a better look, we began taking frequent walks --- trying to not look like creepy stalkers. I don't think we were good at the 007 thing.
The kids in the neighborhood, which included my two daughters, heard through the grape-vine that these owners supposedly had plans to discard the puppies at the local dump.
The next walk that we took later that day found me in front of this house again and I actually approached the lady of the house. She had put a little sign in the front yard, "Free Puppies."
PERFECT. Regardless, it was not a fun moment to be at this house, the lady of the house is what I call "Bar-Hardened." All the kids in the neighborhood avoided this woman, for good reason. But, I spied the puppies outside in the backyard in the Texas heat, with only a mini-children's swimming pool filled with disgusting water turned black from dirt and mold, and I couldn't stop myself.
I asked the woman about the little runt puppy, the red one; I wanted to know if it was a female. She barked, "No, ain't none of them girls." And she walked away huffing and puffing.
I looked at my youngest daughter, Stefie, and said, "Oh well, we tried."
We walked back home. We thought about turning her in before the puppies ended up at the dump, but all the kids in the neighborhood were already rallying to make sure every puppy had a home. After all, have you seen "Animal Cops - Houston?" This is a HUGE county and they are always bombarded with enormous case loads. But, the kids did their job spreading the word to get the dogs adopted out...and, that's exactly what happened.
Back to the little red runt...my oldest daughter was on a mission to prove everyone wrong about the little red dog. Heather knew from other friends living next door to the scary woman that the little red dog was indeed a female and that meant she'd be a contender to live in our home. At the time, "Only Girl Dogs Allowed."
Heather said, "Mom, that woman doesn't have a CLUE as to what sex those puppies are because she's never had anything to do with them, and you must be sexually-illiterate because you can TELL that the puppy is a female."
Heather added a bit of eye-rolling with her arms folded as she enlightened me, her mother, about the anatomy differences between a female and male dog.
I stick my fingers in my ears, "I know, I know, I know...I believe you...it's a female."
Okay. I was in disbelief. My highschool aged daughter actually called me "sexually illiterate." So all of you blog buddies now know...THAT is exactly where I got that term, from my oldest daughter.
On a brave mission, my daughters went back to the woman's house and approached her again. They did. Minutes later, my two girls ended up coming home with that little red dog. I will never forget the sight of my oldest daughter holding that horribly muddy, dirt-caked dog against her clean clothes; she and her little sister were crossing the street toward our house with beaming smiles of a winning conquest as I stood on our porch with my jaw dropped open. I think there was a trail of mud dripping along behind them.
It hit me, "What did I just get myself into?"
My husband was taking a nap. He was working his regular job with the Sheriff's department, plus working off-hours at extra jobs, so he was exhausted and needed his nap in between jobs. How in the world was I going to tell him about this new mouth to feed? Plus, the dog looked a wreck.
We three girls, thick as thieves, formulated a plan. We took lil red to the back porch, got some shampoo, got the water hose and began scrubbing. At about three months old, she'd never had a clean day in her life. Chunks of caked on dirt began to loosen, her ears were plugged full of mud and in between her claws were bricks of old mud. For a good hour, we let the water run over her while we massaged her thoroughly, in a comforting manner, until she nearly shined!
After all of the mud was gone and after we'd blown her hair dry, her color had changed. She was a beautiful blondish red color, and her personality was too sweet. All the other puppies had indeed been males; they were brindles and rough and tough. This little sweetie was definitely the runt and she had already wound her way deep into our hearts.
But, what to do about the man of the family? We tried to make her as pretty as possible so he would not be able to turn her away. Little did we know, if he'd seen her all smothered in mud, he would have been the first to rescue her.
So, I guess you know what happens, Deputy Dave woke up from his nap and we three girls said, "We have a surprise for you."
He wasn't smiling. He was leery of our "surprises." I don't know why he would have been so cautious...he sees his three gals smiling and laughing and giddy and he is suspicious?
Then, we bring in the little puppy and she looked absolutely like delicious icing on a cake! Deputy Dave's tense, upright pose with squared shoulders immediately dropped and relaxed as he reached for the puppy who instantly snuggled against him. His forever buddy.
My youngest daughter named her "Lyla." But, apparently, I never spell it right. Sorry.
A few years later, the Queen doggie and the Chihuahua of our lives died, at about 15 years of age.
|My exhausted college aged daughter trying to nap|
with her doggie, Cinnamon, that she'd had since about 2nd grade.
A few weeks after Cinnamon's death, we were despondent to see Lyla was not doing well. It had been TWO WEEKS since Cinnamon had died, but Lyla continued to look for her every single time we went into the backyard.
|Lyla and Cinnamon, always together.|
Since we have forested land which we'd be moving to soon, we knew we could not have any more dogs that looked like juicy bunny rabbits.
That's when we decided to get the monster...Howdy.
And the dog saga continues...