The day Janet and I got married, we went to a gala fundraising dinner that night at Loras College, where I work.
If we had instead had our own big wedding reception/dinner/dance, the first dance of the night in all likelihood would have been to Bless The Broken Road by Rascal Flatts. It’s an appropriate song for all kinds of reasons I won’t go into today. It’s looking as if it also may be an appropriate song someday for the dog we’ve been thinking of adding to our family of me, Janet, the graduate student, the college student and two really spoiled old cats.
We’ve been talking for quite a while about getting a dog. Janet and I walk together a lot and the dog talks started in earnest after a neighboring family got a cute puppy and let us take it for a few walks.
As a boy, we always had at least one dog starting with Duke, the dalmatian my parents had that I seem to remember, but maybe only from old pictures. When I was about 3, my parents got a beagle puppy for me and my brothers. This was before my youngest brother was even born and for all of its life, I think that dog thought he was the third son and my youngest brother was the fourth. He for sure thought he had seniority over my sister, who was the baby of the family.
As little boys in the 1960s, of course we named that beagle puppy Snoopy. He was a part of our family until I was 16 or 17. There were plenty of other dogs in those years, but Snoopy was the only one that got to sleep inside and eat popcorn with us at night. He owned the section of floor directly in front of the fireplace.
In the years since then, I’ve had several dogs. And we decided this might be a good time to get another one now that our nest is sort of empty. We inquired about registered standard poodle puppies Janet found on Facebook. I have friends who love their standard poodle, but being Tom’s son, there was no way I could pay what the breeder wanted for a puppy — roughly three times what I expected, which I thought was too much in the first place.
I could just hear what the old man would have said, “$#@&!, Chris. Go to the #@*&$ shelter and get a mutt. What kind of a big $#@& are you?” And I’m pretty sure my father-in-law, who is still very much alive, would have a similar reaction even if he never voiced it.
So we’ve been following Facebook pages for the two largest Humane Society shelters in our area. Awhile back one of them had a dog we both liked, but by the time we could call, he had already been adopted. We filled out applications at both shelters and kept looking. We then made an appointment at one of the shelters to look at a bunch of puppies.
About an hour before we were to look at the puppies, Janet texted and then called to say that Dash, the youngest and naughtiest of our two old cats, was having seizures. She rushed the cat to the vet. The vet took blood samples, did some tests and said the cat has hyperthyroidism. The bill cost more than I paid for my first car. We’re waiting to find out how much the prescription will cost every month for the rest of this free cat’s life.
We sort of took this as a sign that maybe we’re not supposed to get a dog right now.
But then Janet saw a Facebook post about a 6-year-old golden doodle free to good home. We called and scheduled a time to go meet the dog. Before we could get there, the owners called to say their daughter in the Quad Cities had decided to take the dog.
So, I guess, the search continues.
Maybe we’re supposed to add a dog to our mix. Maybe there’s a dog out there somewhere just waiting for us to find it. We’ll just need to travel a bit further down the broken road. Until then, I’ll keep trying to type while a cat keeps trying to stretch out across my keyboard.
Have a good day, friends. Stay healthy and safe.