A joyous me and a concerned puppy headed home, and I told him right off, "I have a cat. I heard you're okay with cats, so this should work."
Petey has this thing he does (I don't know what to call it) where he raises his shoulders, his tail is erect and the whole body posture communicates "I'm in charge." (This is why I'm inclined to call him "Sgt. Pete.")
He approached Mosie like this, and I warned, "Good luck with THAT!" Mosie and I have gone 'round and around about who's in charge of this household, and I've always come out the loser. So at first meeting, I kept Petey on the leash in case I needed to grab him up if Mosie felt inclined to assert her authority with a painful swipe. First encounter went well.
Then I discovered he loved her cat food. So up she went until I could come up with another plan.
Mosie didn't speak to me for the month after Petey arrived. He tried to play with her, but she's too sophisticated for such. The more he tried to play with her, the more it irritated Mosie. It took a while for Mosie and me to adjust to this little yellow "twister" who would blow through the house with sharp barking, throwing himself at the door (BAM!) to go out, or volumizing his favorite squeaky toy I named, well, "Squeaky."
As I stated earlier, my expectations were to own another calm, obedient, orderly dog.
Janie had called and said Allen was bringing the new pup the next day. I couldn't sleep that night, planning all the things we would do like Brownie and I did. How he would be just as obedient and loyal, smart, and a joy to have around.
When Brownie died, I was certain I could never love another dog. Post-Brownie, I had tried loving again by treating my cat Mosie like a dog. My attempts at petting Mosie, inviting her to join me on walks, wanting her diligent company as Brownie had provided were all unsuccessful. With several scratches and a cat bite, Mosie convinced me THAT was not going to happen. As I reflect on this, I realize Mosie was grieving her own loss of Brownie. Many times I had found Mosie resting on Brownie's "spot" on the bed.
I had confided my problems with a close friend while I rode with her in the car. She is a cat afficiondo and nearly ran the car off the road as I described how I was treating Mosie.
"Katherine, YOU NEED A DOG!"
So that restless night, and for most of the day that I waited for Allen, my emotions rose and fell, playing with hope and mentally orchestrating how this would all work out.
As evening's darkness began to descend, Janie called and said Allen would be at her house shortly.
After arriving at Janie's, she and I enjoyed gazing at coyotes galloping across a field in the snowscape outside her window. Then we took photos of the Christmas tree lights reflected on the glass pane. My anticipation may have reached the similar apex as Mary awaiting the birth of her Son. It could be said, sort of, that she had been told the baby would grow to become a "game-changer. Did she wonder, "How am I to do this?" just as I wondered the same about little Petey on his way.
The dim image of a pickup truck came down the road. Slowed down...AND TURNED. I jumped into my boots and threw on my coat and waited at the head of the driveway. When the blue truck parked before me, a big man dressed in red and with a white beard bounded out of his truck.
"Ho, Ho, Ho!" he smiled and gave me a hug.
"Is this really Santa Claus?" my imagination flashed the question.
I enjoyed the friendly greeting, yet kept trying to peer around Allen. He stepped aside, and there was a little yellow pup curled into a circle on the passenger seat.
"He traveled really well," Allen said while reaching through the lighted interior. He turned and placed little Petey in my arms.
"He's so cute!" I exclaimed, fighting back tears.
Of course, it was too cold to stay outside for chit-chat.
Janie welcomed us both in, and I showed her husband Doug my little dog. He was enjoying this event as well. Even to this day, when I see Doug, he asks, "How's that dog of yours?"
We sat around talking. Janie and Allen caught up on news. She told him I was a writer and gave him the recent newspaper so that he could read my column. His chuckles warmed my heart.
Janie said, "Look at how Petey keeps looking at you, Katherine." I looked at him and he licked my cheek. His ears were laid back as though he was scared. I held him tighter.
What I know now is that when Petey's ears are laid back, most of the time he's thinking about how to take control of a situation. And perhaps that's just what he was doing in the picture below. Different people. Loud people. In a different place. Of course it was scary for him. As for me, I was too overjoyed to have any concerns over our future.
Like it was at the birth of each of my sons'. All I wanted to do was savor that moment of each my babies' arrivals. To just hold him and examine every nuance. To feel his softness and know that above all, he was mine to take care of, to teach, to enjoy, and most of all, to love. That's how I felt with Petey in my arms.
What do parents do when they adopt a child? For his birthday, do they celebrate the traditional day he was born? Petey was actually born in August 2015.
Or do they celebrate the date he entered their family? If it's the latter, then Dec. 22 we celebrated Petey's arrival one year ago, for that is the day he was born into my heart.
Love you, Little Guy:)
I do not wish to make a big issue of "signs" that foretell of something to come. In fact, I still struggle with believing such things can happen. But I had so many unusual things happen to indicate another pup was coming my way.
And as I sort out the story of this, I ask you to bear with my "backing" up once more, to the time between the dream and when I initially saw Petey's photo.
One day in September 2015, when the leaves were falling and being blown by crisp breezes, I visited friends at the EM&M building. The door to the hallway was left open, as it often is on comfortable weather days. I waded through leaves at the entry to reach my destination.
Realizing I forgot my keys, I waded back through the leaves, lightly kicking something underneath, yet not paying attention for I supposed it was a twig. Returning to the building, I again lightly stepped on something out of the norm, but my intent was visiting my friends, so I did not stop.
Once seated with my friends, I realized I had forgotten to bring in something my friends had requested. Another trip to my vehicle, another "slosh" through leaves, another bump under my boot. Having retrieved the item, I walked through the hall door insisting to myself this was the last time. I nearly tripped over that "thing" this time, and stopped.
"What is this I keep stepping on?" I asked out loud with exasperation.
I kicked away the leaves and found this:
"Strange," I mused. "This isn't colored like the puppy in my dream." I became somewhat nervous, wondering if this ragged, dirty and worn book was not to foretell the color of a future dog, but the personality. I brought the book home and left it out for me to see daily. It motivated me to pray, "God, if something like this is coming my way, please make me into the kind of person who can deal with it. Because today is not that day."
Perhaps that crack to the door of my mind is what was needed, to consider the possibility. For a few weeks later, in August, I awoke from a dream that had me smiling. It's rare when I dream, or perhaps I should say, remember a dream. But in this one, I dreamed that Godshowed me a puppy that was to be mine.. It was yellow with white markings, and as I laid my eyes upon it, a wash of warmth, pure love enveloped me and I felt peace. The first peace since Brownie died.
I was so happy when I got up and went online to google "yellow and white pups." The photo below was the closest to the puppy in my dream.
Of course, it would be a little Aussie, a girl, so much like Brownie. I rehearsed in my mind how I would train her, just like I did before. I imagined all the places we would go...
"What should I name her?" I wondered. "I will name her Goldie."
I printed out this photo and taped it on my refrigerator, Law of Attraction, you know.
My heart was ready now. I waited. And waited.
The snows came. Ever thinking of the pup, I walked up to my front door one afternoon after running errands and spied these:
Two sets of paw prints, one small, one large. "God, the dream only showed one dog. Why two sets of dog prints? Is there another one coming, too?"
Janie called. "Allen said he will be here tomorrow with your puppy."
I couldn't sleep that night.
Like I said earlier, my Brownie girl meant everything to me. She was beautiful, obedient, compliant. She anticipated my next move even before I thought it. She gave me an alarm when something was wrong that I was unaware of.
She had my back, and I had hers. No one and no thing could replace what she meant to me.
Yet a few things occured in the weeks that followed her death that opened my mind, and mostly my heart to the possibility of another dog in my life, with the caveat of course, that it be just like Brownie.
I was visiting Janie's cabin a few weeks after Brownie's passing. While walking around the yard, this dog appeared.
I did a double-take with my heart leaping inside. For a flash- "Brownie?"
It wasn't Brownie. It was Ken Hunt's dog which kept bringing me sticks to throw. "I don't want to throw a stick, " I told him. But he was insistent, bringing me stick after stick. This was just like Brownie- wouldn't quit until I acquiesced. Well, I did, and of course, that led into more sticks which probably would not have stopped had Janie and I not walked into the creek to cool off.
This dog (I can't remember his name) was so smart. As I chatted, this dog kept responding to my comments to Janie, such as "I need a stick to keep my balance." He brought me one, but I told Janie, "This one is too flimsy." In a minute he was dragging a big stick, almost a log, up the creek to me. We cracked up laughing. For the rest of my stay, he stayed close to me.
He was such a joy, such a pleasure, such a gift. I appreciated the few hours of dog-and-me time we had. Until he came, I had no idea I could enjoy another dog. My heart cracked open, just a crack mind you, to the possibility...
It's coming up on a year since Petey Podengo entered my life. I thought in the next few posts I'd give an account of our time together.
In my first phone call with Allen, he made the following very clear:
"He is a boy, not a girl."
"His name is Pete, not Petey. My wife calls him Petey, but it's Pete."
"He's a boy."
I assured Allen that I knew about boys. I had raised two sons who were well-adjusted adults, responsible citizens who contributed to society and were raising families of their own. Upon this information, Allen relaxed in knowing he had made his point.
A phone call, a connection, and I received an email with this:
"Sgt. Pete" I thought when I saw this. I cried tears of laughter and joy, mixed with sorrow over Brownie. "I've got to have this dog," I determined, and as December 2015 settled in, I watched the weather for a clear window for me to make the round trip to Washington.
As I worked on this traveling plan, Allen notified Janie he was coming to Wallowa County with the pup. More tears of excitement as I counted down the days and wondered about this little guy... (to be continued)
I had no idea dogs could enjoy snow like mine do. During the recent heavy snowfall, Petey and Babe were like children: in and out, in and out. I opened the front door at least 10 times in one hour, and finally said, "Enough!"
We went to the head of the lake yesterday afternoon...
It interests me that, more times than not, Petey is always in the lead. He's the younger of the two, and smaller, but what he lacks in maturity and size he makes up for with personality and attitude. Babe tolerates A LOT from Petey, but when she's had enough, she doesn't hesitate to let him know. I used to try to manage all of that, but finally decided to let them sort out whatever they needed to sort out. They have, and they now adore each other.
I soon learned the phrase, "A good dog is a tired dog," when Petey was only a few months old. Before Petey, I had a compliant, easy-going, obedient Aussie. I expected the same from my new pup Petey, a terrier. NOT! Fortunately, he was given to me in the winter, and I learned that this bundle of amplified energy could easily run it off in snow- the deeper the better. So though I've enjoyed the summer greenery, I've been looking forward to another winter of the white training material that makes him more teachable.
Another quirk of this 11 pounds of canine energy is he "likes to get something started." That is, he'll nip at the heels of Babe or me or another dog, or a cat, or a deer... he'll do whatever it takes to get "the chase" on. He loves to chase and be chased.
When Babe was first added to our family, she took offense to Petey's antics. But now she "gets it" and is into the game. My capacity for laughter has expanded since gaining these two.
While they are romping about, this is what I'm looking for:
Peace and beauty. I love snowscapes...
It's time to head home and the dogs are reluctant to load up.
"Can we do it again, Mom?"
Dogs. Gotta lov'em:)
It amazes me how Petey can find the rankest, vilest, deadest thing within our proximity and have so much fun rolling in it. We can be on a hike or by a river, in the most pristine of locations around here (I think), and he will return from a romp with dark goo around his neck and the happiest smile.
"Mom," he says, "I just had the most fun!" and then attempts to sit on my lap.
"You've got to be kidding me!" I groan with the first whiff. "Oh, Petey!"
His "place" in the car while I'm driving is sitting on the console by my right arm, so that he can be high enough to see. But he also likes to have his left shoulder against my right shoulder, and if he's tired, he'll drape his head over my arm.
"Petey!" There are no words really to express my disgust with him. Just "Petey!"
This, of course, leads to bath time when we get home.
What we have here, folks, is a leash attached to a drawer knob in my bathroom. It is taut, as evidenced by the drawer being pulled out. What could be on the other end?
Things aren't looking too good for the "Pete-ster."
"Do I ha-a-a-a-ve to?"
Now Babe is concerned. She worries a lot, especially about Petey.
"Sister, get me out of this!"
"Can't help you on this one, Bud. I told you not to roll in that stuff."
I physically have to place him in the bathroom. The click of the door knob seals his doom.
"Mother," he asks as I gather towels. "Can we discuss this? Do I REALLY have to take a bath?"
"Yes you do, Petey," I explain. "There's no place in this house for a dog that smells like this."
"But Mom, I'll be good."
"You're still a good boy, just a stinky good boy."
"I love you, Mom."
"I love you, too, Petey. Now get in the tub.
To respect his privacy, no bathing photo will be posted. A lot, I mean, a lot of scrubbing takes place with Sally B. Dog Soap. A douse of white vinegar is included. He endures it to the end.
After a good shake, "Woo-hoo, Mom! I feel great. Let me out of here!"
He dashes out the door, calling, "Mom, can I go outside and play again?"
"Ya know, Petey, I think I'm going to let you dry off for a while so that I can enjoy this brief time of your smelling good. Jes sayin..."
As he curls up in front of the fireplace, he says, "Love you, Mom."
"Love you, too, Petey."
I love my little guy.