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:)