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Back in early September, it seemed like some magic was starting to happen to the Washington Nationals.
Turns out that magic went a little farther than baseball, at least for me.
The Nationals, as everyone knows by now, caught fire, went on a run through the playoffs and won the World Series. At the same time, it turns out, there was a tiny beagle puppy born somewhere in rural South Carolina.
If you’ve never spent any time out in the country, this can sometimes not be the best of things for a puppy. Out in the country, not all dogs are spayed or neutered. A litter of puppies can be born, and with not many people living nearby, nobody may want them.
In the case of this little pup, it wandered off and ended up in a shelter. A place, it turns out, that was considered a high-kill shelter. It was only 8 weeks old, but it needed to be wanted soon or it may not get to celebrate a birthday.
Meanwhile here in Ashburn, we had lost our two dogs of 15-plus years over the previous 9 months. My wife and I were crushed by all this, but we agreed we should wait some before thinking about a new dog. I thought we had agreed we’d at least wait until next spring.
Apparently “let’s wait until next spring” to my wife meant “start looking now.” For the last two months she’s been sending me emails daily with suggestions of dogs to be adopted. Not just one a day, either. At times there would be 4 or 5 emails, with links to 4 or 5 more dogs in each email.
We were having, as a famous line in a movie once conveyed, a failure to communicate.
I didn’t like any of them, and if you’ve been married for 39 years like me, you know just saying you don’t like something isn’t good enough. You must say WHY any of these dogs wasn’t perfect in every way. I did, and finally after a few weeks of this, my wife announced she knows what the problem is. It’s me, and she went on to further say that “all the dogs you like are ugly.”
A natural born salesman, she’s not.
Two weeks ago, the local branch of the Homeless Animal Rescue Team (HART) discovered and took possession of that poor little beagle pup in South Carolina and put the pup’s picture on its website. My wife, with her continuous electronic canine spamming of my email not working, decided to try a different tactic. She would call up a pic of a dog she had an interest in on her phone, then come in my office and stick the phone in my face.
This, she reasoned, would make it harder for me to ignore.
She wasn’t wrong, either.
Last Friday right after dinner, she tried this new-found technique while I was viewing a sporting event. Keep in mind, I’ve turned down the previous 237 she’s suggested. But this one kind of spoke to me, so I said “I like that dog.”
I didn’t say go get the dog, or we need to adopt it this weekend or anything like that. Just said I liked the dog.
Didn’t matter. To my wife, this meant “fill out all the paperwork and devote your every waking moment to the pursuit of going and getting her.”
If you haven’t tried to adopt a rescue, you may not be aware that in some places, it’s not really the easiest thing you will do. My wife had made preliminary inquiries into two dogs in past months and both turned out badly. One let her get to the point of going to see the dog, then demanded she adopt a second dog to even be considered so the first one wouldn’t be alone. Another demanded so much information and used a tone usually reserved for I.R.S auditors, my wife just gave up and came home.
I guess, she said, we’re better off just buying a dog when the time is right.
Her pursuit of the baby beagle was her last shot at adopting a rescue. The third time, however, was the charm, as the people at HART were awesome. My wife went to see the dog at a PetSmart the next day and the little beagle licked her nose and seemed to be saying “will you be my mom?” I received nonstop videos and pictures on my phone seeming to suggest “we MUST get this dog.” So I said OK, see what’s involved.
Long story short, by the end of the day we were told the dog was ours pending a home visit. That happened yesterday (hey, we passed!) and we picked up the pooch today. The fee was only $375, and one reason they wait a week before letting you get the dog is they use the time to get the dog all its shots and have it spayed. If you’ve owned a dog and used a vet here in Northern Virginia, you will recognize that those services cost a lot more than $375. So if you are looking for a pet, consider the good people at HART. You can go to their website by clicking here.
Meanwhile the new addition – who has been named Maggie – has already taken over the reins of the house. She hasn’t been here an hour and already knows my wife is the great enabler, so if she stays right with mom, she will get whatever she wants.
My wife has also decided she’s Elle Woods and this is the set of Legally Blonde, buying a hot pink rhinestone studded dog collar and an equally hot pink matching leash. For walks I will be taking Maggie on. SPOILER ALERT: Monday after she goes to work, we’re going to the pet store for less colorful accessories.
I don’t know what was going on in the universe right after Labor Day, but those winds of magic have certainly done their job. I now sit in my easy chair, watching sports, wearing a World Series Champion Washington Nationals hat and holding a snoozy puppy on my lap. Who occasionally looks up at me as if to ask “when are we going to eat again?”
All is now right in my world.