This morning on the trail, we ran into a Burmese Mountain Dog puppy. The puppy: exuberant, friendly, confident and kind, my thoughts turned to rescue puppy Rosie. At fourteen weeks, after who knows what and a transport from Tennessee to Connecticut, the puppy I picked up was as serious and reserved as an old lady. She didn’t smile, wag, play or scamper. And she behaved. Seeming to learn instantly, she walked on a leash, understood what I meant by ‘business’ and laid quietly and watchfully in her kennel. Not a bit of mischief in Rose, nor a bit of play, nor a peep.
I set about to woo her. I smiled at her like crazy, sang her name, played by myself with dog toys and I am sure to my neighbors’ amusement, I ran around in the backyard, throwing and retrieving my own stick while Rosie watched. A friend checked Rosie’s teeth, thinking for real, this is no puppy, this is a little old dog. Nope, little teeny wiggly puppy teeth…..hmmm.
My father had died from head trauma the week before, my 12 year old dog Maple had died two weeks before my father, after her mysterious month long illness and my mother had died 8 weeks before Maple, after her few years of the mystery of dementia illness.
To say that Rosie was exactly what I needed is an understatement of magnitude. Neither of us seemed to have the energy to complain or cry.
About two weeks into Rosie and I living together, ‘against my what to do with a new rescue puppy knowledge’, I took her up to the woods behind the house, realizing I was going to let her off leash. What if she ran? Would I ever find her?
I unclipped her, she took a few steps, looked up at me, and I said go ahead. Off she scampered nose to the ground, then head up, then tail up, then nose to the ground, no this way over that mound and then the other one and over the next one she disappeared. Would she ever stop, would she get nervous and hide in a hole, would she starve to death in the woods after running till she dropped?
It was a risk. I called her, I jumped up and down in the happiest yell I could find, ‘this is what it is Rose, this is what life can be, trees, dirt, smells, air, breeze, warmth, beauty, Rose? Isn’t this something to be happy about?’
And she came running back in a bee line, a bundle of smiling bounding joy came back. I still don’t know how we found each other.