I love dogs. Big dogs, little dogs, mutts, pure bred, puppies, old dogs. If I had my druthers I’d have 10 dogs. Instead of the baby fever my peers have had in the last 10 years or so, I have fur baby fever. Much the same, I have names picked out, along with collar patterns and comfy dog beds from Geronimo’s of Nantucket, Ma. Dog make me happy. Whenever I want to stop obsessing or stressing, I tell myself to think about puppies and cupcakes. Sometimes I think about puppies carrying trays of cupcakes. How cool would that be?
When I was in elementary school my parents went to NH for the weekend. On the way home they stopped at the track in Seabrook. In addition to playing the races they brought home a retired greyhound, Mikey. He was the best dog; a quiet, gentle soul. Super patient with kids as you can see. Of course we had Mikey before adopting retired greyhounds was all the rage. And the craziest thing was that even after adopting Mikey they continued to go to the track until racing was outlawed in MA and the tracks closed. Mikey passed away before his time after being attacked by another dog. Broke our hearts but our years with him were great.
Almost as soon as I left for college, and wasn’t around to protest, my mom and sisters bought Chloe. She was a good dog, but as is the case with many small, tiny brained dogs she needed a lot of training and attention. This was a serious problem as my sisters were busy with high school, my mom worked two (sometimes three) jobs and dad didn’t want another dog after Mikey. They had bonded being the only two males in the house. After about two years Chloe left to live with a single mom and her two kids. She was happy, housebroken and had forgotten all about us in no time!
In October 1999 Sam & I were living in Charleston, SC. That’s when I met the love of my life, Seamus. Half lab, half beagle. My yellow “blab”. We rescued him from a tiny, cash-strapped shelter where he was in a smallish cage with two other larger dogs. It was a seen from HBO’s OZ if I’ve ever seen one. He was set to be put down the next day. Smaller, laid back dogs aren’t in large demand down south. For $60 and a bag of dog food we got Seamus and a certificate for him to be neutered at PetSmart (note – BAD IDEA). We got him home to discover that he had fleas and heart worm. That was okay, we had our share of imperfections too. Seamus was the ultimate food hound. He loved food and people, in that order. If I was in the kitchen, he was too. We baked a lot together, he never complained about my bad singing along to the radio as long as I dropped a sufficient amount of ingredients. The shelter estimated that he was about 8 months old. Seamus was the light of my life until he passed away from cancer in 2012 at 13 years old. He was with us for the first years of our marriage, South Carolina, moving back to MA, buying a condo, graduate school, starting careers, buying a house, the death of my grandfather and two of my uncles. I miss him so much. I always will.
In 2004 I was volunteering at Cape Ann Animal Aid and decided that Seamus was probably lonely during the day while we were at work. Seamus was never a big fan of other dogs but as he was getting older and we were working longer hours I convinced myself, and Sam, that he needed company. As luck would have it the shelter had a large number of Satos for adoption. One little, chubby puppy in particular was not getting adopted. She was full of energy, an obnoxious licker and all black. Of course, I had to have her. Veruca came home with us. Seamus was not impressed. He tried his hardest to get us to return Veruca. We didn’t. Seamus had Sam’s personality and was my dog. Veruca is as crazy as me and became Sam’s dog. Seamus learned to love Lady V, even if he never grew to like her much.
Today Veruca is our only child and is terribly spoiled. She’s stubborn and lively, a lot of fun. Someday we’ll have another fur baby, but for now she keeps us and her dog walkers fully entertained. Happy Friday!