On Homesickness. - The second time I went to New England was after a prolonged time in the deep south. My tenure at Louisiana State University had come to a close (relativel...
Friday, December 10, 2010
Nobody orders nachos without cheese. And no one writes about their pets without dwarfing the amount of cheese found on 7-11 or Oriole Park nachos. Therefore, writing about pets is ill advised unless you are writing a script for Lifetime television. I'm not.
And yet, I'm still going to sail the seas of cheese (props to Primus) and venture into the land of pets. But you've been warned.
A shade over ten years ago we brought home a Golden Retriever. Ivan. He is dark/red enough to have been taken for an Irish Setter more than once. Ivan the Red. Yes, we should have seen it coming. Ivan is my second run-in with Goldens. The first came when I was nine and the crotchety black cocker spaniel-based mutt we had (Lucy) died. It was around my birthday and I was told I could pick the next dog and even name it. I went Golden Retriever. And named her Morgan after King Arthur's twisted sister, Morgan Le Fay (people then suspected Morgan Fairchild as the namesake, but come on, I was nine, into medieval and Arthurian shit and besides, Heather Thomas and Bo Derek were more in at the time anyway).
Morgan was a good dog and Ivan is a stalwart family member as well. I don't think I have taken to any of the family dogs between Morgan and Ivan in the way I have to them--just something about a breed that sticks with you, I reckon (mmm-hhmm, props to Slingblade).
Despite his various issues (I have come home to him having decimated a full box of Swiss Miss hot chocolate packets all over a white rug), Ivan has earned respect and love. He has seen us bring home one baby girl (Anna), move to a new house, bring home a second baby (Ava), seen a cat come home one year (Sesame), another cat the next (Carlos), and he has been pulled on, dressed up, bopped in the nose, the list continues. And as Goldens are, he couldn't be more thrilled to see you when you roll in. He's been on trail runs to Tuckahoe (almost railroading me into a tree coming down a steep hill at one time) and almost always has to be on leash when out of the yard to keep from re-enacting the scene from the movie Funny Farm, where the dog takes off running in a straight line and is never seen again.
For a couple months now, we've been thinking about rescuing a Golden. We weren't nuts enough to think about a puppy, more along the one to three year mark. We've started and stopped and thought and looked online, but not gone any further.
And then Robin gets an e-mail forwarded to her: a family with a baby, who needs to find a home for their three-year old Golden Doodle. Now, it's never been a life goal of mine to have a dog with the word "Doodle" in the breed [scene: lifting weights or at the tattoo joint, doing something tough, 'yeah, y'all got a dog?' 'yeah, man, we have a Golden Doodle.' Muffled laughter, end of conversation]. But I'm a sucker.
I remember catching a glimpse of our first Doodle maybe ten-ish years ago, in Ocean City. And we have friends with two Doodles. They are great dogs, seemingly just curlier lighter Goldens.
Last night, Lucia came home. Ava, our five-year old said, "Dad, they have the same eyes." They do. And mannerisms, the same paw that comes up, high-five-like to ask for loving.
And one. Our family now has a second dog. Ava points out that we now have two of each species: parents, daughters, dogs, cats, birds. Don't get me started on the birds. But welcome, Lucia!