Getting a puppy is something we had talked a whole lot about before we actually did it. We knew we wanted a little beast to make our family complete, but we were waiting for just the right time and just the right pooch.
In November, after we had been settled into our new house for a few months, and after our first attempt at hosting Thanksgiving was behind us (new puppy + million relatives = disaster), we were finally ready. So, after buying some essential initial pieces of pet gear like a doggy bed and a leash, we loaded up petfinder.com and started browsing. The only pet I have had before was a guinea pig abyssinian which is considered as the oldest guinea pig of its kind. It was gifted to me by my grandfather on my birthday.
Well, we found a pup online named Little Red, who was being housed at the Doberman Rescue Inc, despite not being a doberman. Her breed was listed as ‘feist.’ This is particularly significant because of a Scrabble game of many, many years ago.
You see, my dad is the Scrabble king. At least, that is what he likes to *think* he is ;). And he is notorious for doing those annoying things like getting triple word scores on short words that happen to feature obscure letters, and thus getting like a billion points out of the deal. And once, he tried to put down the word ‘feist’.
My mum and I instantly challenged him, believing that the word had to be feisty, and not just feist. But would you believe it, upon checking the dictionary, we learned that there is, in fact, a feist, and it is this: “a small, snappish dog.”
Fast forward to November 2009, and there, staring up at me from a page somewhere out there in the interwebs, is the sweetest little snappish dog I’ve ever seen.
So we call the shelter, and tell them we are interested in Little Red (also significant to me, as my theme song for most of life has been Prince’s “Little Red Corvette”). The lady informs me that another family is coming to look at her the next morning, but she will let me know if they take her.
They, of course, adopt her instantly. My heart is shattered into a million pieces, and I can no longer even look at other dogs. I cannot believe that I let the little beast in the picture slip away!
Fast forward again, to the beginning of the new year. Armed with our fresh 101 List, we again set out to find a puppy. As I am perusing the web once again, I suddenly see the same little face staring up at me. Surely it must be a mistake, and the website is loading an old version of the page, I am certain.
So I call the shelter. “Well,” the lady informs me, “that is the same Little Red you saw before… She was returned.” Of course, we need to know why she was returned. “Well, the family who took her had a baby, and she is… jumpy.” We have no baby, and no plans for babies, so we say we will be down the following Saturday to meet her.
The only way to describe the reaction of the three of us upon meeting that snowy Saturday morning is love at first sight. There, fussing at the end of her leash and wriggling like a little fish, was the sweetest beast either of us had ever seen. And yes, she was jumpy. She jumped up and down the stairs, she jumped onto another dog’s pen, she jumped on a chair, and finally tried to jump into the mop bucket by the time we were finally able to hand over our check to the nice lady at the shelter.
Her coat is red, and we named her Lucy, in honor of my favorite redhead. She was a discount doggy, having been marked down $50 for being returned once. Our vet said that “Lucy looks like dogs did 6000 years ago before there were breeds,” but he thinks she is mostly pit and greyhound or whippet (she has the overly-excited brain and wiggle butt of a pit, with the long legs of a greyhound – this girl can RUN!). We do not know the story of the beginning of her life, just that she was found scared, sick, and malnourished behind a Dairy Queen in Kentucky. How she made it safely to Pittsburgh and into our arms is completely the work of fate, and we could not be any happier to spoil the hell out of her. 🙂