Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Newest Member Of Our Family

Even before Misty was gone, folks tried to get us to get a new dog. We just couldn't, as long as Misty was alive. It just wouldn't have been fair to her. She needed all our attention. And then, of course, two weeks later our cat died of a broken heart, so we were in no mood to get a new pet for quite some time. But this winter, we told Mick that if he could prove he could be responsible and make his bed every morning, we'd consider getting him a dog for his birthday. I figured that if we were going to get a dog, we'd need to do it right after Mick and Tom were out of school on summer break. I started looking online at and marking the cutest dogs I could find as "favorites". Eventually, I had the courage to show the dogs I had favorited to Tom. He narrowed my choices down, confirming what I had already suspected would be the few dogs we would choose from, and then I sprung the news on Mick, showing him the possible candidates.

In my mind a dog named Tipper and a dog named Winken were the two dogs I knew we'd choose between. Both were cute with a capital "C". As it turned out, Tipper was in a shelter where, if he stayed too long, he'd be euthanized. Winken, on the other hand, was in a shelter where he'd stay until someone would adopt him, regardless of how old he got. Case settled. We'd adopt Tipper.

We got in the car and drove to Saugerties, New York. We told Mick where we were headed and why, but warned him that we still might come home without a dog. When we to got to the "shelter," we were pretty much grossed out. The place smelled to high heaven and there were dogs galore out in the fenced yard yapping their damned fool heads off. We went to the door, but no one answered. There was a car in the parking area, so someone had to be there. We went to the other side of the complex and finally an old guy came out to see why all the dogs were making such a fuss. We told him we were there to pick up a dog for adoption and he promptly told us, chidingly, that were were on the wrong side, that we needed to be knocking on the other side.We told him we had been over there but that no one was there. "She's there! I just saw her!"  Perhaps. But she didn't answer for us. So he dragged his tired old self around and knocked and he got the same response we did. Nada. So he went inside and closed the door. We heard some mumbling and then the door opened and Tipper bounded out.

Tipper, as it turns out, was the name they threw at him after he was dropped off by an animal control officer who had picked him up on the side of a road. Tipper, because of the white tip on his tail.

I signed a hastily prepared official looking document with a lot of blanks not filled in, paid our fee, which covered the rabies shot he had been given, and headed out the door with the old guy leading the dog to our car. We hadn't brought a leash, so he took the kennel's leash off, tossed him in the car and hastily closed the door before he could bolt. Tipper was wild not to be taken away from this old guy; he had been with him since early April and had obviously become attached. We all slid into our car doors, strapped ourselves in and took off for home. Man, did that dog stink. Like pee, to be exact. Plans were made about what we would do when we got home. At the top of my list was to drag out my No. 10 wash tub from the basement and give him a bath out in the yard. Long story short, he cleaned up nicely, is smart as a whip and will soon be fixed. Mostly, he stays in the yard with you without a leash, but if he catches a whiff of an animal that has been in or around the yard, all bets are off. He's part some sort of terrier - Jack Russell? Boston? - and beagle. He's already learned to sit, largely thanks to Mickey who takes him out first thing in the morning (sometimes with a puss on his face, to be honest) and when he gets home, and insists Tipper sit so he can put the leash on him. And then he makes him wait so he can walk about the door before Tipper. And Tipper waits. Smart as a whip.

Here are some shots from his first day in his new home with his new family.

In the pic below is Megan, who is living in our guest room for the summer. Last summer she was an intern at the Southfield Store. This summer she's a full fledged member of the pastry department. Enlarge the picture and look at how in heaven he is. In truth, when she comes home each evening, he parks his crazy head off at her. It's that whole watch dog and territory thing. I think he's forgotten this early moment of bliss.