Finding a treasure in a ditch alongside a country road may seem out of the ordinary. Last month, I sure as hell did not expect me & my wife, Tara, to find one.
We were in South Carolina, visiting her brother, and waiting for grandma Vicky to join us during our brief stay. I had never met grandma Vicky. She had read some of my work, though, & nothing gave me any indication of disapproval of me marrying her granddaughter. Family is family, nonetheless; meaning reading someone’s ridiculous columns is no “first impression once-over.”
All of us – Me, Tara, her brother & his lady – were waiting on the back porch for Grandma when a phone rang. I heard my brother-in-law speaking, assuming he was talking to our expected guest. And he was. When the phone was passed over to Tara, I could tell something was up… nothing bad, but there was that feeling in the air, that feeling when you know something is about to change. That our little gathering was about to get a little more interesting.
“Grandma found a puppy and its mother. We are going to help her rescue them.”
Oh, boy. This isn’t happening.
My wife, loving her as much as I do, suffers from a rare & chronic condition of Caring Heart Syndrome that, consequently leads to addiction. This addiction is best defined in simple terms: she is powerless against helping animals in need. Specifically dogs. And puppies are the “good stuff” as they say on the streets.
As soon as I saw Tara picking up a light brown fluff ball with a black face, it was over. Instantly hooked is the most accurate way to put it.
Now she said it was my call on whether or not we keep the pup.
I knew I had to play that hand right. Not just for the health & safety of the wiggling fluff ball in my wife’s arms, but for MY health & future happiness.
Naturally, I caved. Not only was the look on Tara’s face something to make your heart stop, but that little pup was just so freaking cute. The blue-tinted puppy’s eyes… the smell of puppy breath… a natural disposition of not knowing how to move the body in any way resembling grace… feet too big – ALL of it so damn cute.
We named her Winnifred, a.k.a., Winnie.
It’s been about four weeks since we brought her home, to the Compound. She still does not know how to walk in any graceful way. All that wiggling from her rear end throws off any possibility of coordination. Her mouth is filled with needle-razor-teeth. These teeth seem to need to be used every second of her waking moment. And for some reason, toes & fingers seem to be the top-shelf choice of little puppy dogs.
Do I like this fuzzball that seems to be growing at an alarming rate? (She was 5 lbs when we got her, she’s now 13 lbs.)
Sometimes I do. Sometimes she is just an annoying little/big turd. One that is VERY demanding of EVERYONE’S attention. Not just Tara & my attention. Attention from the other dogs, as well. THAT has been fun to witness. Most of the other, older dogs seem to lack the patience for a wiggling & bouncing & barking little thing brought home from a ditch.
She is a treasure. I’ll admit to that. We believe she is an Anatolian Shepard, a breed originating from Turkey. And a BIG dog she will become. Like our four polar wolves, the Great Pyrenees, Anatolian Shepherds guard flocks of livestock & property. From what I read on akc.org, the Anatolian Shepherds are mentioned in the “Book of Job.” A story dating back to 1800 B. C.
It wasn’t until the 1950s before this breed started to be imported into the states by ranchers wanting the dog’s fine qualities of protection & independence. However, in the late 1930s, one male & one female Anatolian were given to The Secretary of Agriculture, Henry Wallace, by a Turkish ambassador.
It was a failed experiment to see what breed of dog would make the best sheepdog.
Whatever she is, she belongs with us, now. A pain in the butt she may be – I wouldn’t have it any other way, though. More smiles are spread in this home during the days because of her.
She will, as I know, become a regular personality in these stories. So much time is spent trying to keep her out of control, I HAVE to write about it.