I was speaking to a potential advertiser for WoofCat, who has now become an excellent friend and collaborator. She had been showing me around her burgeoning dog park (story to come later) when she said after I give you a tour, I will show you the puppies that I have in the warehouse. And show me she did.
There she was nipping and playing with her siblings. "Oh, she is so cute," I said, "and sassy, if you don't get her adopted or fostered in a few weeks, let me know I will take her."
If my present self could have bitch slapped my past self, I would have. What in the world was I thinking? I will tell you what I was thinking, "I need something to fill this ache in my heart."
You see, a couple of months back, I watched a dog get hit by a car on the freeway. A highway patrol person and I went out into the middle of the highway and rescued the poor baby. I placed a weak and broken bodied dog in the backseat of my car and drove him to the Little Rock Animal Village, where he died as I pulled up into their parking lot. His death crushed me. I posted a video of rage and tears on Facebook decrying the laws or the lack thereof to protect these innocent creatures that wander our city.
Fast forward to the puppy in the warehouse. I named that puppy Birdie, and she is a furry toddler on four legs. She talks back when you tell her she can not do something. She will drop her head and give you the "I am so innocent, cute, and adorable look." She will play outside until she is exhausted, come in the house and pee on the floor and look at you like "WHAT, sorry." She becomes manic as sleep sets in; she paces until her body has no other choice but to drop. She gives kisses like no other, and she cuddles with purposeful love. She was the antidote to the pain in my heart. She came at a time when I needed her. But damn it, if she does not work my nerves at least three times a day! She is a handful, like having an actual baby! I am 53 years old and was not looking for a baby of any kind to nurture. I spend most of my days stopping in mid-project to either yank something out of her mouth, prevent her from tipping something over, or letting her outside for the fiftieth time, and let us not mention her 6 am feeding, noon feeding and 6 pm feeding!
Puppy care is a lot of work. I am genuinely exhausted by the end of the day! Not exactly the way I saw my future, puppy, COVID-19, and a complete business shift. Yowsa!
While I bellyache about Birdies' presence and her shenanigans, she did come at a time in my life where pitty parties, depression, and full-on metal jacket craziness could have been a large part of my life. Birdie allowed me to concentrate on something besides myself. She inspired me and reminded me to be a more tolerant caretaker and to look at myself when I think it is her short-circuiting my nerves. She tells me to laugh through signals of goofiness and to take pawses (yep I did it) to play.
I am convinced that rescuing is a two-way street that many more of us should attempt to go down. I think with the proper support of both pet and parent, you could and would make a successful and sustainable family dynamic, like Birdie and me.
Please visit our local shelters in Central Arkansas. I have provided a list of shelters that you can call and visit if you find yourself in need or want of a furry companion. I got Birdie from Redfield Friends of the animals, rescue in Redfield, Arkansas.