So one night cruising Facebook in early March 2014, an urgent request pops up on the page for Cypress Lucky Mutt Rescue. I had recently fostered a dog, Snickerdoodle, (which is, as they say, another story) so I liked to see the updates of the other misfit, mixed breed, random parade of canines that passed through the rescue’s ranks.
The plea is something like this:
URGENT Help needed – at a shelter in South Houston, a box of newborn puppies, no momma, was dumped on the front step last night. When the workers arrived this AM they had no idea what to do – they are not equipped to bottle feed five puppies! One of the workers took a risk – the no-kill shelter had a six month resident, a sweet dog named Pepper, who was lactating from a hysterical (false) pregnancy.The workers put the puppies in with her, and she is feeding them! But this is an outdoor shelter, and the puppies will not survive (due to the weather /elements) unless we can find a foster to take all six dogs. Look at how cute they are – the puppies even match their foster mom!
And I see a picture of 5 tiny puppies, eyes closed, fragile and innocent, and the big eyes of a sweet momma dog. All are black and white – it looks ike a pile of Oreos.
Did I mention I was past my second glass of wine this night?
One of my many talents I like to brag about, is my knowledge of dog breeds. As I look at the black and white momma, I think what a cute Boston Terrier! So in a moment of dog adoring passion, fueled by Cabernet, I post “I will do it!”
The kudos and the love flowed from the rescue group “Evelyn are you sure? You are awesome! You are a hero!” Yes I am, I think. And then the text messages fly setting the appointed time for the arrival of my house guests the following afternoon.
Oh, did I mention my husband was already asleep?
So I go to bed, glowing with nobility and ego in full splendor. And the next morning, I open my eyes and think “Oh sh*t!”
I do often cite one of my many philosophies as “ always do sober what you said you would do drunk.” I think when your filters are off (or slightly drowned) a lot of true feelings and insights can emerge. And by living up to your unfiltered ideas and desires, it will help keep you honest. This situation is one of those times.
So at the appointed time, the lady from the shelter arrives after a nearly two-hour drive at my house. She comes to my door, requesting to “see my set up” for the dogs. You know, all 6 of them.
So I take her to my laundry room, and show her the extra-large black wire kennel I have set up, with towels and blankets. She takes a quick look, and says “There is no way they will fit in there”. I think how silly! So to appease her, I demonstrate how I can use a baby gate to make a secure area of the laundry room. With the gate in place, when the doors to the kitchen, garage and wine cellar (don’t look surprised) open, no dogs can rush in or out, and my dogs, Coco and Captain, also are segregated from the unvaccinated puppies and momma dog.
Once the shelter representative was satisfied, I grab a leash and follow her to the car that contains the two large crates – one with momma and one with the pups. She opens the back of the Hyundai, and opens the first kennel door, and reaches inside to attach the leash to Pepper. Pepper is a black and white pit bull, approximately 55 pounds, who immediately jumps out to greet me. I seriously thought I was going to poop my pants right there.
ME: “Oh, I had no idea how big she is.” (Pregnant pause – no pun intended) “Um, what kind of dog do you think she is?”
SHELTER REPRESENTATIVE: Gives the standard rescue league answer in this situation: “Terrier Mix”.
Well, I think, at least I was right about the “terrier” part. So I take the leash as lady grabs the kennel of pups; who are at least twice the size I estimated through my wine haze when I thought they were snuggled up to a Boston Terrier.
The lady heads to my front door with the puppies, and mama knows where they are, so Pepper literally drags me into my own home – just as Chris, my spouse, arrives home from the office. One of the golden moments of timing that could have never been planned to execute in this manner. So Chris walks through the living room, looks up to the open front door, to see a stranger carrying a large kennel of whimpering puppies, being followed by a pit bull, who is dragging his wife behind her, through the living room, kitchen and into the laundry room. Let’s just say he was surprised.
It only now occurs to me that I have, in fact, 8 dogs in my house. I fear I have leaped far over the line of being a crazy dog lady. (to be continued…)
Pepper the misunderstood Pit Bull giving kisses