I do not like winter. I do not complain in the summer with heat indeces of "a hundurd 'n teeyin" and ninety-eight percent humidity in Western Kentucky, because I know that soon enough it will be under forty, and I save my moaning for the cold. And this winter has been mean and cruel and it seems like this southern city has forgotten its identity. And I come to bed with blocks of ice for feet, and I cannot get warm.
Until last night.
On August 16, 2006 a litter of puppies were born by emergency Ceasarian section. I had known the mom, Maggie Mae, all of her life, and I had shown her to her first point and her last major, and when she got her Award of Merit. Her people are my dear, dear, dear good friends. They entrusted me with Maggie Mae for this litter, so she could be bred to my Maria's grandson, and they would have a new puppy. I love Maggie Mae. During the labor, Maggie Mae's uterus ruptured, and we came perilously close to losing her. Only thanks to the skill, compassion, and talent of my wonderful vet, Maggie Mae and her eight puppies thrived.
Because Maggie needed help after her surgery, I practically lived in the whelping box. Even more than I normally would. I had the "nursery" all set up in the TV room upstairs, but since Maggie couldn't do steps, I slept on the couch downstairs for three weeks with the new family, until they were ready to move upstairs. I loved Maggie Mae more than ever, and I loved those puppies fiercely.
As the pups' personalities emerged, I started the daunting task of matching pups to the waiting homes. In the past, I didn't have to wonder about keeping in touch with the puppies as they grew, because I breed so infrequently that the pups have gone to close, personal, long term friends. In this litter, one pup was going to a home with folks I didn't know. They were referred by one of my very closest friends, and they had been waiting over a year for their first whippet. They were willing to drive the fifteen hours from Pennsylvania, and they passed their home visit by a fellow Rescue Rep with flying colors. But they would have only one dog. My job was to pick which puppy in this litter would do best in an only dog household.
The thing was, I was in love with the puppy who would do the best as an only dog. I called her Leslie, and she was a force of nature. She had a crooked little stripe on her face and she was just born with a laughing sense of herself. And she planted her feet on my heart and wouldn't let go.
But, I was in love with all the puppies, and I didn't think that Lindy Loo would thrive as an only dog, and I was certain that self assured, bossy little Leslie would and what good would it do to put a puppy in a situation that was potentially doomed? So, Leslie became Rexie and went to Pennsylvania. And my heart broke just the tiniest bit.
I hear regularly from the pups; after all they're with friends, and we talk anyway. But I hadn't heard from Rexie for a long time. I have a big old clause that states if the new home cannot keep the dog for any reason at any time ever in its life that dog comes back to me, no questions asked. Period. And I mentioned that my husband has Italian cousins in Philadelphia. I wasn't really worried. And emails can get lost in cyberspace and people are busy, and I could be more insistant, though I didn't want to be a pain, but it had really been a while and I was aching more than a little. So last night I emailed Rexie's folks and asked them please to assure me that she was OK.
And not a minute later my Inbox pinged and there were attachments! And I clicked on the paperclip icon, and I saw these
and I read the email saying she was a wonderful member of the family and my eyes started stinging and before I knew it my entire face was soggy wet.
But then, as I got Bill out of bed to come see the photos, I noticed I felt warm. Glowingly warm. It started in my chest and it spread to my ears, and my blue fingers turned pink, and my ice cold toes melted and I didn't even need to wear socks to bed. Deliciously, heavenly, toastily comfortable. I was transported from the chill of my little computer room to a sunny private beach on Eleuthera.
Synonyms for the adjective warm include, affectionate, caring, tender, and loving.
Hug your hounds.
And we have recieved an Award!
This award recognizes excellence in blogging
It was given to us by AOJ and the Lurchers whose most excellent blog puts mine to shame, but we thank them and now we get to pass the award to:
- Amanda (who writes better than I think she knows)
- Maggie and Mitch who are smile-makers
- Teka! because we love her too
- Dining Alone (aka Joe Stain's ma), as the most excellent, inspiring cooking blog
- Bill's Blog as it truly is way excellent and he hasn't promoted it
- The Ragracers another whippet blog, whose photography and writing will knock you silly
- Abby Creek Art whose dog portraits you will love, love, love
- Vee whose needle felted masterpieces you won't believe!
- Peanut for writing a post titled "Sickness and poop and throwup"! Does it get better? We think not.
- and Asta whose blog is just E for Excellent and who is Sam I Am's very special hairy friend