Part the First
I’ve held off writing anything about the coonhound/shepherd puppy I tried to rescue a while back because I didn’t think it really was a Cancerland story. I see now however that it was, in that my diagnosis sealed the dog’s fate, and so the account is, after all, germane. Yes, that’s right: She was a germane shepherd.
Came up north, with the help of a bucket-brigade of volunteer drivers and my daughter at the remote-control (telephone, computer, Google maps) from a bend in the road in Alabama, where she’d been swept off the street and put on death row in a local shelter. The last two buckets in the brigade sprang leaks, so I raised my hand, for my daughter’s sake, and ended up doing a several-hundred-mile long jaunt with the dog in question, as well as a handsome black lab recovering from a gunshot wound, a one-eyed cat, and a comic-relief orange tabby that would soon enough need sixteen hundred bucks worth of ear surgery. I am not making this up.
More amazing still, the trip wasn’t bad at all. The weather and the animals were fine, and my GPS got us all where we were supposed to be going. The black lab was picked up in a parking lot somewhere in Connecticut by her new owners, and I continued north to Maine with the rest of the menagerie.
What my daughter hadn’t told me was that the coonhound wasn’t spoken for by anyone. She was instead destined for a very excellent no-kill shelter in Brunswick that would keep her until (if ever) she was adopted. The mission had purely been to save her life.
But my daughter confessed some weeks later that she rather hoped the hound’s big sad brown eyes would work their magic on me and that I would take her home to New York rather than leave her in the lurch at even a very good shelter.
This was an excellent calculation on my daughter’s part — her father didn’t raise any fools — and she was helped along by the hound herself, who did most of the drive with her head in my lap.
By the way, the one-eyed cat and the polyp-eared kitten were taken in by my daughter herself, to add to her three-legged dog. We are a terrible family of suckers.
Anyway, there I was in Manhattan, with a coonhound/shepherd mix now called (I apologize for this, but I am an Upper Westsider and therefore bound by law to give any and all pets a precious and/or pretentious name) Virginia Woof.
We got along famously at first, Virginia Woof and I.
I have had dogs my entire adult life, am a pushover for them, enjoy their company, and do not much mind the few small demands they make. And Virginia was as sweet and as affectionate as they come. At home.
To be continued….