If you have been reading along on this blog, you are aware I lost my sweet Belle, my Poodle/Bishon Frise mix in July. For the last six weeks or so, I have been looking for another dog to fill my heart again. My house hasn’t been the same since Belle joined her sisters in Doggie Heaven. Every day I would pull up website after website – looking for a small dog that would fit my lifestyle – basically sluggish. As I am limited in my ability to walk a dog, I would need a dog that wouldn’t mind her exercise to be chasing a toy in my moderate-sized walled-in backyard. I was hoping to find a dog that was potty trained and knew how to use doggie pee pads too. A puppy’s energy would be too much for me to handle.
Several times a week, I would visit my local shelters. There were plenty of big dogs; Pitbulls, German shepherds, and hounds, but a dearth of small dogs. Don’t get me wrong I would have loved to have taken any one of those dogs home, but I knew I couldn’t give them the home they needed. When I would see a small dog that might be appropriate, they had already been adopted and were waiting to go to their fur-ever homes. I was getting frustrated.
Every day I went without a dog, I grew more upset. I would look at the spot where Belle’s bed had been and be nearly in tears wanting so much to have another sweet dog fill that spot. I eventually realized I had little control over this situation, and therefore in my prayers, I gave the outcome over to God – trusting that it would all unfold as it should.
Then near midnight on Sunday, October 27th, I was looking at the Orange County Animal Services website and saw three possible dogs that were available; two Shih Tzus – one tan/white and the other gray/white; and an eleven-year-old white poodle with apricot markings. Three dogs that might fit my needs! Still, I felt a bit anxious when I set out the next day to see these dogs. Could one of these dogs really be the dog for me?
When I arrived, I quickly set off for the small dog area of the kennels. I saw three people surrounding one kennel. There they were – all three in one kennel! A young man was asking about the gray and white dog. I read on the kennel card that the tan and white dog was already adopted. That left the poodle. She was sweet looking and very friendly. But an eleven-year-old dog! My first thoughts were what kind of medical problems would she have? Putting my reservations aside, I asked to have a meet-and-greet in the play yard with her.
I followed the volunteer that put the leash on her out to a fenced-in area of artificial grass. I found out the little poodle’s name was Winnie. I called her by name, but she seemed uninterested – not that she was uninterested in me or in any way shy. There were some very good things I noticed about her. She didn’t mind other dogs, whether they were bigger or smaller than she was. She let me pick her up and was fine sitting and cuddling beside me on the bench. She liked to play fetch – not excessively – but that might have been because it was super hot out there. I was still on the fence about adopting her. What was holding me back?
The second volunteer sat next to me, and she was trying hard to sell me on her. That’s when I looked up above the roof of the shelter. The volunteer’s voice floated away. There in the sky was a single cloud formation that looked exactly like the poodle before me. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it and pointed it out to the volunteer. She, too, was amazed at the poodle cloud. She told me it was a sign – like I had to be convinced! The dog was mine to have for sure.
Since Winnie never responded to that name, I tried a bunch of fancy poodle names; Fifi, Princess, Gigi, Dutchess – she didn’t respond to any of them. Was she deaf? No, she did respond to loud noises but not powerfully – perhaps she was just hard of hearing. After all, she was eleven. In frustration, I said, “What am I going to call you, baby?” And wouldn’t you know? Her little docked tail wagged, and she looked at me. So from that point on, I have called her Baby.
There is no doubt that Baby has become my best friend. She so easily transitioned into my life – it’s like we had been waiting for each other. I guess the moral of this story is things will work out and take care of themselves if you have faith and are open to all possibilities.
Comments are welcome!