When I was little, I would bring home every stray random animal I could get my hands on. 98% of the time they were actual strays, and the other 2% of the time, I probably had hijacked a family pet just out for a little solo stroll. Not to worry, all were returned to owners and good homes found. Bless my mother who so gracefully dealt with me and a sister who once walked into the house with two fistfuls of baby snakes, and proclaimed, “Mom! I found some worms!”. Needless to say, our animal hoarding is probably genetic.
I have always had some kind of four legged creature around me. I love them all.
Growing up, I had a surrogate grandmother who adopted a huge, black Great Dane from the pound. He was sweet and kind, and I can remember sneakily sharing my cookies and milk with him by the fire when no prying adult eyes were present. He was my buddy. When I met and starting dating my man, I couldn’t believe how fitting it was that he owned a Great Dane too – yet another sweet, huge boy with a propensity for lap cuddles and ear scratches. Yet again, I had found a buddy. Yet, right before I packed up my life and moved in with said boy to start our life together, a massive landscaping project was planned for our backyard. Grass was torn up, retaining walls built, a hot tub installed, and plans for sod, decorative rocks, and a water feature. All this of course meant our big boy would have to spend some time at Grandma and Grandpas. As the landscaping company kept pushing our completion date back, and I was still traveling every week, and the man working insane hours, our big boy got quite used to his temporary quarters. Two other four legged buddies to play with and weekly trips to the family ranch won him over. Long story short, we would have a moppy, miserable teenaged attitude on our hands if we forced him back home. Even with me here now full time and working part time. He refuses.
At least we get visitation.
Which of course now leads me to the power of the internet. I’ve researched – breeders, rescues, maybe getting a hunting dog so the man can do more bird hunting and mountain lion hunting (this is Wyoming, ok?). BUT yesterday, I found something that stopped me in my tracks. A sweet rescue Dane, with an excellent bio, no desire to share his people with another pup, and a love of car rides and morning jogs. A light went off. As I looked closer I realized, he’s also pure white. Startling white. He’s deaf. A special needs dog and probably not the most desirable for a lot of families.
I work with children with special needs every day. I receive comments constantly about how hard that must be, how sad, how frustrating, how (fill in the negative blank). Truthfully? Yeah, there are some difficult days. Some days where I go home and want to cry out of all of those – sadness, frustration, difficulty – but it’s the most rewarding thing I have ever done. These kids, not “ideal” for every family. They’re the ones I understand, the ones I have so much fun with…that challenge me, push me, make me be better and think better. They’re so worth it.
The translation between this new buddy in need of a home and this part of my life I treasure so much is not lost on me. Of course now, I need more information, to meet his little (big) fella, to convince the other half of our little family that we can do this. Those big blue eyes need us.
So now, I’m off to print off some pictures of this great package of imperfection to hang in the office as a not so subtle hint. I may also canvas the bathroom and bedroom. Maybe the inside of the closet too if I go a little crazy. Have printer, will conquer.