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Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Forever it seems, I've always had a dog--not as a child but when my sons were little, my then-husband and I got a collie for them. What a life changer it was for me. That dog became a joy and a trusty companion to my sons and lived a long life. Over the years there have been numerous dogs in this household until this past May when I lost my dog Shiloh. I found her at the school where I taught and to make a long story short, she wound up at my house where she lived for twelve years. Losing her was heartbreaking: Seemed that everything went all at once with her. And once again, I made the fateful trip to the vet's office to have her put to sleep. And the pain and the tears didn't stop for a long time.

Months passed and although I have a cat, I was "dogless." Never had been before and certainly didn't want to rush out and just pick any dog. I knew I would know the right dog when I saw it. My county has a shelter and a facebook site: I looked and looked. Went twice and the second time brought home a female dog that was more of a puppy; I had her here on trial. Well, of course on the second day it would snow ten inches and the dog bit through her leash leaving me with only a belt to take her outside. The snow covered her up. When she came back in, she started jumping from the floor to the kitchen sink, from the floor to the bathroom counter and on and on. Aside from being snowbound, I was hysterical with a jumper dog. Never had one. And so she was returned to the shelter and I was sad for a while at not keeping her but relieved in a way at the same time. She took more time and attention than my two sons did when they were young. No, I wasn't coping with that dog at all.

Kept going back to the shelter's facebook site and then one day a little over a month ago, there he was: I saw his picture and his eyes got me from the get go. He didn't look like he does in this picture for he was dark tan. Made a bee line to the shelter and when I saw him, he was pure white! Found out that he had coal dust all over him when his picture was taken. Someone there named him Louie. He was definitely not a Louise. I took him out back of the shelter on his leash and two men were out there that worked there."What's his name?" asked one man. "Louie" I replied. "That dog is not a Louie" said the man. Boy I was sure of that too. "I wanted to call him Rufus" I said and all of a sudden the dog's ears shot up. "I like that name:" said the man. Apparently Rufus did too for he seemed to know that name.

Back inside with Rufus and signed the papers and my dear friend arrived to pay for him. It was her gift to me for the loss of my dog Shiloh. What a wonderful thing for her to do. Had to wait till the next day to get him for he had to be neutered. On his papers, it was written that he was part Samoyed.  I'm sure the other part is golden retriever for he has those features as well. Doesn't matter to me but oh is he beautiful. And even better, whomever had him had trained him: He was housebroken and knew words like "wait" and "stay."

My cat, Maysie, was not thrilled to have him in the house as she had been here first. The usual hissing and spitting still goes on but they are attempting to get along--at least Rufus is. Maysie lurks and comes out to eat and play--high up that is.

A month ago Rufus came into my life and I am beyond happy. Yes, a dog is a lot of responsibility and much more than a cat but I actually enjoy taking him outside even if he is getting frisky when he smells the ground. He makes me feel complete. I am so glad that I didn't give up on searching for another dog and even more glad that I rescued him or maybe I should say that he rescued me for he did. The circle is now complete again. If you lose a dog to death, you are well aware of the hurt and pain but it shouldn't be a deterrent in getting another one ever. It takes time to heal and time to find the right one. Rufus' eyes got me in his picture and I am so glad that they did: He is everything I thought he would be and more.

Sherry Hill