Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Day We First Met

When I first moved to Texas, I knew I wanted a dog to keep me company - coming home to an empty apartment was just sad! I knew, however, that I wanted to give myself a semester to get settled, figured out where I was financially (grad school loans kicked in!) and let myself adjust before I brought a dog into my life. All my residents knew I was planning for January, and were, to say the least, disappointed when I didn't have a puppy in my arms when they got back from Winter Break.

I had a few requirements for the dog that I would eventually get to call mine:
  • Dog had to be a breed, or young enough, that I could convince to like water (San Marcos, Texas, is the home to the most amazing rivers and water spots you'd ever find!)
  • I kind of preferred a puppy, but didn't get set on it having to be a young pup.
  • Shelter dog - no breeders, no buying designer dogs - I would only rescue one.
The week after break, I spent a (lot) of time looking online, going to local shelters and keeping my eyes and ears out for pups that needed a home. The first Saturday school was back in session, I made a random trip to the (saddest-looking) Humane Society shelter in Lockhart. This shelter broke my heart - it was January, mind you, and really cold. The "kennels" were chain-link fence, with nothing but a gazebo for a roof. I wanted to scoop them all up and take them home right then and there. Kittens were in a trailer inside, and puppies were outside, but in a more wind-proof corner. I walked around for awhile, saw lots of big dogs, but having some size restrictions made that a little difficult.

And then I saw them: five wriggly, black/tan/white/blonde puppies, all scrambling to the fence for my attention. The lady working opened the gate to let me see them all. Four were climbing all over each other, wanting to be the first to get my attention. Not one looked like the other - one fluffy like a husky puppy, one with long ears like a beagle, one that was blonde with spots on her skin... and one in the back, not really giving me the time day, who was black with some white and tan speckles. Eventually, this little girl turned her head and looked at me and I melted - those freckles! I grabbed her to pick her up and knew, right then and there, she was my girl. The woman said that the owner of the pup's mother said "mom was a golden retriever"; well, I tell ya what, not one ounce of these girls is a golden retriever! Or dog-mom got around and these pups had more than one dad, if you know what I mean!

I was in love. I went back on Sunday and claimed her as mine. She sat in my lap as I was filling out the paperwork and the lady was asking me some questions. "Do you have a name in mind for her?" I said that I wanted to test-run a few names, to see what fit, but that I liked the ideas of Riley, Molly, and a few others. She started laughing - was it weird to test-run dog names? I asked her why she was laughing: "Well, you know we give dogs names when they get brought here to give them an identity and something to go by. Those five girls were named yesterday when they were dropped off. Since they are all girls, we made it easy: Holly, Jolly, Lolly, Molly and Olly. That's technically Holly sitting in your lap!" Molly was meant to be, though I kind of test-ran it for the week. Molly stuck.

Meet my girl today!  She is anything but the shy dog who sits in back - if you aren't paying attention to her, she'll make sure you know she's not okay with it. Lover of peanut butter, all things water-related (yep, met that requirement!), and squeaky toys. And, thankfully, one of the things that makes moving easy to deal with: she adjusts so I know I have to, too.

(Writing prompt from Mama's Losing It)

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