Monday, June 11, 2012

Introducing Elbie

On May 18th, just about one week before I left for Louisiana, a little black dog wandered up Jolie Naquin Bank’s driveway. Her husband, Jim, said the little guy must have been dumped, and when Jolie had no response from anyone missing a little black dog after posting fliers and putting ads in the paper and on Craig’s list, she was forced to agree.

Once again, Jolie had been thrust into the position of caring for (and adopting out) a stray. Jolie dutifully took the Little Black Dog (“LBD”) to Dr. Gill and got him a rabies vaccination, had him scanned for a microchip, and tested for heartworms. No microchip was found, but he tested positive for heartworms. The vet said he would guess that LBD is some sort of Boston Terrier mix - all 20 lbs. of him - and that he’s somewhere between 6 and 8 years old.

When I told Harry about LBD, he got a suspicious look on his face. “We have the perfect pack right now. We don’t need another dog,” he said, severely. I agreed, wholeheartedly. Star is just now coming out of her shell, recovering from her depression after Winnie and Tim died, and she and JoLee are the perfect companions for one another. It’s much easier to take care of two dogs than three, I reasoned; walking two dogs is much easier than walking three; cleaning up after two dogs is much easier than three; and, honestly, there were parts of Tim’s terrier personality I really didn’t miss - his obsessive hunting, for one.

By the time I got to Jolie’s place, LBD’s name had morphed into Elbie, after Jolie's grandfather. I met Elbie that evening - he was a very nice little dog, but I wasn’t looking for another dog, and we have the perfect pack.

I helped Jolie take care of Elbie during my stay; while she was changing his water, I’d take Elbie on a little walk up the driveway, and Jolie and I spent some time sitting with him and petting him. We tried to take some decent photos of him for Petfinder, but it was really difficult - you know that “black dog” photo problem. It didn't help that something had bitten him near his eye, so he squinted like a pirate.

So - I’m not sure if it was the look in his eyes, or that jaunty little trot he has; the way his little stump of a tail wiggled his whole butt when he saw me, or the maybe way he leaned against my legs when I sat next to him. All I know is that the day before I was due to leave, I heard myself tell Jolie, “I’ll tell you what - if you haven’t found a home for him by the time you come out to Nebraska in September, I’ll take him.”

What??? I couldn’t believe I’d just heard myself say that. Harry and I had discussed this! I’d hardened my heart against just this kind of thing before I left my two lovable mutts in Nebraska! How was I going to explain this to Harry??

It ended up being easy. I just called Harry and told him what I’d done. He didn’t even bat an eye. Jolie said she knew it was meant to be; that I just needed to figure it out for myself. Maybe Harry knew too - all I know is that Elbie will be coming out to Nebraska with Jolie in September, and I will do the very best I can to make the rest of his life the very best part of his life.

Amazing what the Gypsy Heart brings home, isn’t it?

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