Saturday, February 26, 2011

Love in a Day

I fell in love today. Totally, head-over-heels in love with the sweetest dog ever.

Her name is Gretchen, a 2-year old dachshund. At the adoption store she climbed into my lap first thing and stayed there for three hours. Occasionally she'd get up, lick my face, turn around, and curl into a perfect circle. She greeted everyone with a lick of the hand and a non-stop tail wag.

If she'd managed to get out of my lap for more than 5-minutes I was going to call Husband to come down to meet her. I was completely serious. She flirted and charmed her sweet way into my heart and I was a goner.

She was so charming that four groups met her in the Get Acquainted Room and before I could talk myself into actually bringing her home, she had found the luckiest new dog owners in the world. A sweet mom and her three kids, all of whom were equally in love with her.

They were very nice people and I'm sure Gretchen will have a great life with them. But I felt like they didn't deserve her, I did. It's the one really selfish time I've had as an animal volunteer.

I actually cried when she left, but the family gave me a minute to say goodbye and she curled into my lap and licked my face one last time.

I know I'm responsible for her finding this home. I answered their questions and showed her off for at least 30-minutes, and I'm so happy to have found a loving family for this sweet girl. But I think I'm going to regret not taking her myself for a very long time.

Of course Cipher (The World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm) would freak out to have a new doggie little sister. And that's the one thing that really kept me from calling Husband. He said he was glad I didn't call -- he has less willpower than I and would have agreed probably sight unseen.

But tonight I am a little sad. She is a truly special girl. Immediately sweet and friendly to all. Calm (almost Zen) and incredibly loving. The way she warmed my lap and my heart, the way she buried her nose in my shoulder when she got tired, the sweet and trusting look her her eyes -- she was a total heart stealer.

It's honestly the hardest day I've had in the years I've been volunteering. Just thinking of her now makes me tear up (of course I've also been awake since 10 am yesterday). Part of me hopes this family's cat will hate Gretchen, that they'll return her and I can snap her up. Part of hates that tiny bit of envy that should be so happy for her.

But all of me is a bit sad. Because I fell in love today. But it was not, alas, to be.


Kittie Howard said...

Ohhhh, Decca, I feel for you. But how blessed you were to experience such a pure love. I think, deep down, you knew Cipher wouldn't feel the same. Your very loyal child probably would have been devastated! And Gretchen would probably have had to change to swim the waters between you and Cipher. I don't think it would have worked. Give Cipher a hug and step into the day!

(Er, I write this from experience. We adopted Zeak for much the same reason. Chessy, our first child, and Zeak went at it. Chaos ruled until we found a loving home for Zeak.)

Duke said...

I had something similar happen with a young cat. She came to my door hungry and cold. She was the sweetest little thing in the world. Afer a few days in the garage I thought it was time to introduce her to Molly, who'd never been around another cat.

Molly approched her as the perfect host with tail down and a submissive attitude. She wanted to be friends. The stray had other ideas. At the sight of molly she launched herself in the air. If I hadn't had her in a harness she would have landed on Molly with all 4 claws out.

Although Molly was perfectly willing to have a little sister, the stray felt threatened. It's possible over time she would have accepted Molly but I'm not going to subject molly to bullying and physical attacks. She's a timid little girl who would only retreat in that situation. She's never had to deal with aggression before.

The stray was a wonderful little kitty but she didn't need to be around another cat. I found her a home with 2 kids and they love her very much.

Sometimes it's best not to upset the apple cart. Cipher is happy now and you don't know how a dog would affect her. Sweet doggies can be terrible around cats.