10/21/10

Love...one year later


A year ago, Jeff and I contacted Bichon's and Buddies animal rescue, and made an appointment to go to the Culver City animal hospital to see if we could find a hypo-allergenic buddy for Mabel. It was a rainy day, much like today and the one day off that Jeff had from a film that he was doing. The new dog was something that we had talked about, but I was the one who pulled the trigger, calling the organization, making an appointment and surprising Jeff. Surprise one, I had planned his day off, surprise two, Bichons and Buddies, isn't a foster organization, you take 'em, their yours.

At the shelter there were about 6 dogs that we were told to look at, sweet, sad, needy, some crazy from their days at the puppy mill, others with nerves frayed from the barking and smells of the other dogs that they shared space with at the hospital. I ventured back to where the cages are kept and saw Lily. It was hard not to notice her, she jumped as high as my chest and barked loudly for me to notice her. I checked my list of available dogs and she wasn't on it, and so I apologized to her and took the first candidate out to meet Mabel. Mabel had to like the other dog. After about an hour it was clear that Mabel wasn't interested, and also that these dogs for a variety of reasons weren't right for us. It was heartbreaking. And then the woman who was helping out said, "Oh there's one more, but you wouldn't be interested, she's not pure bichon."

I didn't care if she was pure Bichon, it was about my allergies, and so I asked what she was, "a poodle bichon mix," she answered, "her name is Lily, interested?"

Lily...the little jumper that I had seen, came running out of the back and up onto my lap. She placed her front paws on my shoulder and looked me in the eyes. She wasn't going anywhere. Eventually she nestled into the side of my body, sharing my lap with Mabel, who made room for her! We took her for a walk, and wanted to cry as we watched her twist on her leash, and scramble along the sidewalk afraid of the cars and the noises. Turns out she had been found wandering the streets. Turns out she was the dog that we had been interested in months before that got adopted before we could get her, only to be returned 2 days later by someone who found it too hard to have a pet and kids.

We went back inside and waited for the woman who runs Bichons and Buddies to come and meet us. The moment she walked in the door, on her lunch break from her real job, she exclaimed, "Congratulations Lily! Looks like you have found a home!"...and she had. And we adore her, and a year later, she and Mabel have learned that the other is here to stay, that there is love enough for both of them, and that there is even love between them. They have become buddies.

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