Thursday, September 4, 2008

Happiness is a warm puppy

Those who know me (in real life), and those that know me through this blog (hello, iconjohn, I'm totally looking at you right now) know that Hurley's death this August sent me reeling. He was an incredible dog who had an incredible place in my life.

And although I'm walking on two legs again and doing socially acceptable things like showering and getting dressed and putting make up on each morning and sleeping through the night and not scaring the neighborhood children, there hasn't been a day that has gone by yet where I haven't lost my breath with missing him. Clearly, he was more than just a dog to me.

Hurley's absence in our lives can be felt physically. Our apartment has never felt so big or so quiet. And I assure you, with a college student living upstairs and a double divorcee dad with four kids and a girlfriend and a girlfriend's yappy dog living downstairs and a mysteriously fluctuating number of people with limited English skills who run up the steps so quickly that sometimes it wakes me and I think we're having a home invasion and sometimes a baby and sometimes a tuba or maybe a saxaphone I don't really know living directly next to us, it is neither big nor quiet (but always entertaining). It just feels that way after three has been reduced to two.

So to remedy this, B and I took the plunge. We got another puppy. Meet Rooney.

We had such amazing experiences with Hurley, who was some sort of a hound-lab milkshake, we decided to stick with what we love and found another hound concoction. We also knew that we wanted our new dog to be a rescue too, just like Hurley.

Rooney's mom was a Treeing Walker Coonhound and we're blindly guessing that his dad was some kind of a shepherd. His mom and entire litter were found on the side of the road somewhere in Georgia and taken to a high-kill shelter. Before they were set to get the ax, a rescue organization from New Jersey swooped in and picked them up and adopted them out of their homes. That's where B and I came in.

We saw Rooney's picture online, and thought he'd be the one for us.

So we brought him home and fattened him up and once again our apartment feels the way it should. Small and loud. Because did I mention that Treeing Walker Coonhounds do a little something called baying? Imagine your average dog howl. Now multiply that by six crazillion. That's a bay.

And right now, little Rooney is trying very hard to find his baying voice. And when his foster mom said he was "mouthy" I thought "mouthy" would be an endearing personality characteristic.

I didn't know that "mouthy" meant you will hear noises coming from his mouth every time you have something he wants or he gets excited or he gets scared or he gets tired or he wants to go out or he's hungry or he wants to get up on the couch or he wants to get down off the couch or he wants to chew on your arm or he wants his bone or he doesn't want his bone after all he wants to chew your arm again or his mouth hurts because he's teething so he wants to chew your arm or he's trying to pull your shorts down or you're in the shower and he wants you to get out or he wants to be picked up or he wants to be put down or he doesn't like the neighbor's tuba or maybe it's a saxaphone.

But while we work on Rooney's manners, he's already won us over with his affection. When he naps on the couch, he likes to have his head in our lap. When he's tired, he likes to be cradled like a baby. When we go to bed, he likes to sleep in between us firmly pressed against us. When he's happy, he showers us with kisses. He's even made Mojo reconsider her life-long position of "cat person."

And although it doesn't make me miss Hurley less, it's still an incredible comfort to have a puppy padding after me in the morning as I get ready for work and in the evening as I cook order dinner. Here's to new beginnings. Here's to a little puppy who's bringing back the happiness one lick at at time.

1 comment:

iconjohn said...

So happy for you. If you drive you may want him to visit Clark Park, one of the best dog parks in the city. Some dogs play rough but they never pick on puppies.


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