By Leslie Criss/NEMS Daily Journal
“Happiness is a warm puppy.” Charles M. Schulz
“Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer.” Dean Koontz
“No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich.”
Every Thursday, accompanied by photographer Lauren Wood, I visit the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society’s shelter in order to find a cat and a dog to feature as our Pets of the Week.
These run every Sunday in the Living section of the Journal.
We’re told by the good folks at the shelter it has helped with pet adoptions. That makes our getting our hearts jerked around each week worthwhile, I suppose.
I steeled myself early on so I would not sob each time I looked into the eyes of a homeless pup. I also stated sternly to self, “You have three dogs at home. You cannot save them all.”
I did OK for nearly six months, but two weeks ago, I stepped into the puppy room at the shelter, unaware an abandoned canine baby named Sophie was about to yank relentlessly on my heart strings.
She was not the only dog in the room. It’s springtime – puppies and kittens abound, not to mention way too many stray or abandoned adult animals.
When our eyes met and her white-tipped tail wagged wildly, I fell hard.
I opened her cage, held her in my arms and cried. She licked my face. Later, back at the Journal, I forwarded her picture to my sister in Huntsville, Ala. Remember, you have three dogs already, I repeated to myself.
Lauren’s photo worked its magic. My sister called and said she’d shown it to her husband and my niece, and they’d be interested in meeting the puppy the following Saturday.
They met. They adopted. And all was right with the world.
My sister’s family recently said good-bye to their beloved dog, Sophie, after loving her for nearly a decade. So, my niece renamed her puppy after her favorite of “Dr. Who’s” companions – Rose Tyler.
So, Rose, the pup formerly known as Sophie, had surgery two Mondays ago at Tupelo’s Spay and Neuter Clinic. I’d agreed to pick her up and keep her for the week, then deliver the furry-faced wonder halfway to Huntsville last Saturday.
Her week with the three dogs at my house was interesting. Thom Thumb the chihuahua ignored Rose for the most part. George, the Jack Russell mix, angry at me for bringing this interloper into our home, snubbed her.
Sally the Pug, however, was overjoyed to have a female companion to play with, another dog that did not sound grouchy everytime she approached.
Since Rose became an Alabama resident a week ago, Sally has been down in the dumps, depressed. She misses her cousin Rose.
I understand completely. I miss her too.
But I’m elated she has a forever home, and is part of my family.
Up next, a dog for Dad.