Soft heart vs. common sense

What do you get when your soft heart overrules your common sense? Too many dogs in the house.

At least that’s what it seems like around our house these days. It wasn’t the way it was supposed to be, of course. My wife and I had agreed a couple of years ago that if my little dog, Huey, ever died, we would not get another dog.
It wouldn’t have meant we didn’t have a dog – or a cat. We have a 4-year-old beagle named Molly that we got from a dog rescue group about three years ago. And Ziggy, a cat that showed up at the house a few months ago and stayed.
We’re pet people, but we reasoned that because we keep them in the house, one dog and one cat was enough.
And it would reduce our kennel costs when we went out of town several times a year to visit our relatives.
Yep, that was what we were going to do. We had made up our minds and that was the way it was going to be.
And it would have been that way, too, it if hadn’t been for the little black-and-white dog that roamed our neighborhood for several weeks. She would run circles around us when we were out walking Molly.
We resisted taking her in. But she was at our door one rainy morning, and she had been attacked by something or someone.
She had a long, bloody wound across her rear. Jenny thought someone had tried to cut off her tail.
We opened our garage door a bit and let her sleep on an old quilt. The next day she was still there.
That was that. Off to the vet she went for treatment.
Soon “Sophie” had joined the family. It would be OK, we thought. We were used to having two dogs in the house. Sophie wouldn’t be a problem.
Several days later, a little girl from down the street came to our house carrying a brown-and-white puppy.
 It was the one we had kept overnight several weeks ago because it was out alone late at night. That time, the girl’s father had come to claim it the next morning. The puppy had gotten out of a hole in the fence.
He also said his children had wanted a puppy, but that caring for it was more than they’d bargained for.
Now the little girl said they had decided they couldn’t keep the puppy, and they were trying to find it a good home.
She wondered if we would give it one. We said yes.
So we have three dogs in the house and one cat. We know it makes us sound crazy, and we worry that someone will give our name to one of those TV shows about animal hoarding.
But I think God sent me the little black-and-white dog because he was about to take Huey, who 16 years ago also had come to us wounded and bloody.
The other one, which we now call “Lizzie,” defies explanation. I keep telling Jenny that having three dogs is not much different than having two.
So far, I’m pretty sure I’m wrong about that, especially if one is a puppy.

T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at