Good Dug

I have never murdered an animal.

My heart is too tender, my hands unwilling to follow through with the preoccupations of my mind.

I have never murdered an animal, nor harmed one intentionally, but I must confess the thoughts have occurred to me.

I don’t always like animals and there has been more than one pet in my home that I have wished gone. So, you can imagine the mixed feelings of fear and dread I bore on my heart as we approached the SSPCA (Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) yesterday to pick up the newest addition to our family.

The SSPCA is very thorough in their examination of prospective owners and take great care in finding the right fit for animal and owner. Families need family friendly animals. Widows need something different, as do empty-nesters. Everyone has different needs and desires and not every animal is right for every family.

One of the questions on the adoption form asked about previous pets: three dogs, a cat, a bird and one guinea pig.

“What happened to all those animals?”

One poisoned himself with paint, one was hit by a car, one died mysteriously and the others we just got rid of.

Lisa was doing the talking at this point and was quick enough to realize these truthful answers might raise a few eyebrows.

“We had to leave them when we moved to Scotland.”

“What do you mean ‘leave them’?

“Well, we couldn’t bring them with us, so we had to find friends who would take them for us.”

“I see.”

I was ready for them to ask for reference letters, but they were willing to take us at our word. I fear that had I been forced to reveal the dark side of my relationship with animals I’d have been denied the privilege of bringing one home.

Having said all that I am pleased with the dog we brought home yesterday. She is mild mannered, house broken, patient with the kids and willing to walk on the lead. She doesn’t leap up on you or lick you much. She doesn’t tear about the house like an uncontrollable dervish. She hasn’t chewed anything up or scraped holes in the door or whined like a broken record when put to bed. She doesn’t smell bad or drool or shed too much. She hasn’t dug any unwanted holes in the garden. And she seems particularly intent to win my affection and is winning the battle. She is a nice dog and the first 24 hours suggest a promising future.

The kids are ecstatic and have been fighting over whose turn it is to hold the lead and take the dog for a walk. They have thanked me liberally, knowing full well that the dog represents an major concession on my part.

Lisa has also taken an interest and is almost as excited as the kids. She surprised me because, although she may never have entertained murderous thoughts, she was not at all enthusiastic about bringing a dog to her tidy home.

The only troubling matter has been deciding on a name. As I said in Saturday’s post (see “Squirt Too”) there have been a number of suggestions. Now there are more and none have found unanimous agreement. We’ve decided to let the dog’s personality determine the right name.

Before bringing the dog home I was determined to remain emotionally aloof and told the kids I would just call it “dug.”

Maybe I’ll call this one “good dug.”

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