By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun
I have a dog again.
Like my last two dogs, she’s an English Springer Spaniel – but not a show dog as my other two dogs were. No, Lucy is a field dog, bred to hunt.
We are just getting to know each other, but I’m getting used to the reassuring sound of that familiar thump of the tail on the floor.
And now, if I don’t close the door, I will never have to go to the bathroom alone.
The first of my dogs I called Kodi. I raised him from a puppy. He turned out to be a handsome black-and-white beauty. Kodi lived until he was 13 and then began falling down. My husband (now ex) took him to a very expensive veterinarian but they said there was no hope and put Kodi down. By the way, I’m still upset at my ex for not having called me so I could have said my goodbyes.
It took about two years before I was able to think of owning another dog. Then, on the Web, I found SpringerRescue.org and the photo of a liver-and-white English Springer Spaniel.
I was living in Jacksonville. Fla., at the time. And Springer Rescue folks came to check me out. It helped that our house had a yard with a wall around it – and that my husband was carrying his dog, a Shih Tzu, in his arms.
We got OKed. But to get the dog, Dusty, I had to drive to Hattiesburg, Miss., to pick him up in a Wal-Mart parking lot. The owner was a referee on the college tennis circuit, and he thought he was leaving the dog alone in his crate for too long. It was a recourse the owner didn’t like. He just thrust the leash and the dog’s other belongings in my hands. Dusty had a history. He had been on the show circuit, before the referee got him.
He and I traveled three days across the country to Tucumcari. About eight months later he began having seizures and I took him to the vet. It was just three days. Then the vet said Dusty was gone.
Now, here in New Mexico, I discovered Springer Rescue again, and found, under the name Felicity (her name now is Lucy) a dog who seemed just right who was in a foster home in Santa Fe.
So, I had to be checked out again to figure out who’s right for the dog. Two weekends ago, I drove to Santa Fe to get acquainted with Lucy – and to get looked over, again.
The coordinator of Springer Rescue in New Mexico, Jennifer Cole, e-mailed me two days later and said I could come get Lucy.
The adoption fee was $250. And part of the rescue program is to make sure the dog is in good health when adopted. For example, Lucy’s had her shots, a microchip was implanted. While she weighs 58 pounds, it was noted that she should be between 50 and 52. (Maybe we can lose weight together.)
The adoption papers say Lucy was “dropped off at night at the Gallup Humane Society’s ‘night box.’ Nothing is known about her background.”
I wonder about Lucy’s past, her odyssey. My only fear in writing this is that someone might recognize Lucy’s story and say she’s their dog.
About Springers: They are often described as velcro companions. They often pick one person in the family, usually the one who feeds them, and then they become that person’s shadow.
And now that I’ve a dog again, there are new house rules: Never leave food unattended on the coffee table or on the kitchen counter. If a dog discovers counter surfing, you can say byebye to whole chickens, hams, loaves of breads etc. And never leave chocolates around. Chocolate is poison to a dog. I know. I’ve also been to the vet emergency center for that reason.
So, Lucy, behave yourself, hear?
Chelle Delaney is associate publisher of the Quay County Sun. She can be reached by calling 461-1952 or by emailing chelle_delaney@link. freedom.com.