Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Some days I believe in reincarnation; some days I don’t. But if I do get another chance on earth, I want to come back as a dog. Specifically, our dog.
It’s good to be Nicky. Very, very good.
For those who may not know, Nicky (aka She Who Rules and Babygirl) is our English Jack Russell Terrier. Google “Jack Russell” and you’ll be struck blind by all the different types of JRTs… Parson Jack, Irish Jack, Russell Terrier, et al. They may have short legs or long legs; wiry coats, smooth coats or broken coats; prick ears or button ears; long muzzles or blunt muzzles.
Suffice it to say that, as an English JRT (also called Puddin‘ Jacks for their sweetness), Nicky has stumpy legs, an undocked tail and a merry heart…. which, by the way, belongs to Widdle.
Nicky is affectionate, obedient and so calm we often pause to check her pulse. She has never, not once, waddled from our yard. She does not dig, yap, nip, drool, jump or tinkle all over the house. Add in the fact that she is a cheerful, nonstop talker—JRTs are famous for uttering a steady stream of chortles, chirps and squeaks—and you have the best canine companion one could wish for.
If I’m at the computer, she sleeps under the desk. If I’m doing housework, she toddles happily from sink to washer and back again. If I’m at the fridge she hurries over and politely pretends to admire my pedicure, in case a few crumbs happen to fall from above.
Being well into middle age, she sometimes gets tired of watching me toil and slips off for a nap. Her bed, lovingly selected by Widdle, is very nice, with high sides and a cushion topped with a soft, cozy throw. But if you think Nicky actually sleeps in that bed at night, I have a castle in Harleyville for sale. On the ocean.
She sleeps with us, is where she sleeps, and Widdle would divorce me if I told you who first lifted her on our bed years ago. Hint: She’s Daddy’s girl. When he’s in his bathroom, she sits outside the closed door and moans dolefully. On weekends he takes her everywhere he goes. At night she curls on his chest and stares into his eyes with an expression I reserve for fudge and George Clooney.
Each day she brings us joy.
Do you wonder where we found this amazing creature? Petfinder.com, a clearinghouse for nonprofit shelters and rescue organizations. Enter your state/city, preferred breed of dog (or cat), size and gender and how far you’re willing to drive. I guarantee that dozens of healthy, adoptable pets fitting your criteria will pop up within a 50-mile radius.
I wanted an adult female dog less than 20 pounds; breed didn’t matter. She had to be within 100 miles, spayed and housebroken. From more than 175 profiles, I picked three to see at a rescue in Florence. After a stringent application process, we drove up on a Saturday morning. Nicky was the first one they brought out. When our eyes met, it was over. I didn’t know when she was born or why she was homeless, but I knew she was leaving with us.
I gave the rescue lady $125, which included leash, collar, micro-chip, heartworm preventive and food. It’s the best deal I’ve ever made.
The next time you need joy, please consider rescue. A life depends on it.
Julie R. Smith, Nicky’s second-favorite person, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.