A year or so ago my wife and I decided that there was definitely not enough chaos in our house.
Four kids — one at college far away, one in college not far away enough, one in high school and another in middle school — along with a 13-year-old border collie mix just didn’t bring enough excitement to the home. I assume you’re getting the sarcasm but wanted to issue an alert in case you didn’t.
We had been looking at the SPCA web sites hoping to find dog number one a pal. Now dog number one — Hespe — would never be nominated for dog of the year at first glance. She looks terrifying but is a big chicken — like Jeffrey Lurie but hey, that’s a cheap push for you to read another blog post. If Hespe sees you approaching she run at you like she’s going to tear your leg off but then just shout “boo,” and she’ll run away quicker than you could imagine.
So a trip to the Chester County SPCA on a few Saturdays produced some interesting candidates. One particular little guy had promise but when we approached his cage he made it clear that he wanted no parts of us. Fair enough, I figured.
A few weeks before Christmas I got a call from someone at the facility who knew we were searching. The caller said I should come down and check out a little female Westie who had just been dropped off. I ran down as fast as I could and met Samantha. (Of course, she became to be known as Bella. The wife’s choice, not mine)
Samantha/Bella was a piece of work. She was quick, friendly, loved to play and was just as funny as could be. I fell in love.
Then the hard part. We had to have Hespe come meet Bella to see if they could get along. Well, once Hespe stopped barking I felt like they could coexist. The SPCA folks weren’t so sure but they trusted my judgment and the deal was done.
A few days went by and Tyler — my youngest — and I went to pick up Samantha/Bella. We were so excited. I was so dopey that day that I put my brand new company-issued iPad on the roof of the car to seat the pup with Tyler. Then I jumped into the driver’s side and took off up Boot Road. Oh, by the way, the iPad remained on the roof until it flew onto the roadway. (Notes to boss and to Apple: the iPad survived without a scratch)
So a year has gone by and Bella (no more Samantha) has taken to her new home and family quite well. Every night when I get home she and Hespe greet me like their best friend. Bella runs around the place and hops up and over the chair and couch wagging her tail like it’s gonna fly right off.
She sleeps with us every night (a big no-no, I understand that) and has made it clear to Hespe that she’s in charge now. And yes, at times she gets away with murder. But c’mon, look at that face. How can you stay mad at her for her miscues and misbehaviors?
And you know the last couple of years have been rough. Between the economy, life in general and all the crap that goes with having four kids — two in college no less — that wagging tail does a guy good.
So if you have a dog (OK, or a cat) go home tonight and give ’em a hug. And go to your local SPCA if you want a pet. These animals are just waiting for good homes. Even crazy homes like ours.
— Andy Hachadorian