Yesterday afternoon, the deacon, Hypatia and I went to PetSmart to buy Hypatia a car harness. Two hours later, we left the store with a car harness, some puppy treats, a doggie toothbrush, two new leashes, two new dog crates – and a second dog.
As the deacon said later, that turned out to be an expensive harness.
How, you may ask, did we end up adopting a second dog?
Pour yourself a cup of coffee and I’ll tell you.
As we pulled into PetSmart’s parking lot, we saw a van from the Lost Cat & Dog Rescue Foundation, a sign advertising an adoption event, and a lot of dogs milling around outside the store. As we walked into the store, I pointed out one pretty dog (not a Beagle) to the deacon, who responded by saying, “I want another Beagle.” The three of us went into the store, found the harness and puppy treats, paid for our purchases and left the store. As we crossed the sidewalk toward the parking lot, we were greeted by a beautiful 2 year old Beagle named Opal. I greeted her and she responded to me happily. I hesitated to adopt her, though, because I’d read that, if one is introducing a second dog into the family, it’s often best to adopt one of the opposite sex from the first. Apparently, two dogs of the same sex sometimes have difficulty adjusting to each other, whereas opposite sex dogs usually get along quite well together. So, I said “Goodbye” to Opal and kept walking. About three dogs over, I saw a tiny male Beagle. Since he was smaller than Hypatia, I estimated he was 4-5 months old. I walked over to him and said hello, and he promptly jumped onto my lap and smothered my face with kisses. And stole my heart.
I called out to the deacon, “Look at this little guy. What do you think of him?” The deacon and Hypatia came over and he said, “Yes, he’s cute.” We spoke with his handler and discovered that his age is actually 8 months or so. As we walked to the car, we talked about whether we should adopt him. By the time we finished loading the harness and puppy treats into the trunk, we had talked ourselves into it. So, we turned around and headed back to the dog formerly known as Tommy and adopted him. While I filled out the paperwork, the deacon texted our son and told him to come to the pet store after work so he could meet our new dog.
As we shopped, the deacon suggested that we rename the dog formerly known as Tommy. I said, “Do you want to call him Darwin? That’s a great name for a male Beagle – I love the wordplay involved.” The deacon agreed, and our son noted that it follows the trend of naming our dogs after scientists. Darwin is a smart boy and he already knows his new name. I think it’s much more dignified than Tommy (which is a cute name, but not very dignified).
Darwin had a rough life before his adoption. He’s very undersized and was probably the runt of his litter. He was found as a stray about two months ago in Spotsylvania Couny, Virginia (a rural county located about an hour south of Washington, DC). We don’t know if he escaped an enclosure and got lost or was deliberately abandoned. One of the guys from the rescue foundation said it’s not unusual for hunters to abandon hounds who won’t hunt. Can you imagine such heartlessness? It makes my blood boil!
Anyway, Darwin and Hypatia are adjusting to each other pretty well and they love playing together. When the deacon and I take them for walks, they make sure the whole pack is close together. If either dog is in the lead and decides the other pair is lagging too far behind, he or she will stop walking and wait for the other pair to catch up. We’re quickly becoming a cohesive unit.
And now, I’ll close the post with a couple of photos.
Here’s an updated photo of Hypatia. She’s just over 6 months old and weighs 25 pounds. She’s about fully grown now and beautiful.
And here’s Darwin. He only weighs 15.6 pounds. He’s small but spunky and holds his own very well when he plays tug-of-war with Hypatia.
So, there you have it, the saga of Darwin’s Rescue. Stay tuned for more adventures of two hounds in suburbia. In the meantime, my next post will be a review of a newly released book. You’ll have to come back soon to find out which book it is.
— the chaplain