It's a Girl

After the sudden, unexpected loss of the best dog ever, Pica, I was lost. I'm pretty sure my boss was worried I was going to kill myself. You can't kill yourself over a dog though, right? Everyone knows dogs don't live forever.

After several dark weeks, SN insisted we go look at puppies. Ridiculous! Still, they did look awfully cute online. We would only get one if it was from a shelter, so it would be like we were saving a dog's life...and isn't that what Pica would have wanted? Maybe we could even find another Jack Russell. 

Funny enough, we always insisted when Pica was alive that we would never want another Jack Russell, which should really be called a Jerk Russell. She was a stubborn, jealous, destructive handful. There was no stopping her from barking. (At nothing!) She was such a greedy little piggy that we had to feed her with a jar inside her food dish, as it was the only way we could stop her from swallowing the entire bowlful in one gulp. And she shed like you would not believe. Four months after her passing, we're still picking her hair off our clothes.

I loved her so much. She was our child, a toddler filling our days with chaos.

On the morning we ventured to the shelter (our first outing since Pica had passed away, other than to go to work), I expected to return home empty handed. We couldn't just settle for any dog. If it was coming home with us, it had to be the perfect dog, and how could any dog live up to Pica?

We checked the first animal shelter, then drove half an hour to a second. Both were crammed with old and young dogs that would break your heart, each innocent and deserving of a loving family rather than the cold cement they were forced to endure. Many were listed as 'owner surrender.' How could anyone have abandoned them?

In the face of each dog, I saw Pica. As much as I wished to give every one of them a home, none seemed to be 'the one.' It wasn't their fault. It was simply too soon. In order for us to adopt a dog, it needed to be love at first sight.

We drove another 30 minutes to a third animal shelter. I'm not sure if this is common everywhere, but here in New Mexico, the majority of kennels at all three were filled with pit bulls and pit bull mixes. SN was clear that we would not be adopting one of those. Although we both know it's because of monstrous people that this breed has a reputation for violence, it still seemed like a risk to bring one into our life. Not that it mattered, as we were nearly through the final shelter and I hadn't found anyone to take home.

It must have been fate. In the very last pen of the very last row were six puppies. Five were out of their minds, romping and rolling and gnawing on everything and everyone. The sixth was sitting calmly, even as her siblings climbed over her, and staring at me with big green eyes. I reached through the bars and she snuggled against my hand.

This particular shelter had a relaxed meet and greet policy. Rather than wait for a volunteer to get the dog out and bring her to a visitation room, we were told to just open the door and go inside with all of the puppies. I did and was instantly laughing, the first time in weeks, with a sudden onslaught of tongues and pudge and fur leaping at me from every angle. The puppies were filthy and I didn't care. I yelled out to the volunteer that they should charge money for this.

The green-eyed puppy I'd come in for had the softest coat of the litter. She was only eight weeks old and around five pounds. I scooped her up and it was like cuddling a Beanie Baby. This was the one. Pica had sent her to us, I just knew it. There was a serious problem though.

SN refused to enter the kennel. "She's a pit bull," he complained. "Wouldn't you rather have one of these other puppies? Did you see the blue heelers over here?"

"She's a pit bull mix. Besides, that doesn't mean anything. Just pet her," I pleaded. 

Begrudgingly, SN joined me behind the bars. He tried his best not to smile at the mass of puppies assaulting his shoes, though was unable to resist when one actually untied them. "We don't want a pit bull," he stated. I reminded him that all of Michael Vick's pit bulls had been rehabilitated as I placed my green-eyed puppy into his arms.

She yawned the cutest yawn, complete with a high pitched sigh, and fell asleep. Somehow, SN didn't react. As if instructed by Pica, the tiny pup woke up and began to gently lick his beard. SN is not made of stone.

On the long car ride home, the new addition to our family went through many names. She'd been Daphne when we left the shelter, though not with enough conviction to have it included on the free tag we'd been offered. She was Hazel and Pretzel and Scamp. We thought Jelly might be a nice name because of Pica and our other dog, Biscuit (PB and J).

Meet the world's sweetest dog, Olive, whom SN has gone completely head over heels for:

(You can follow her cuteness on Instagram, by the way.)


puppy sleeping


purse puppy

sleepy pup

puppy taking a bath

cute pit bull puppy


cute puppy

pitbull mix


pit bull with green eyes

funny puppy photos

introducing new puppy to older dog

beautiful dog

funny pitbull photos

i love pit bulls

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