Our new family member is here. Such an emotional day yesterday — I was remembering the births of Eli and Ben, a vivid memory since I was Anna’s labour coach and actually cut the tough rubbery cord tying Ben to his exhausted mama. Yesterday was much easier; Anna, Sam, and I just had to rent a car, drive north of Hamilton, and wait for the pup to arrive with his foster family. After many road trips during their childhood, it was the first time the three of us have driven together for decades — so much laugher and reminiscence. Sam is a born comic, Anna a steady driver; I sat in the back and enjoyed.
Southern Connection Dog Rescue takes abandoned pups and dogs from reservations up north to foster families in the south and then finds permanent homes for them. The application tests for adoption and care for the dogs are rigorous. Bandit, his brother, and their mother lived with a foster family until yesterday when both went out for adoption.
We loved him already from photographs, but – that face! Those paws! The softest sweetest pup. We are all besotted, but especially his papa, who held his dozing new baby all the way home. We brought Bandit and all his equipment up to Sam’s small apartment, including a lot of great doggie stuff brought over Friday by my longtime neighbours Judy and Charley, whose own dog died last fall. Sam was ready with crate, blankets, bowls, toys.
Man and pup went later to visit Anna and the boys. Sam sent a video of Bandit chasing his ecstatic cousins around. This morning he wrote that the pup whimpered a lot at 4 a.m, so Sam lay on the floor with him until they both fell asleep. “Then up at 7 for brekkie,” he wrote, this man who used to work till 4 a.m. and sleep till noon.
People who’ve not had pets perhaps can’t understand the force of tenderness they provoke. How important it is to share your life with another species, who force us to reconsider our human-centric ways and look at the world through different eyes, ears, nose. To learn to care for a small creature who cannot speak but has powerful ways of communicating.
It’s a beautiful fresh sunny Sunday. Birds are mating and building nests. There’s new love in the air. How welcome, at this dire time on our planet, to feel the heart expand.
Bandit and Levi
Papa and pup