“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring — it was peace.” –Milan Kundera
It’s the holiday season, and for most of us, that means spending time with loved ones, having some type of feast-day, and in many cases, giving and sharing gifts with one another. To spread a little holiday cheer, I present to you my all-time favorite Christmas song, Run-DMC‘s classic,
Those of you who’ve been following Starts With A Bang since the beginning know that, about five years ago, my partner Jamie and I adopted a rescue dog who had all sorts of temperament and behavior problems. (She actually failed the ATTS test, and it’s only through a few mistakes that she wound up with us.)
Although she’s had more fear and paranoia issues than any dog I’ve met before, we learned a ton about animal behavior and worked with her tirelessly for months on end. By time I was ready to tell all of you about her, she was leaps and bounds better.
We eventually settled on the name “Cordelia” for her, and she’s turned out to be a wonderful — and completely unique — dog. Some days, we call her “Queen Cordelia” because she finds the highest-elevated pillow or cushion in the house, and that’s the only place she’ll want to be, no matter what else is going on.
Although we had tried before to find a companion dog for her, her extraordinary pickiness has meant that, since we got her in 2007, she’s been the only dog in our household.
But for some reason, this month I’ve been talking endlessly about getting another dog for us. So earlier this weekend, we went to our local animal shelter — the Oregon Humane Society — and took a walk through to meet all the dogs they had. One of them stood out for us: a two-year-old mix that they had found, untagged and unchipped, on the streets in California.
After two weeks in a shelter there and no takers, she was transferred up to Oregon, where she was actually adopted! And then the X-rays came back.
And everyone learned that this dog has a fractured pelvis, and may require surgery down the road. The family that had agreed to adopt her immediately reneged, and unadopted her, unwilling to deal with the potential medical problems and costs. It’s important — when you adopt an animal — that you’re going to love and care for that animal for the rest of their lives.
But we liked her, and we liked her personality, and we thought there was a chance that Cordelia and this new dog could get along. So we brought Cordelia in to the shelter yesterday to meet her, and… they actually get along!
So we made an adoption (and a donation), and now we have the best holiday present ever.
So now we have two, and these two rescue animals are the two best pets I could ever have asked for. I hope each of you get to experience the joy that comes with what — for me — has been the best Christmas/Chanukkah/Solstice/Holiday present ever: rescuing an animal and giving her a great home.
I’m sure that — just like it did with Cordelia — once we get to know her a little better and figure out the best name for her personality, we’ll find the right name for her.
And for those of you wondering, yes, Cordelia still gets just as much love, affection, and just as many treats as she ever did.
And she’s still queen of the cushions.
Happy holidays to each and every one of you, and however you spend it, I hope it’s wonderful.