Monday, September 6, 2010

The Day I Met BJ


BJ at the beach in Glen Arbor, Michigan
 There is something I have been meaning to do for 10 years or so; write and publish a short story about BJ, my soul mate dog. I did write the story and drew some pictures for it but I knew I would never get it formally published.  I post this now so I always remember my dear friend.

BJ sitting in a huge flower pot.
     This short story is dedicated to all of us who love dogs and their unconditional love and the laughter that they bring into our lives.

     Married with children but without a dog for some years. Something began to tug at my heart strings and told me that it was time to welcome a dog into my life again. I could think of so many reasons why  getting a dog would add work to a busy life but all that didn't really matter. I just wanted a dog to love and care for.

     A search for the perfect pet was on and it took almost a year of looking. First I researched the breed that would be just right, I asked a local vet what breed would suit the needs of my family, I visited dog shows, called different dog clubs and one owner even invited me to her home to  meet her poodle. Many thanks to the people that were so kind and caring in sharing with me.

     To ensure the perfect choice of my next dog I had specific requirements that I was insisting upon:
         *Not a puppy
         *Small lap dog
         *Floppy ears, long legs and a long tail
         *Female with a gentle disposition
         *Non shedding due to family allergies
Example of the perfect lap dog!
         * And CHEAP;   Needed to be a rescue dog


     One Saturday I set out for another pet parade where a rescue group showed  unwanted pets  to try and get them adopted. The price was right and I met three dogs which were either hyper or ugly or both! I will not settle this time, I was sticking to my requirement list.
Next I drove to a fancy dog show that was being held in downtown Lansing, Michigan.
There were breeds I had only seen in books and they were so beautiful and SO EXPENSIVE! I will keeping looking until I found the perfect dog, maybe not today but someday.
     I debated on whether or not I had time to stop by the local Humane Society for yet another look at the new animals in the shelter. My son and daughter had been with me on many visits before. They wanted to take every dog home and finally gave up on me saying.."Oh you will never find the perfect dog, you are just too picky". Maybe I was but the choice was so important to me because it would be a forever home.
     Some how I found myself in the shelter's parking lot, then in the shelter on my way to the small dog room which was down the hall past the loud, leaping big dog room. I got side tracked and walked into the room filled the din of barking passing by cage after cage.

BJ looked me straight in the eyes.
The very last cage held a quiet dog peering out at me with dark sorrowful eyes. She was all silver gray with darker floppy ears that filled up most of her big face. Her tail looked like a giant feather duster and at the end of her very long legs were paws the size of mops. The poor dear was so so thin but newly groomed, bow and all. Hum... the card said "BJ: female sheepdog mix, one year old, owner gave her up because she was too big".

BJ's first day with her new family. 
This silent dog just stood there looking into my eyes, her ears perked up surrounding an adorable furry face that seemed to be saying; what's not to love? BJ had the kind of beauty that you saw instantly or you would never see it at all.

     Before giving up for the day I thought it would be charitable I asked if I could take BJ out for a walk in the yard. BJ was big, really big in fact she was huge. This quiet dog was so happy to get out that she dragged me out the door running onto the grass!! This definitely was not the small lap dog I was looking for. Sorry BJ.

Me being dragged for a walk with BJ.

     Only moments after we were outside BJ calmed down and something magical happened, she responded to my voice and looked me straight in the eyes. This not so perfect dog had touched my heart and I felt something good in the pit of my stomach.
I was worried about her size, was she going to grow more to fit the paw mops? Did she shed? I tugged at her fur and none came out. I stuck my nose in her hair to see if I would start sneezing. OK that all checked out. The ladies at the shelter really wanted me to take her because she had been there 10 days and bigger dogs have a harder time finding a new home.
     I did not have the nerve to just take her home and say "surprise" so I brought the family back a few hours later to see this not so perfect dog. When they saw BJ their eyes opened wide and jaws dropped. My son said that was the ugliest dog he had ever seen, my daughter said let's take her and Dad said OK.

    You guessed it she is ours. We piled into the kids and not so perfect dog into the car and celebrated with ice cream cones for everyone even BJ.
    Four out of list of requirements isn't so bad. BJ was our gentle giant with the capacity to love and play as huge as her size.

We had BJ 16 years and she was my dog, my confidant, my comfort and my joy. There will never be another BJ and I am writing this now so that the world knows she lived and still lives in my heart. If the truth be known I did this for me and yes after all these years I have tears running down my face.
Love you BJ.