The Journey of Phillip, the Forgotten, to Phillip, the Fabulous, Second in a Series
December 18, 2015
Making a List and Checking it Twice
GAIL…NEEDS… HELP! The words bounced in my head like an echo. With equal urgency I asked,” Well, what does she want? Does she need you to go down to south Arkansas and take photographs?”
Paul’s pictures were incredible and worked wonders for the canines that found themselves at the Humane Society for Animals. He could take years off an elderly animal, make a momma dog look virginal, and show a Pitbull mix looking Pit-less. It was amazing what gaining an animal’s trust and seeing the subject in its highest light could do for the magical image that resulted. Of course, the hotdog treats he stowed in his camera bag certainly helped.
“No Ellen,” he replied soberly. “She wants us to commit to a month of fostering. We might be this dog’s last hope.”
“PAUL,” I said in an exasperated tone, “I am still in mourning over little Frank-E leaving us for his forever home. There hasn’t been enough time to put our last adventure behind and bring another dog into our house. I don’t think my heart is up for it yet!”
Even though the purpose of hosting a dog is to give it time to heal and become ready for adoption, it is always hard to see them go. The moment is bittersweet at best. Frank-E became our foster “Chug” (Chihuahua/ Pug mix) arriving at our home on Halloween after his short stay at the City Hall’s animal holding pen for dogs that were found wandering this rural area without owners. The official number of days for an owner to claim him had expired, and he was destined to go to a shelter that had a contract with our community. If he went there, his days were numbered. As a part time city employee, I volunteered to take the baby boy home to give him more time to connect with a new loving family somewhere. He was named Frank-E after a Frankenstein movie we were watching at the time, but he was anything but a monster. Frank-E was our house guest for seven weeks before Gail found a home for him in Evergreen, Colorado.
There had been only five days between Frank-E’s arrival and John Paul’s departure. We came to know John Paul, a terrier mix, under similar circumstances to Frank-E’s. He was also found roaming the countryside in our country community without a collar, microchip, or identification of any sort. He blossomed under our care for six weeks until he left us for his new home. My husband and I were still showing signs of “the red eye” from tears shed over terrier memories when this “Chug” announced his arrival into our hearts. Gail was also the one that found a great home for John Paul. We owed her!
Taking the time to grasp the emotion of my words, Paul suggested, “How about we make a list of all the reasons we should and all the reasons we should not get into fostering this dog?” I agreed.
- “It’s Christmas! We haven’t even gotten our decorations up or shopping done,” I pointed out. “We really don’t have the time.” “I agree that I am also still emotional over Frank-E and John Paul,” he added.
- “Won’t we be watching Weasley, the son-in laws yellow Lab, during the holidays? There really isn’t room for that many dogs here,” I responded.
- “We do have the safety of our cats and the parrot to think about,” he continued. “Agreed!” I chimed in.
- “What about all the extra cleaning! Remember all the laundry not to mention the vacuuming!” I added. “We did go through the vacuum cleaner bags,” Paul chuckled.
- “Do we really want to be confined to the house babysitting dogs instead of going to parties and celebrating?” Paul continued. I nodded my agreement, secretly thinking that staying home sounded pretty good to me.
“Well, I guess it’s settled. I’ll e-mail Gail with the answer,” Paul said placing his fingers on the computer keyboard to type the message. I held my breath.
I watched as his fingers moved over the keys and typed the letters. Y…E…S.
There was nothing left for me to do but throw my arms around him to give his bald head a bright red kiss mark. It wasn’t long before this vegetarian no-bake girl had a turned out a ham loaf, whipped up a batch of Chex Mix, and had a pumpkin pie in the oven for her man that was both a meat eater and baked goods friendly. All the while, the song,” It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” was heard in the background. With the sounds, the smells, and good will towards all I knew instantly that this is what Christmas spirit is all about!