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the beginning

03 November 2010

Does anyone know who started World War One? Why the Brooklyn Dodgers fled New York? (The sunny weather in LA seems sufficient). Why no one in the Bush White House was jailed for outing Valerie Plame as a CIA agent? Why Mel Kiper’s wife puts up with his hair?

There are reasons for everything. Reasons and justifications, too. And when you want to push the proverbial envelope along this path, you arrive at blame. When it comes to our dog acquisition project (DAP, which should not be confused with the Dog Acquisition Budget or DAB), my finger swivels and finds the cell numbers of MW’s friends Barb and Lisa.

Each had a hand to play in the turning of the screws. Barb enlisted first. She’s a crafter who makes terrifically wonderful plushies (the kind whose heads are removed by willful puppies). While manning her stall last September at a Newport, CA arts and craft fair, a fellow exhibitor affiliated with a local dog rescue association introduced her to Duke. Barb immediately introduced MW to Duke via jpegs and a brief YouTube clip. Duke, a 4-year old black great dane foundling, was malnourished and hungry for some nutrition and a home.

It’s hard to describe the effect. MW went a little nutty, immediately coveting a dog she’d never seen. It was like watching a 1980s Wall Street raider seize upon an aging Pennsylvania steel mill. From repeat views of Barb’s videos to quickly deciding that we’d transform Duke into a Scottish laird by giving him a name like Malcolm or Hamish, our home office become a hive of emailing and sessions around the monitor. Only after MW completed a lengthy application form did we learn that we were one of 40 applicants seeking Duke’s slobbering kisses. Our chances looked statistically poor.

En plus, the rescue organization wanted an in-home visit. I drew the line at flying a representative up to visit us. MW pleaded from afar (without actually begging) that we were a good and thoughtful home. (I’m not sure that she might have displayed a bit too much neediness at this moment). We made the short list of four. Two more solicitous emails and…………Duke joined a family……………… in Orange County.

Depending on your perspective, we’d either dodged a bullet or were terribly unlucky. If you’re thinking of the rescue route, here is my take: OD is six years away from college applications but I doubt she’ll take more care in answering the application than MW did. Be aware that rescue organizations ask very serious questions; if you roll your own cigarettes, you’re probably not making the cut.

Was I sad? Duke will probably vote Republican from now on because OC is the biggest concentration of white, upper middle-class dog owners who golf in the entire state. And he may never get the opportunity to wear a Black Watch tartan bandanna at Christmas. Yes, it is definitely sad for him.

Probably the most amazing thing, though, is that this entire “We need Duke” frenzy covered just one week. Thanks to YouTube and SKYPE, email and cell phone technology, our family was on the cusp of welcoming a dog and becoming Dog People again for real. I call it my Blind Side experience. Just never saw it coming.

Who’d have thought that life can change so quickly due to an arts and craft show 400 miles away. In future, I’ll never doubt that a hummingbird can start a hurricane two oceans away.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 20 January 2011 2:24 pm

    OMG- I love it!!!

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