The Unfathomable Lightness of Fur

Doggie FIRST DAY PICTURES 012WebStory1I’m waiting in the “dog adoptee” holding room. I hope I’m doing the right thing. He looks so happy. But what if I adopt him and it doesn’t work out between us? Still, look at that smile. But what if staff comes blasting in with a file showing I’m on some subversive dog-hater’s list. Oh, come on. That’s not gonna happen, that’s not gonna … “Mike?” the shelter assistant says while opening the door. “Congratulations. Here’s just a little paperwork we need to go over and then he’s yours. He looks so happy.”
Doggie FIRST DAY PICTURES 015EWebStory2Wow, he hopped right into the back seat and made himself at home. Whew, that’s good, ‘cuz he’ll never fit in the front seat. Oh, I gotta take this picture of him, the “first ride ever in the back seat” photo. It feels good to have someone in the car with me. It gets lonely driving in here all alone.
Rusty 1st Dale Ball hike 014WebStory3I’ve waited all week to get out on our first hike. Shit, he never stops, and what is he – eight – they said? What’s that look back at me, like “can’t you move a little faster?” Yeah, but look at that face. I don’t think he could ever look mean, could he? … Finally, we’re going downhill now. Oh this feels so good. How I’ve missed the exhilaration I get from exercise. And look at that face.

Rusty picutres at Cat 006WebStory4God, I thought I was tired. He completely collapsed on the dog bed. That old dog bed, Woody’s old dog bed. I thought I’d never get another dog after Woody. He was so good. I’ve spent almost two years in an empty house. But something told me now was the time. Curious, casually looking over hundreds of dogs the past two weeks, then – bingo.


Rusty picutres at Cat 011Cathy calls to say the photos I sent her are adorable and asks me what my new friend’s name is. I tell her he doesn’t have a name because he was found wandering the streets with no identification whatsoever. As I ramble on about what little back story I have on my dog-with-no- name, Cathy interrupts with, “Rusty. Why not name him Rusty? He looks rusty to me, you know, with all that brown.” From now on, I know his name will be Rusty. I like it. And it feels good to have my own sister give “Rusty” his name.

Rusty picutres at Cat 013WebStory5I take him to work today. Everyone – everyone – treats him so great, so special. I feel special. A co-worker says I look happier since I got Rusty. “Come on. Really?” I ask. “No, really,” she says. “You have.”
Rusty 1st Dale Ball hike 023WebStory6

Rusty’s trying out the new bed. He looks … as if … he’s in bliss. How lucky he is. How lucky I am. After all, it was my boss who bought the bed for Rusty. Generosity of friends. Love of creatures. We’re both lucky, me and Rusty, and seemingly all who meet him.


Doggie FIRST DAY PICTURES 018WebStory7It’s difficult for me to keep still sitting here. I usually hate having pictures taken. I usually don’t smile that much. The trail isn’t as remarkable when I hike it alone. But, okay, it’s done, it’s taken, let’s go, Rusty. Let’s go! Let’s go!


Filed under Blog, The Daily Thought

9 responses to “The Unfathomable Lightness of Fur

  1. What a great post. The genuine nature of your love for this dog comes through loud and clear. I really enjoyed it and can relate having had a similar experience recently with our rescue Kali.

  2. I’m so happy for you! I volunteer at a shelter, and it is so heartwarming to see someone adopt, especially an older dog. They deserve love as much as any puppy, and they are so grateful to get it. Congratulations, I wish you two the best!

    • Guess what, Kassie? I, too, work at a shelter – the Santa Fe Humane Society in Santa Fe. That’s where I found Rusty. That he was eight didn’t factor into my decision; if anything it bolstered empathy since I feared no one else would adopt an ‘old’ dog for a long time. And he is so grateful for my attention, as if he fears I’ll walk away from him forever at almost anytime. Keep up your work at the shelter there. You sound like quite a caring person. I’m glad we Follow each other’s site.

  3. I love the title of this post! And congratulations on your new best friend. He looks so sweet. And a great trail companion. : )

  4. Thanks, Jenifer. Living in New Mexico, where 99% of dogs are short hair chihauhua or however-you-spell-it types, I pounced on news that a dog with actual fur was in the shelter and up for adoption. That’s just part of my definition of what a dog “should be,” probably borne from too many viewings of “Lassie” as a kid (remember that show?). Still, all that fur – it adds to the lightness and love I experience having a pooch in my life.

    • Oh, and yeah, inspiration for my post’s title was derived from the movie “Unbearable Lightness of Being” with its unbelievable ending showing the main character’s joy celebrating the life of their dog at his burial. Perhaps you shed a tear, too. (If you haven’t seen the movie, I recommend.)

  5. Ok, your story brought tears to my eyes! We have 3 rescue family members – to dogs and a cat. We go thru a similar emotional process each time and ten wonder at the quiet koy and unconditional love that they bring into our lives. Thank you for sharing this. I hope that others who read it will be inspired to adopt a new best friend!

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