I’ve had two names in my time. Maybe three, if you consider no name a name. At the beginning I was part of a brood of too many puppies in an overpopulated, under-inoculated part of the world: rural Alabama. I was named Delaware by my rescuers, who named the 50 of puppies each a state name. One day when I was four months old, I became Lucy.
People walked through the rescue’s kennels every day. Some were caring for us, some were looking to adopt one of us. I noticed a woman walking through with the shelter director. The woman was talking about wanting an older dog. Oh well, I thought. When the woman walked by our kennel, I sat down and looked up at her, willing her to choose me, choose me, choose me. We locked eyes for a moment, but she walked on. Seconds later the woman backed up, as though drawn backward by an invisible force. I like to think it was my intent. She leaned down and put her fingers through the gate. I looked into her eyes and gave her fingers a gentle slurp. The woman sighed, slid her eyes to the side, looked back at me, then walked on. I watched her as she went through the swinging door and disappeared from sight. I turned back to my kennelmates.
A half-hour later, the shelter director came back, clipped a leash to my collar and led me to an outdoor pen where the woman was saying patting Jenny, the sweet black pitbull who had been in the shelter longer than I had been. She watched the pitbull leave then turned to me and smiled. As I ran up to her, she stooped down to greet me. Mine.
…to be continued. Part I Part II