Today I am celebrating two dogs. Wonderful dogs. Dogs that top off any cuteness scale you can conceive. Happy eighth birthday to Dodi, and seventh to Baruch. I cannot believe we have had so many years of happiness, love, laughter and a bit of stubbornness just for good measure.
Dodi was the vision of my first roommate here in Arizona. She greeted me, the first day she picked me up with a stuffed red doxie, saying, “This is the dog we will find for you, and you will always be happy. Linda was truly a psychic!
Six weeks later Linda and I drove to Tucson and back in a day to get Dodi. She had been raised in a kennel with 20 doxies and three great Danes, no people. He was in Iran, his wife too depressed to deal with her kennel-full of pups. Dodi was engulfed in sadness, loneliness when she came into my home. For the next three months she was almost unmanageable. Not used to living in a house, she pooped everywhere. I dragged her around the neighborhood on a leash, her tail tucked under her legs. I even considered taking he back to Tucson. My dear friend Judi came and did hours and hours of Reiki on Dodi. That brought her around. She became the delightful, conceited princess she still is.
For the next year Dodi and I shared a love of fashion. Dodi was particular in her dress for the dogpark, had a different coat for her walk, each day. This culminated in her wonderful calendar with twelve different seasonal-appropriate costumes. Dodi and I believed we were in this for the duration.
Then at a Mahjongg game my friend Susan announced, “I met your dog at the Humane Society today.” She knew Dodi. Who was she talking about? Baruch! He was a picture of fears and trauma. So badly abused he could only sit in my lap and tremble, he was terrified of the world, his one safety-spot being Dodi. He had been picked up by the dog control in a dumpster in the Cottonwood Public Library Parking lot after running several miles through a dark, rainy January night. We waited the required five days to be sure he had been abandoned, then another three days to recover from his being “fixed.” We brought him home.
I named this wonderful dog Baruch. His pound name was Benji, so the B’s matched. Baruch because he was blessed, we were blessed to take in this sweet little boy. Early on he learned if he was really bad he would hear the entire blessing, “Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu, Melech Ha Olam.” (Blessed are You, King of the Universe). This made for uncomfortable Passover Seders!
Over the past six years we have shared many adventures, and many wonderful people. The Mahjongg games where the dogs moved from lap to lap, the walks around Verde Santa Fe, the three years with Larry—dinners, walks, movies, wonderful Patti, J, Sue, and now Laina.
But more importantly, I am celebrating the birthdays of two dogs, and the shared lives we have enjoyed. Beautiful, conceited Dodi. Who could compete with those long, red ears? Sweet Baruch. What trauma could still invade your thoughts, pull in such nightmares over all these years?
I have heard that dogs who are seven and eight are “middle-aged.” Not Dodi and Baruch! Dodi still goes out regularly on her lizard hunts. 100 plus degrees? No deterrent for the adventures lying under each of the sticks in her carefully conceived stick obstacle course. And Baruch. He cannot find enough ways to be loved, too many people to under his ears.
Here is to more years as an unrivaled, happy threesome, ready for the next adventure, the next person, ready to love on Baruch, admire Dodi’s red hair, ready to come into our lives.
"With all the beauty surrounding me here above the Verde Valley, how could I not create more beauty?"