NGW on a Saturday? This past week was a rough one for our family. Two surgeries on Tuesday for Ms. R and my Dad. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be in two places at the same time. Everyone is on the mend, but blogging and work did not seem so important. Though I did carry my laptop with me and have been working on a few posts during time spent in hospital waiting rooms, they just seemed terribly unfinished to publish.
So here we are on the side deck, an overcast Saturday morning, humidity rising, the cicadas of August scratching out their love songs and everyone is still asleep in the house, except for Jake the Wonder Dog and me. He is all about the nonverbal communication. He is unswervingly affectionate and he would love nothing more than to be a lap dog– all 30 pounds of him. Though he wants to jump up on her, being a pretty smart boy, he has been especially gentle with Mr. R these past few days.
About Jake. Several years ago, Ms. R agreed to dog sit a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for a weekend. Our daughters loved that dog and had in fact had a short list of the kinds of dogs that they thought we should have. The CKCS was at the top of the list even before the dog sitting weekend. At some point we decided well maybe we are ready to have a dog for the girls’ sake. Thus we found ourselves at the local animal shelter. Being brought up in households where money was never plentiful, it cuts against our grain to spend thousands of dollars to purchase a pet. At the shelter there were many wonderful dogs and we actually took a couple out for a walk, but they did not seem quite right for us. We, therefore, decided to wait. However, on our way out of the shelter, Ms. R decided to put her name on a waiting list– a handwritten waiting list of all things– for a CKCS. Right.
Here is a critical difference between Ms. R and me. She believes in Magic. I am… how shall I say this… more skeptical. I thought, “We will never hear from them.” And that is the last I thought of that.
About six months later– I get a call from Ms. R at work. The shelter called and they have a CKCS and a pure bred one at that, with documentation certifying his breed. Would we like to take a look at him?
Now I have owned several dogs in the past and I know that they require much attention and that they do limit your lifestyle– weekends away are harder to negotiate, etc. And if they get sick, the costs can be significant. So I was concerned with this development. But a CKCS? What is wrong with this animal that someone would drop him off at the dog pound? My curiosity was piqued and I figured, why not take a look and we can get it out of our systems, like the last time and that would be that. Truthfully, I did not want a dog as small as a 12 pound CKCS.
The animal shelter was just a few minutes drive from my office at the time. We arrived and entered the low slung building next to the incineration plant in town. It is not a handsome neighborhood, to be sure. The dog’s name was Brownie, we were told. He was about 10 months old and his previous owners claimed that their recently newborn baby was allergic to the dog. Sounded like a strange story to me. Sounded like they were overwhelmed with puppy and baby at the same time and couldn’t find a shelter to drop the baby off, so Brownie had to go.
The moment Brownie came out of the cages he bounded toward us, happy to see people he could play with. This was not a small dog– he was about 3 time the size of the CKCS we had sat for. It did not matter that he did not know who we were. He literally flew into our arms. As he did so, I found my self saying, “Hey Jake! What a good boy! Come here, Jake!” WTF just happened!? Before I knew it we had signed adoption papers for an extra-large CKCS– nothing “Cavalier” about him– he’s just too large. We read somewhere that Cavaliers are the small guys. He’s just a KCS which suits us just fine. Even better, the adoption fee was $50.
I guess I now believe in magic too. Jake has been a blessing on the house– really just another kid. He spends his entire day thinking of ways to test us to see whet he can get away with. Well, at least that is how is seems. But he also knows to adapt himself to our moods. And he has taught us his own language of barks and body langauge. He’s quite amazing really.
And as Ms. R continues her recovery, he continues to provide support just by being there. Just another member of the family.
A few nights ago, I opened this nice little rose. I am playing nurse these days and after things had calmed down a bit, this really hit the spot.
Reserve de la Saurine du Gard Rose Vin de Pays d’Oc 2011 ($8). Scents of summer peaches and with satisfying acidity and a minerally quality on the finish of this Grenache rose. A refreshing wine that is easy to come back to glass after glass. Another terrific value from Languedoc-Roussillon. Rated **1/2
The little guy in the photo at the top of this page doesn’t have a guilty bone in his body. Neither should you. No-Guilt Wednesday (NGW) is not about compromising on quality. It’s all about drinking good wine that does not break the bank ($15 or less), eating good food and of course, it’s about sharing with the ones you love.