My younger son is both fire and ice. As a camp fire warms and enhances your life, Paul can exhibit that type of personality. On the other hand, like most of us, our moods can swirl around us like dust eddies, interesting to look at but not a place we’d like to be in the center.
My two sons entered into a house buying and selling. The older one wanted to sell and the younger one wanted to buy. There was a sweet old dog that was left behind at the house with all the bad memories my older son experienced from his broken, bad marriage. Harley was approaching old age when Paul, her new master moved into her life.
At last, someone to play with Harley, the collie-shepherd cross. Her meals became regular as well as vet care and going to the groomers. Paul had someone to greet him when he came home at night and she also became a daily responsibility that added a type of stability to a rather static life style.
The day came when Paul called and asked me to take them to the veterinarian’s. Neither of us thought that Harley wouldn’t be coming home with us, but that’s how things played out. I’ve never seen such abject sorrow as I did that day when Paul carried his beloved pet home for burial.
Like me, Paul gives himself time to grieve over life’s disappointments and sorrows. So, after we were into the first few months of a new year, he decided it was time for a new pet. After much deliberation, he settled on a mix called a golden doodle. A golden doodle is a cross between a golden retriever and a standard poodle. These dogs don’t shed and are wonderful, funny, playful companions.
After an unsuccessful attempt to try to buy a puppy that ended up being in bad health, Paul called me. Hoping to cheer him up, I suggested that we look on a free on- line web site. I got the typical “Mother” comment. He said that these dogs weren’t normally advertised like that because they were expensive.
Not easily daunted, I pulled up a site that advertised pets and there was an ad for just the type of dog Paul was looking for. Immediately I called Paul and he called the owner. After Paul offered to come out in a devilish snow storm to see the puppy, the owner said that they had a gentleman’s agreement and offered to take the ad down on the condition that he would come the next night. The deal was set. Since Paul’s girlfriend had class, he asked me to go with him to see the twelve week old puppy.
There were four people in the room as we were introduced to the black golden doodle puppy and he went straight to Paul. He was everything Paul hoped he would find in the breed. He was ours. Even though we don’t live together, Chibbs was as much mine in spirit as Paul’s.
Chibbs’ personality and funny little face were so endearing. Everyone who meets him, loves him. Funny, that’s what people say about both Paul and his girlfriend as well. It looked like a match made in heaven.
This Fourth of July was a bittersweet one for me and my husband on many levels. Our one bright spot was having dinner with my son and his girlfriend and then going to their home to sit on the porch and watch the community firework display. Cali, Britt’s dog and Chibs, now eight months, were with us. Cali is just over two and pretty settled. Being around Chibs, on the other hand is like trying to hold Jell-O. He’s everywhere and back again. The community display hadn’t even started when people close by set off some pretty loud and bright fireworks. Chibbs was lying on the porch and as soon as the first boom sounded, he was gone. After we called a short time, we all began searching for our inky black friend taking different paths. My son’s girlfriend was on foot, my husband and my son went a different direction on foot and I stayed at the house hoping he would come home. After an hour, we all realized that Chibs, for whatever reason, wasn’t able to make it back. Britt was still out on foot. I went with my husband in our car and my son drove his, and began searching the streets and talking to whomever was out that evening. Everything we did was to no avail. So, by midnight, we abandoned the search and called it a night.
The next morning, I set out in my car again to search the streets and talk to people telling people what Chibs looked like and giving them my son’s contact information. I spent several hours doing that. In the meantime, Paul had put information out on social media and a free advertising web site, called the police, animal control, the game commission and the shelter for our county. He made up flyers and distributed them all over town. When I would stop at a store and even the gas station, people already knew about our sweet Chibbs. I decided to go home for lunch because my son was one step ahead of me with his posters.
If any good can come out of a situation like this, I met a lot of very nice and sympathetic animal lovers. They wished us the best as we continued to hunt for our very special boy.
After lunch, my husband and I drove to the local shelter, just to check if perhaps he had been turned in. Paul emailed them the flyer and also had filled out a report on his beloved pet. Once again, although sympathetic, they said he wasn’t there.
Monday brought another round of passing out flyers and talking to people trying to get any info on Chibs that we could. He seemed to have disappeared into thin air. By Tuesday, we had begun to think someone had picked him up. We began to wonder if we would ever see our doodle boy again. By Wednesday, we were more determined than ever to find him and even though we had begun to feel uneasy, none of us were going to give up. My husband and I drove through a large park within a couple of miles from my son’s home. Again, we had no satisfactory results. I began to realize how desperate I was to find Chibbs when I saw two tire swings in the dusk light and thought it might be him.
The time was beginning to stretch out to Thursday when Paul called me and told me that his neighbor said Chibbs was on his back porch laying on the bed that they had left out for him should he be able to come home. Ecstatic, Paul was racing towards his house from one direction and I was racing from a different direction to meet and see our beloved Chibbs. It really was him!!!!!! Our hearts seem to mimic all the wonderful activity that Chibbs was generating. It would have been a hard contest to judge who was more excited.
Judging by his appearance, it quickly became apparent that Chibbs had been on the run the whole time. He desperately needed a bath as well as brush removal from his curly coat. Although we tried to clean him up, we realized that this was a job for the professionals. So, Paul took him to a groomer and then made an appointment with his veterinarian to have him looked over and make sure he was in good health and didn’t suffer any ill effects of his adventure.
Receiving a clean bill of health from the vet, Chibbs began to relax and settle back into his home. Soon afterwards, Paul and Britt invited me for a pontoon boat ride along with their dogs and another guest with his dog. We were going to eat on the boat since we had the pets and thought that would be prudent. Britt ordered the food and Paul went into the restaurant while we remained on the moored boat. Brittany, Paul’s girlfriend, confided to me that while Chibbs was gone, Paul thought that the bond he thought he had with his dog was not there. Although Chibbs sat with me a lot of the time on our boat ride, when Paul left the boat, he began to be highly agitated. As soon as Paul returned, Chibs melted into the familiar black puddle on the bottom of the boat. When the day was ended, Paul left as we were heading for the car. Again Chibs realized Paul wasn’t with us and began to be agitated again until Paul rejoined us.
Those two remind me of men who really care for each other but refuse to give in to any demonstrations of affection. It seems to me that they both do well when the other is nearby. For the rest of us, the old adage “absence makes the heart grow fonder” couldn’t carry any heavier implications.
Life is certainly enhanced by living and loving a golden doodle, particularly when his name is Chibbs.