I’ve made some unconventional decisions in my adulthood. Getting a dog when I didn’t know where I was going to live next is probably pretty high on that list.
It’s kind of strange to talk about living by Faith, but I do, and I have. The decision was more of a calling that I had to have faith in. It was diving headfirst into something that I really had no first hand knowledge on. I was fiscally pretty poor. I was bad at making regular appointments for various check ups on myself unless urgent. I had no savings.
My parents, I am sure, were well aware of this. And though they say nothing about it, I am sure they have questioned why I do things the way I do. Shortly after Claddagh came into my life, I decided to drive up to Wyoming for a visit. I called home and told them that I would be up for the weekend, and that I met someone and fell in love. I told them I was sure they were going to “love her” and to make sure the bed was set for two.
I’m pretty sure my parents thought I was a lesbian and that I was coming home to “come out.” They were in for a surprise.
I left Claddagh in the car, and I approached my parent’s front door and rang the bell. My stepmom opened the door, looked out and asked “Where is your friend?”
I said “in the car.” My step mom couldn’t see her, so I ran down the steps and opened the car door and Claddagh bounded out and rushed up to meet Karen. I chuckled at how shocked my folks looked. “You got a dog?” They inquire. “Yeah, I got a dog, I am 27 I think I am old enough to have a dog.”
I am certain my parents did not get what they were expecting on that visit. And Claddagh, unlike other dogs that have lived in that house, slept in bed with me.
My folks always had “outside” dogs, with the exception of Buffy. Buffy was a mini schnauzer and couldn’t handle the wild Wyoming winters without a coat. Dogs over the years would be invited inside for a little bit of human love, but mostly they stayed outdoors. If I were to guess, it would be because of the hair issue. My stepmom was mentored by Martha Steward and her house is proof. She thinks a “dirty house” is when you leave yesterdays mail on an otherwise spotless counter top. She is the reason I learned what a lint roller is.
My folks embraced Claddagh. I think they saw just how much she meant to me and they wanted to support that. Claddagh had a hard time getting along with their less socialized dogs, and spent every moment with me when I was in the house. On Claddagh’s first Christmas, my parents gave her, her own presents. Dog treats, and a toy. This was her first real toy. It was a stuffed squeaky moose. She had it up until about two years ago. She would decimate every other toy, but she prolonged the decimation of her first gift.
At first she chewed off the tuft of hair on the head of the moose. Over the years she nibbled down it’s antlers. She put a few holes in it’s legs. She matted down it’s stuffing by gnawing on it, but she DID NOT harm the squeaker. This moose was battered and bruised, but in exceptional condition for being nine years old. I finally threw it away after it was left in the yard all winter through the snow.
I truly believe my parents loved Claddagh, even though they didn’t spend a lot of time with her. If you love dogs at all, Claddagh was sure to make you feel like she was all about you. She was so playful and gentle. She had been hurt in her earlier life and had no desire to hurt or be hurt, herself. She was passively protective. Mostly, I think my parents saw her as the closest I would ever get to having a kid or getting married (which probably isn’t far off, but I guess anything is possible). Every year, without fail, Claddagh would continue to get her own Christmas presents. And every year she loved them, just never as much as that first silly moose. She took it over at least four states until it reached its ends.