About a month ago our friend Amy sent us an email, asking if we knew anyone who would take in her dog, Rex. Amy has two toddlers and a stepson occupying the majority of her energy, and Rex wasn’t getting the attention he needed. As a result, he figured out that jumping their fence was a fun way to get the focus back on him where it belonged. The exercise induced by the chasing was an added bonus.
At that time we still had River and didn’t know anyone else who could take on an energetic beast like Rex. Amy and her husband reluctantly looked into shelters, but unfortunately only one would take a dog who could leap a fence in a single bound and not put him to sleep. While they understandably waffled on making the decision whether or not to give up Rex, we at The Compound were suddenly saying our reluctant farewell to River.
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and that dogs and other creatures know a lot more about the universe than we give them credit for. Maybe River knew all along that Rex needed a good home and bowed out gracefully when the time was right. Maybe the universe sent River first to get us ready for the task at hand. I always stated adamantly that I didn’t want a dog, but once River ambled onto our scene he had me at “I have heartworms.” And once he was gone there was an emptiness in my heart that I don’t even want to describe.
Because of our sudden lack of River, the answer seemed obvious: we should take Rex into the fold. But it wasn’t a choice to make lightly. A dog’s life is usually shorter than most human’s. Could I set myself up for potential heartbreak again? I’m great with dogs, but what if Rex was too much for me to train? What if Becky’s dogs, Margot and Guinness, didn’t like him? And then there’s Lazlo. I’m lucky Lazlo lets me feed him and live in his apartment. What if Rex didn’t understand cats?
The more I thought about it the more I realized need equals need. Rex needs a good home, and I need a good dog. And Rex is a very good dog. Amy and Richard, her husband, brought Rex and his accoutrement to The Compound today, and he’s been absolutely wonderful since he joyfully lept out of their car into our lives. I introduced him to Lazlo (who was seated on his dais, aka the guest bed) and Rex was understandably curious about such a wondrous creature, but Lazlo immediately spoke at length about the ways of cats and personal space. Rex, a smart dog, realized there was better things to do than cats and split for safer sniffing.
Margot and Guinness seem to really like their new plaything. Although Margot likes Rex outside much more than inside. There’s been one “incident,” but we won’t speak of such nonsense, because we’re all learning our boundaries and still getting to know each other.
We’re all working under the assumption that this is a test drive, but something in my soul knows that Rex is here for a reason and this is where he’s going to be for a long time. Amy and Richard did a very brave thing asking us to take him, and it was very smart of them to acknowledge that they couldn’t give Rex all that he needs and to responsibly work out a solution to benefit he and them. I wish more people were that honest and good to animals. And I’m extremely honored that they trust me to love and care for Rex.
This should be fun.