Our dog's adoption anniversary is coming up. Here's the story of how we got Frances.
Last September hubs and I were driving down Ridgewood Road when we saw a shaggy little white dog trooping down the street. She was walking in the gutter, had her nose down, and looked like she had very important places to be. As we passed be we noticed she didn't have a collar.
Normally I am not up for adventure of any kind. So my husband was shocked when he said, "You wanna stop?" and I said, "Yeah." We pulled over and cornered her in somebody's driveway. I tried to get her to come over to us, but at that time I had no idea how to call a strange dog. (Now I know: kissy sounds.)
She gave us a look over. She was interested. But scared, mostly. She dug a hole under a fence and wriggled under. I felt unreasonably disappointed as I watched her auburn-colored legs slide away from us.
I decided we needed to get a dog. I went home and started researching pets on the internet. Poor hubby was dragged along helplessly.
The next day I was trolling Facebook looking for kicks when I saw this status update from one of my neighbors. "Is anybody missing a white dog? A little white dog was just hit by a car outside my house on Ridgewood Road. Call the South Orange Police if it's yours."
So, I called the police. I didn't know if it was "my dog" (yes, that's how I was thinking of her), or if she had survived the car accident. The police said she was banged up but that she was going to make it, that she was at the Animal Hospital and that she would be at the local shelter the next day.
The next day was a Wednesday and I couldn't make it over there till the afternoon. When I went in they had her in a crate in an office, away from the other dogs.
She looked awful, like hamburger on legs. She was wearing a cone. They shaved her to treat her, so she was baldish and mangy-looking. She had sores all over her from scraping against the pavement. You could tell that she hadn't been groomed for a long time, because the hair that hadn't been cut off her was long. She was lying down in the crate and looked absolutely exhausted and forlorn.
Was it "my" dog? I wasn't sure. These pictures are from the very moment we met. I put my hand up to the crate. She lifted her head and checked me out, then she hauled herself up to standing. We opened the door of the crate and helped her get her cone head out. She was very tentative about coming out, but then she came right over to me. I gave her my hand to sniff and saw that what little hair remained on her legs was auburn. And that was that. We were in love.
The receptionist told me that she had been unconscious for fifteen minutes after the accident. Later, another friend told me that was pretty sure he'd seen her on another day, further up the hill, being hit by a car, landing on her feet and running off. When we got her spayed we found out that all the while she'd had a uterine infection and that would have killed her within a few months. What a survivor!
Trauma leaves a mark, and she's no exception. Here is a list of her "turn-offs": other dogs. Suitcases that look like other dogs (i.e., all suitcases). Grocery carts. Strollers. Joggers. Baths. Strangers. Children. The elderly. "Turn-ons": kibble. Funky smells. Poo (any source but dog). All human foods. Barking. Ringo Starr singing "Good Night" from the White Album.
Most of all, she loves being with her humans, and we love being with her. Happy Franniversary to us!