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The topic of a dog loomed heavily over our heads. I wanted one. My husband did not. We have even had heated discussions—okay, arguments—over an imaginary pet that wasn’t even in our …
The topic of a dog loomed heavily over our heads. I wanted one. My husband did not. We have even had heated discussions—okay, arguments—over an imaginary pet that wasn’t even in our lives. It was quagmire meets dog.
We were in a dogmire.
Our cat, Lola, beloved and safely tucked into the fabric of our lives, passed away last spring, which was hard. She was wonderful and will be forever missed. Time marched on, as it inevitably does, and it was time to decide. Would a dog join our family? I signed us up for www.petfinder.com alerts, just in case.
Enter Kudzu, sooner than expected. A five-year-old rescue. Mellow. Beautiful. A tail that’s part chainsaw with opinions as strong as a Fox News commentator. A month ago, she was a stray in Puerto Rico. Now she splits her time between Harlem and Narrowsburg.
She clearly has her favorite: Kudzu is team Sullivan County all the way.
Settling into a routine has been, at times, challenging. Part of me wonders if we’re the providing the best home for her. Would she have been better off in another home? Unanswerable questions—she’s ours, and that’s how it’s going to be.
Walk time is sometimes stolen from obligations such as writing a column. I want our stroll over before it has begun, but my dog has other plans. Her mood is leisurely. We’re walking through the Flats and she’ll stop. In my head I think, “Yeah. Fireflies. What’s the big deal?” Then she cocks her head to the side, processing what she’s seeing, and I get it. We are surrounded by hundreds of fireflies putting on a show just for us—a show I would’ve missed were it not for my new friend from Puerto Rico.
Later, on the same walk, Kudzu stops again, spying a nearly invisible deer in the shadows. I expect her to skitter away, but she doesn’t. Her head cocks. She claims her ground. After taking a moment, she puffs her chest and takes a step closer. The deer ponders its next move and steps closer too. The moment lasts longer than expected.
I don’t think deer are indigenous to San Juan. She’s seeing something for the very first time and sharing it with me. Her curiosity brings back the reality of how lucky we are to share our yard with deer, fireflies and even the occasional skunk, which I’m foolishly hoping she won’t run toward.
Kudzu, an only dog, loves canine company. So, I’m excited for her next Narrowsburg milestone, the Riverfest Dog Parade on Sunday, July 28. As I will be a judge along with WJFF’s Catskill Character Donna Fellenberg, poor Kudzu will not be eligible to compete. I don’t think she’ll mind. There will be new sights and sounds. New dogs to meet. She’s going to be just fine.