On Saturday, September 10, 2011, we adopted two purebred Cairn Terrier rescue dogs, Nutmeg and Nora. Our house had been pet-less (unless you count fish), since January, when our beloved seven-year-old black lab mix, Happy, passed away from cancer. It was quite a sad loss, considering that we had just lost our lovable yellow lab the previous June to lymphoma. With both dogs, they were gone within a month of diagnosis, which I suppose is merciful, but nonetheless, it was difficult for all of us in the family.
Since we were going to be out of the country for half of July, business travel scheduled for August, then a trip to Washington, DC, to visit our son and daughter-in-law on Labor Day weekend, we decided to wait until things calmed down before bringing another dog into the house. It was difficult waiting that long, but I knew that the right dogs would be there when we were ready.
Immediately, upon our return from our Labor Day trip, I started looking for our new dog. Well, actually, I was looking online during the Labor Day weekend. I knew I wanted a terrier, because I had had enough of shedding. I also wanted something small this time after the experience of 100+ pound dogs. I really wanted a dog that would fit in a purse.
Having been a fan of Toto, from the Wizard of Oz, I started looking for Cairn Terriers. It was on Petfinder.com that I saw a listing for Nutmeg and Nora, owner surrenders, in nearby Cleveland, OH. It said that they had been in a kennel for the past two months and would need to be housetrained again.
They looked so forlorn in their pictures, their fur was long and shaggy, and they were just what we were looking for. I emailed the rescue center and verified that they were still available. They would be at the Mentor, OH, PetSmart that Saturday, and I told the rescue center that we would be there to look at them at noon. The reply said that someone would be looking at them on Friday night, and they might just take one of them. I wrote back that we would want to take both, so I hoped they wouldn’t separate them.
All week long, I studied their pictures, and by Saturday, I already considered them part of the family. We were going to our daughter, Krista’s, house in Twinsburg, OH, for a picnic that day, so the plan was to stop and see the dogs on the way to her house. If everything worked out, we’d have them groomed while we were at the picnic and come back for them on the way home.
Somehow, I got mixed up and thought they’d be at the Petco, so we went there first. There weren’t any rescue dogs there, even though they had a sign that said they were having an adoption event on the 10th and 11th of September. So, we drove to the PetSmart, hoping Nutmeg and Nora would be there. They were.
I spotted Nora first, in a crate by herself. I was dismayed and thought that perhaps her sister had already been adopted. But luckily, she was just on a leash with a volunteer. They had them in two different crates because, they said, like many sisters, they sometimes got into spats. The volunteers from The Animal Rescue Center told us that their owner had died recently and the husband couldn’t handle them. We looked at both dogs, promptly fell in love, and said we’d take them. The adoption process didn’t take long. We filled out some paperwork and paid the fees. Then as planned, we took them to the PetSmart grooming area and dropped them off before heading to Twinsburg.
After the picnic, we went back to the PetSmart and bought food, collars, leashes, and toys, paid for the grooming, and put the dogs into a laundry basket in the car. Everything went well until we were about 15 minutes from home. One of the dogs started to growl and all of a sudden, the two of them were in an actual dogfight. They tumbled out of the basket and onto the floor of the car. They sounded so vicious that I was afraid to get into the middle and separate them. What had we gotten ourselves into?
Ann Silverthorn is a blogger who also writes about a wide variety of topics in numerous genres, including non-fiction, fiction, poetry, travel, and grant writing. She’s currently on a seven-things kick and presents seven-point content about a variety of topics. These seven points are easy to remember and share with your friends when the conversation wanes.