Written Fourth of July Weekend When Misty May Came To Me
Who would have thought that at 5PM on Saturday I’d be running, huffing and puffing, down Main Street, chasing after a dog on the run?
That dog on the run was to be my new dog!
I didn’t need another dog. I have five. My sixth dog left me about as many weeks ago – six. How does a house feel empty when you have five dogs? I was used to counting ..one,two,three,four,five,six.. Note: the numbers all run together – that is how you count when you are checking to be sure all that went out, came back in! Quickly, without pausing, so certainly no spaces needed to make my point.
I was only counting to five. It didn’t seem right. I confused myself with the math and would go back on the patio to see who was left outside.
Then I’d remember. Gone. My old dog, number one in the list of when dogs arrived at my house, but the number six that didn’t return in with the pack.
“Don’t you dare get another dog!” My vet, who profits from my numbers, worried about me.
“Five is enough!” That comment from a friend who thinks I’ve overloaded myself with canines.
“You still won’t get a date. Five dogs. What man will put up with that?” Another close friend worried what I might do.
Exactly. But it wasn’t about a date. It was about a dog.
“Just be careful.” I think my mother knew what would be next.
At night on the computer, I’d sneak up to the dog rescue sites. I like to look at dogs.
No dog really spoke to me on a personal level. Maybe I wasn’t sure I wanted another dog. Five is plenty. But I couldn’t leave well enough alone.
Then I saw the dog. A face only, no breed mentioned, just the words, “Poor Misty May was dumped in our yard. She is precious. She is fixed and healthy.” Those dark brown eyes seemed to be staring at me alone.
“Can you bring Misty May by the shop on Saturday?” I was starting to feel giddy. I knew the shelter; its owner was a new friend of mine.
“If you want. But, are you sure?” My friend had every right to ask that question. Many people take in dogs and then don’t care for them. That is what happened to Misty May. Someone lifted her over the fence and dropped her in the shelter’s yard in the dark of night.
“An overnight visit to see how she does.” That was what my friend suggested when she left Misty May with me. We planned to touch base the next day. I felt smug this was a lasting match.
Misty May was terrified of cars. I was slow to realize that. By why not? She was dumped after a ride in a car. She just got left with a stranger after being with my friend for a week. She did not want to get back in a vehicle! I found that out the hard way.
She had spent the afternoon with me at the shop. She was comfortable and happy. At 5PM, closing time, I locked the shop and we walked to my car. Misty May was on her leash. When I opened the door, she backed up, jerked her head so hard, she pulled herself out of the collar. The next instant she was running down Main Street, head and tail high and I was holding a leash and collar, horrified.
Oh dear God! I slammed the door and took off after her in 98-degree heat. Up one side of Main Street and down the other, the entire time screaming, “Misty May!” Luckily Main Street is in the heart of the Old Town section of Lilburn, Georgia, and it is quietly tucked at the end of a winding residential road. Chances of her getting hit were slim. Chances of her disappearing were good betting odds, if I were a gambler.
The heat was unbearable. But the thought of losing Misty May was even more so.
She dashed from one end of the street, back to the other. That landed her at city hall and in the covered drive at the police station. I looked through the glass window of the locked door and saw two policemen working. They looked up to see me, frantic, hair plastered to my head from sweat, huffing, and close to tears, pounding on their door.
“Please open the door!” I shouted through the glass.
Misty May was circling the driveway but would not come near me.
The door opened a little as the policeman could not hear what I was saying. That small opening was just wide enough for a dog to dash through it.
Misty May was safe.
I tried to explain what had just gone down on Main Street. They looked at me strangely, but kindly.
“Go get your car. We’ll watch her.”
The three of us got Misty May into the car. The police had tightened her collar. I thanked the two officers profusely! I also said a silent thank you to the man above who guided a scared dog into a safe house.
On the way home we stopped for some chicken nuggets. I thought a tasty bite of chicken would erase Misty May’s bad car memories.
After all, we all need comfort food.
Misty May made the transition from car to house without a hitch. The adventure of bringing a new dog into a pack of five dogs is about to begin.
Author’s Note: I am sharing this story, but it is one that had a different ending then I anticipated. A good ending, but Misty May did not stay with me. She was returned to the rescue group – which is a lovely farmhouse on four acres where animals are taken care of with love. It was embarrassing for me, ‘Writer With Dogs’, known for my pack, to turn a dog back. This beautiful dog needed more then my household could give her.
If I had researched the breed, Husky, before I acted on her photo, I would have known we were not a match. A Husky is a working dog that needs more time and energy then I have. It is also a head strong, but loving dog, that needs a strong master. They are known for escaping if bored. I live with five couch potato dogs that move from couch, to chair, to food bowl, as exercise. I am at my shop some days eight hours or longer. Misty May was clearly not a match for my dogs, as her size and energy threatened the two smaller dogs. She was not a match for our lifestyle. I would not be able to give her the exercise she needed. This was a disaster waiting to happen.
I will find another dog to blend into my mix. A mixed breed dog is my favorite, and you never know what the combination really is. But if you look at a breed specific dog, do some research to be sure you have the match for you. Of all people, I should have known better, but sometimes a sweet face can make you senseless.
Misty May is now listed with Husky rescue, so a potential owner will know the breed. She will find a master who can handle her. In the interim she is living with horses, cats and other dogs on four fenced acres.
I still look at this as a happy ending. The next person who adopts Misty May will know her personality and the requirements needed to make it a happy transition to her “forever home”.
Sometimes a story doesn’t end like we thought, but it still ends well.