I love dogs, but I had no intention of adopting another one anytime soon--until someone sent me an email link to a little Chihuahua named Moe, who was living out at the Anderson County animal shelter, where they do euthanize dogs when they are overcrowded.
In the ad on Petfinder, he looked so sad and pitiful. The shelter was offering a bargain on adoption fees in hopes of enticing people to rescue animals before the holidays. I kept checking back to see if someone had adopted him, but there Moe sat.
Finally I decided I had to go see him. Perhaps there would be a reason we weren't right for each other. He'd be too grouchy or ugly or mean. He'd make it plain that he didn't want to live with me. It would be obvious that he would never fit into our furry little family. If we didn't like each other, then I would wish him the best and stop thinking about him.
Nope. He was a teeny little big-headed imp who weighed less than four pounds but didn't seem to notice. I just loved his attitude. And he loved me as soon as I understood that his business was to dance and mine was to feed him dry cereal for his trouble.
He sleeps curled up on my shoulder with his head in the hollow of my neck. He makes little baby noises when I cuddle him. He bites me whenever he wants to express his displeasure. We're working on that, but after all he is a Chihuahua.
He dances so joyously. First he throws his arms up over his head, then he spins on his back legs so fast that I'm not yet sure how he does it. He throws himself into it, turns 360 degrees, stops on a dime for Rice Chex or a pretzel. If I don't have something edible to offer, he spins again. And again.
He makes me laugh. A smile is worth a million bucks some days.
He makes me think, too. Makes me tell myself, I should dance joyously again sometime.
P.S. After a day at our house being called "the little guy," #612 Moe revealed that his secret dog name is Bob Bobby Boblet Bobert.
I'm a salver. I make small art from the things most people throw away: a torn ruffle, a pocket, the fingers of a glove. I am batty for rich old papers, newspapers that come out of attics, and anything on which humans have scrawled. I like long striped socks and big boots and garters. I am Victorian without the prudery. In my previous life I was most likely a starving model for French postcard photographers and mediocre painters. I like to invent characters with big noses and watery blue eyes and clothes that are ragged and fringed--like me.