So the phone rings last night, and my husband answers it, and a family friend says, “I have a proposition for you and Tiffany.” He listens for a while, tells her, “Hang on and I’ll ask,” and says to me, “You can say ‘No’ if you want to, but this stray black-lab mix appeared on their farm a few days ago, and …”
And so they’re bringing an approximately 6-month-old, friendly, fairly calm, female black dog to my house later this morning. Is she spayed? Unknown. Is she housebroken? Unknown. (The friend who called doesn’t let her dogs in the house.) Did I say “No” when the option was offered to me? No.
Just about exactly a year ago we got another black dog, and that story did not end happily. After we gave her up, I asked Doug to promise me that he’d say “No” if I ever requested that another canine become part of the household. Last weekend, before we went to an Earth Day event where I knew the local animal shelter would have a booth and pets available for adoption, I again asked him to not let me bring home any dogs. (Cats, of course, are another matter; I’d happily have a cat for every room of the house.)
And yet, despite the fact that I’m not a “dog person,” within 15 minutes of receiving the phone call last night I had figured out what the dog’s name should be. (Her name is Troy, after artist Agatha Troy, wife of Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn, the detective in Ngaio Marsh‘s wonderful mystery stories. If you want to know why the name is suitable for a black lab, you have to read the books.)
My children don’t know that a dog (well, a largish puppy) will be waiting when they get home from school. I’m not making any guarantees that she’ll stay; we’ll have to see about the housetraining, and I’m not happy at the thought of having to teach another dog to sit and to pay attention to the invisible fence. But … we’ll see.