Home At Last
I received an email—Rich and Wendy were interested in adopting Scout. This would be the third Border collie they acquired from Ed and me over the course of 12 years. If anyone could handle her it was Rich and Wendy. They wanted her to come and spend some time with them, their two cats and Border collie, Willow.
That evening I’d have to prepare my husband.
“Ed, I have something I need to talk to you about,” I said as we sat down to eat.
He looked up from his dinner. “Sure, what’s up?”
“Wendy and Rich are interested in adopting Scout. Are you OK with letting her go?”
After a long pause, he said, “I’m not sure. She’s doing so well. If we let her go will she regress?” This wasn’t going to be easy. He had worked so hard to help her overcome her ‘quirks’ and in the process developed a fondness for her.
“There’s no way to know unless we try,” I said. “We’ll take her back if it doesn’t work out.”
Hesitantly he agreed, “Go ahead and make the arrangements. Just make sure you emphasize that we’ll take her back if she doesn’t fit in. One more thing, tell them we’ll meet them at the diner. I don’t think we should take her to their home and then leave. I don’t want her to feel abandoned.”
I sighed, “I understand, I’ll miss her too. She has certainly brightened up our lives and kept my mind so preoccupied it’s helped heal the pain of losing our ‘Scout.’
The next day I called to make the arrangements.
“Hi, Wendy, are you and Rich available to meet this Saturday at the local diner? We’ll make the exchange with Scout after breakfast.”
“Absolutely, that’ll be fine! We’re looking forward to seeing you this Saturday.”
Too quickly, Saturday arrived. I loaded the truck with Scout’s favorite toys, food, and that must-have blanket that had been sent by her previous owner. I took a deep breath and called to Scout, “C’mon girl, let’s go for a ride,” she scampered to my side, her body wiggling with delight, her big brown eyes beaming with joy as I clipped the leash onto her collar. I was desperately trying to keep my composure as I stepped outside and loaded her into the crate in my truck.
As we pulled into the parking lot of the local diner, the number of vehicles told me it wasn’t too busy. We left the windows slightly ajar and made our way into the restaurant. We no sooner sat down and ordered coffee when Rich and Wendy walked in.
“Good morning,” we all replied as they sat to join us at the table. As our morning cups of coffee sat steaming in front of us I opened a binder that had all of Scout’s medical records her daily schedule and training recommendations.
As I started to discuss her vaccine history the waitress approached our table, “Ready to place your order?”
“Can you please give us another minute?” I hadn’t even opened my menu. Silence fell upon the table as we all respectfully buried our faces into the menus. After we had all placed our orders I picked up where I left off. I didn’t want to leave out one detail about Scout’s day-to-day routine. In between bites of eggs and pancakes the remainder of the time at the restaurant, Ed and I shared our stories about Scout’s loveliness and her quirks. How she’d made us laugh and at times had to be disciplined for being naughty. When the waitress brought us the check and asked if there was anything else we needed for the fourth time, I knew we’d overstayed our welcome. We all agreed it was time to get going.
We continued chatting all the way through the parking lot. “I’ll let Willow out of my truck so she and Scout can get reacquainted before we put them in the truck together,” Rich said. “Hopefully they’ll be as fond of one another as they were the first time they met at the house.”
Ed took Scout out of the crate while Rich went to get Willow. As soon as the dogs saw each other, they happily jumped at one another, play-bowing and mouthing, tails wagging all the while. I watched them play, relieved that Scout was once again enjoying her time with Willow. I took a moment to recollect back to the first time we met and how ironic I thought that her name was also Scout. My musing was interrupted by the sound of Rich’s voice. “It’s time to get going. Let’s get these two pups home.”
Halfheartedly I handed Scout’s belongings to Wendy we exchanged a few more words, and then I thanked and hugged Wendy and Rich. “We’ll expect to hear from you often,” I reminded them.
As Ed shook hands with Rich he reminded him, “She comes back if she wears out her welcome.”
Rich smiled. “You have my word.”
Ed and I bent down to Scout. “You be a good girl and have fun,” Ed said as he scratched her behind her ears.
“I’ll see you soon, girl. You’ll be coming to my classes.” I gave her a kiss on her forehead stood up, walked away, and did not look back.
Early on we heard from Rich and Wendy often. Scout reverted back to her old ways. On occasion she was defensively aggressive and there were some episodes of resource-guarding. Thankfully however, she was still her lovable self more often than not, so they were willing to work through her behavior issues.
I looked forward to seeing her each Sunday for obedience classes. Before class I’d sit on the floor. She’d climb into my lap, and we’d cuddle as she’d squirm with delight. I so dearly missed her.
Rich and Wendy still work very hard with her obedience training and are able to quickly diffuse her occasional inappropriate outbursts.
I’m pleased to say that it looks as though Scout has finally found the perfectly balanced loving home with Rich and Wendy.