Over the years I have become a self-proclaimed, “Crazy Cat Lady.” (I figured I should jump on calling myself that before others coined me with the name.) A year or so after I finished my undergrad I would occasionally search the shelter website in Laramie looking for a kitten. I knew what I wanted: a Tuxedo cat. (Obviously I have fancy taste.) For those of you who don’t know, a Tuxedo cat is black and white. One day I was looking at the website and as I was scrolling, I knew found the one. I can still picture his little face, the white whiskers, white around the mouth, and four white paws. I told my co-worker, Kara, “I found my kitten!” After showing her the picture, she agreed I needed to go and get him.
Fast forward almost seven years, three moves, and a couple boyfriends, but I still had Skittles. He slept in my bed, often tearing up the sheets at the bottom. He was slightly annoying in lots of ways, but I loved him anyway. When Rich and I got engaged, I moved to town and into an apartment that didn’t allow pets. I brought Skittles out to live at the farm until we got married. One evening we let him outside, as he often scratched at the door (in every apartment I had he did the same) and wanted outside. We let him go out that night, not thinking anything of it. And we never saw him again. This was 10 days before our wedding, and I was devastated. Rich felt horrible. He searched all over, looking in fields and the shop, and even setting a live trap in hopes of catching him. Nothing. I would call him from town with tears in my eyes, “Have you seen Skittles?” He would quietly respond, “No.”
My mom told me a short time after we assumed Skittles was dead, “God knew you needed Skittles until Rich came along.” I responded, “Why can’t I have Skittles AND Rich?”
A couple months after we got married, my mom found a black and white kitten and asked if we wanted him. At first I said no, I wasn’t ready to replace Skittles. But eventually I said yes and we brought home our first baby (don’t tell Rich I said that).
The last few months Rich has said multiple times, “We should get a dog.” I have never been a huge fan of dogs: they smell, lick, need a lot of attention, and did I mention, they smell? Last Thanksgiving my sister was telling me about goldendoodles. I hadn’t heard of them, but after doing a quick Google image search: I was in love. Or maybe that’s a little extreme. Let’s say I was in definite ‘like’ territory. We were in Red Lodge for the holiday, and I was driving down the street and like fate would have it: I saw a couple walking a goldendoodle down the street. In a move totally unlike me, I pulled over. Then I took it a step further and called out to them, “Is that a goldendoodle? Can I pet him?” Which I did. I went back to the house and told everyone I met a goldendoodle and now I definitely wanted one.
Over the winter I had been following a woman on Facebook with doodles. She had two pups left from a litter and she kept posting that they were still available. I messaged her a few times, but the timing never felt right: potty training in the cold winter, calving season, did we actually want a dog? Last week I randomly contacted her again and she still had the two puppies. She told me someone was coming to get one on Saturday, but there would still be one left. I told her we would come on Sunday.
Long story short, we brought home Oscar on Sunday evening. He is six months old and is the quietist, chillest dog I have ever met. (He does smell a bit. Although he doesn’t shed.) He didn’t whine or cry once on the six hour drive home. He is supposed to be a petite goldendoodle, but he already seems fairly big for six months . . . I guess we will see!
I might have romantic ideations: picturing the kids running and playing with the dog this summer, skipping over the work that dogs are. But on the drive home with the puppy Rhett told me, “I’m real glad we have this dog.”
Welcome home, Oscar!