Monday, June 7, 2010

The Trouble with Tribbles

A solution, a solution, my kingdom for a solution. Actually, it wasn’t that hard to figure out a way to make sure Bludie never had to be alone again, and it also played well into another evil little plan I’d been hatching in my heart. I honestly don’t remember the very first time I saw a Pomeranian, but I know that it was around this time that I had started to believe I was simply incapable of functioning without one. Actually, I decided that I needed to name a dog after my paternal grandmother’s long deceased poodle, which I had idolized as a child. “Inky” had been my first buddy, and I decided there needed to be an “Inky, part two”. This would be an ongoing problem for me; deciding on the cutest little doggie name, then having to find a dog to go along with it. So, Inky part Deux would be a Pomeranian. And not just any Pomeranian-this is me we are talking about, after all. Once I started feeling that deep little itch that can only be scratched by the addition of another puppy to the brood I ran out and bought the ‘All You Need to Know about Owning a Pomeranian’ book. Upon reading I learned that ‘the magnificent Black Pomeranian is both rare and regal.’ I love rare, and I love regal, so this was the animal for me. And really, how hard could it really be to find a ‘rare and regal’ black Pom? Hard. Really, exceptionally, unbelievably hard, trust me. Ten years worth of searching kind of hard. At least it was going to end up being that hard to find a HIGH quality ‘rare and regal’ Black Pomeranian. You see, there are any number of ‘PQP’’s out there, otherwise known as ‘pet quality Pomeranians’. What there are not a great number of are the show quality poms that overflow the pages of publications like, oh I don’t know, “All You Need to Know about Owning a Pomeranian.”
Lucky lucky me; I found a breeder only and hour and a half from my home! And lucky lucky me, said breeder was more than willing to load her whole brood up and meet me half way between our homes so I could view and snuggle her little bundles of fluff and joy. So, on a much anticipated Saturday afternoon, Mr. Big Prize loaded me up and drove me down to meet the birth mother. I envisioned the meeting going something like this; The breeder would arrive in her high end SUV, and open her back hatch up, from whence dozens of little puff balls of bouncing fur would spill out, smelling of talc and vanilla, females designated by little pink bows, males by darling bow ties. I’d never be able to choose, as they bounced and romped and covered my face in kisses, vying for the chance to go home with this dream mommy and daddy. The reality was much, much different.
When we arrived shortly before the allotted meeting time, in the parking lot of a McDonalds (why didn’t I see the tell-tale warning signs?) and were flagged down by a bedraggled looking woman in a vehicle that I think, at one time, had been a station wagon. She opened her back gate, which was being held in place by some form of coat hanger, from what I could tell. The smell which greeted me was unreal, and bore no resemblance what-so-ever to either vanilla or talc. “I’m sorry”, she said “a couple of them got sick on the way over”. Oh yes they did, and they had done so all over each other. She opened the little carrier they were in, and out straggled several sticky, mucky and very, very stinky puppies. Instead of bouncing and romping they were drooling and reeling. Of course, I felt so sorry for them, and that was the kicker. It’s a miracle they didn’t all come home with me. I picked up the single black female, and tried to snuggle her close. She lifted her little head to mine, and looked at me with sad little black eyes which said ‘please don’t put be back in that smelly crate’. “They don’t look very fluffy”, I said. “Oh don’t worry”, she quipped confidently “they just haven’t come into their adult coats yet”. Made sense to me. I’d read about the puppy uglies in Poms, but apparently had missed the part about the fact that said uglies don’t start until about six months, not six weeks. “Where is the mother?” I asked. Having learned a very valuable lesson from becoming the unsuspecting owner of a Malamusky, I had specifically asked that she bring mom along for the ride. “Oh,” she said “she gets sick in the car, and I just didn’t feel like I could bring her along”. And then I made the mistake of looking down into that stinky black face again, and all I could think was ‘rare and regal’. The next thing I knew I was writing out a check and packing that stinky little puppy into her new pink crate, with her new pink blanket. What is it with me and the stinky puppies?
On the drive home both MBP and I realized something about which we had been apparently oblivious before. The Pomeranian puppy in this pink case was approximately ½ the size of Blue’s mouth. Should the mood strike her, Blue could off this little one in one bite, and be more than ready for her second course. In a panic we considered several courses of action, then decided that letting Blue get a good smell of her in the cage before we let them meet might be the best way to go. Of course I was scared sick. All I could think was that my new baby Inky had just had puppy kibble spewed all over her by one of her gangly siblings, so surely our now triple digit weighing mutt dog was automatically going to think we’d brought her a tasty treat home in some kind of odd take out box. I sweated and fretted and nearly cried the whole way home.
We finally arrived, far more aromatic than we’d left, and trotted inside with our new precious bundle. We decided keeping her in the crate, and keeping that crate at no more than arms length away was the way to go. So, we plopped that crate down onto that taupe covered brass and glass coffee table, and introduced Blue to her new sister.
Blue ambled over to the crate, and put that huge muzzle of hers right up to the door. From the other side we could barely see a tee-tiny black nose push its way through the metal mesh. Blue smelled and smelled and smelled and smelled. Then, she turned her head toward me and made the strangest sound I’d ever heard; “THWACK”. It was a sucking noise, like one might make if ones mouth were stuck together with peanut butter and one had to pry ones lips apart. She turned back to the cage, and back to me, and ‘thwacked’ again. Strangely, it seemed both a nervous and cautious sound, and with her second issuing thereof, sat herself down in front of that table and laid her head just inches from that mesh door. It was love at first sight if the truest form; best friends in an instant. MBP and I believed from then on that Blue was convinced she’d had a puppy of her own, only she didn’t quite remember it happening. But that’s how the two of them functioned from that day forth. There must be something to be said about coming from humble beginnings.

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