After the fourth straight day of seeing picture after picture in my Facebook feed of dogs up for adoption, I approached my wife.
“I get the feeling you’re trying to tell me something.”
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“The dog posts in Facebook. You keep “liking” posts about dogs up for adoption. You want to rescue another dog.”
While we had taught Chaos and Jessie a fair number of behaviors over the years, there was one trick they had taught my wife in return: The Bashful, Apologetic Eyes. She used it then, in response to my assertion. She followed it up with a pout filled, “yeah”.
I was torn. My reason went one way while my emotions tugged in the other. “I don’t think I’m ready.”
“But it’s not just for me,” my wife insisted. “I think Jesse needs it. He’s not himself anymore.”
I thought of Jesse, and of how depressed he’d been since Chaos died. He no longer played. He didn’t enjoy walks. All he wanted to do was sleep and eat. I saw a bit of myself in that. Maybe my wife was right? My emotional side was about to tell my wife to just go for it, when my rational side took control of my mouth.
“OK,” it/I said, “but I’ve got a few conditions if we’re going to do this.” Apparently I’d been giving the matter some consideration far longer than I thought.
My conditions were as follows:
- No puppies. Seeing as how I was on the border of wanting another dog, I didn’t think I could handle the emotional and time investments of a puppy.
- I preferred not to get another male. Chaos was my special guy. My puppy boy. To get another male would be to invite comparisons.
- It had to be another corgi.
With our plan agreed upon, my wife and I set to work. Each morning we would scour the adoption sites and alert the other when we found something that fit our criteria. It wasn’t easy. Not only were we subjecting ourselves to a steady stream of doggy sob stories, but corgis in need of rescue were few and far between in the Ohio area. It seemed there were dozens of them out west, but once you went east of Kansas, there were none until you got to the New York area. We tried applying for one in New York, but the rescue organization never wrote us back.
Finally, we found one in eastern Ohio. And, importantly, the rescue group returned our calls. The dog in question was a six year old female tri-color named Suzi. We made arrangements to meet her.
“I have to warn you,” the lady from the rescue organization told us, “she’s a bit small for a corgi.”
My wife and I looked at the pictures. Everything seemed to scale. She looked normal.
“I’m sure she’s fine,” my wife said.
When the time came, we strapped Jesse into the car and headed out. After a long drive, we met little Suzi. She wasn’t just small. She was DINKY. However, she looked healthy otherwise. We ended up taking her home that day.
For the first few days, all she did was scan everything with her ears and eyes. Oh, and she never once responded to her name. We had discussed the possibility of renaming her but the fact that “Suzi” never registered with her sealed the deal. After much debate in the household, we found the name “Faylinn”. It’s Gaelic for “graceful lady” or “fairy kingdom”. Since she had one blue eye, we thought a name that hinted at fairies would be appropriate. The dog must have thought so, too, because the name stuck immediately. Whenever we said her name, she came running with her stubby tail wagging.
We’ve had Faylinn for about three months, and we’re still getting to know each other. We have no idea of her back story, other than she lived in a puppy mill at some point. However, she really hates the blender and the coffee grinder. Anytime we try to use one of them, she circles our legs, crying and barking. Perhaps a previous owner met their demise in a tragic coffee grinding accident?
Along those lines, once she got over her initial shyness, we learned that she is quite vocal. Not with barking, but grunts, whimpers, and howls. She has no problems expressing her opinions on things. It’s like we adopted a very tiny wookie. Not that I often say “no” to this face, anyway.
It took several weeks before that picture became possible. It seems our new lady does not like men. Anytime one of my buddies comes over, she hides and then peaks out from behind the safety of a corner.
Also, she’s not 100% house trained. We’ve had more accidents with her than with any dog I’ve ever owned. Plus I recently discovered that she has a bad case of coprophagia. We had the same issue with Jesse when we first brought him home, so I’m guessing it is related to her history in kennels. We cured it in Jesse. I’m sure we can handle it in her.
Speaking of Jesse, he couldn’t be happier to have a new sister. He’s running and playing with a renewed vigor. And while Faylinn doesn’t care to play ball, she enjoys roughhousing with him. It’s adorable to see her try and pounce at him, as he practically towers over her. And, like an older brother or a babysitter, Jesse will often “trip” and allow Faylinn to climb all over him. During those times I can practically hear him saying, “Oh, no! What am I gonna do? You got me!” When no one is around, they cuddle. You can get diabetes just looking at it.
Faylinn has helped my wife heal, too. My wife is a cosplayer, and she’s used her talents to make costumes for dogs as well. When Halloween rolled around, she made a steampunk red cross nurse costume to go along with Jesse’s steampunk soldier. The pair of them won both costume contests they were entered in.
As for me, I miss Chaos every day. I cried watching “John Wick“, for Pete’s sake. When people ask me how things are with the new dog, all I can tell them is, “It’s different”. Which is what I was going for. But I do love Faylinn. She’s a button of corgi cuteness. She’s her own dog.
I waited so long to complete this entry because I was afraid. Not just that Faylinn wouldn’t work out, but because it meant that Chaos’s story was truly done. Next summer I’m going to redo part of our backyard as a memorial to Chaos. But today, with Thanksgiving still on my mind, I’m thankful for Faylinn, the little nurse who’s healing our hearts.