My niece brought this cute little mug in the other day when she came and brought baby Clara Rose along for a visit. It got me thinking about the jobs we do and how my life has been one filled with the love of dogs and an enthusiastic attempt to make everyone I meet love them too.
The photo above was taken the other night at around midnight Ohio time, by a rather bleary-eyed woman who was on her way back home after retrieving one of our puppy kids who had missed his late evening flight due to weather complications. As long-time residents of coastal South Carolina, ones who went through a Category 5 hurricane (Hugo) I default into a sort of panic when the weatherman begins talking about tropical depressions and storm surges.
I had been assured when I handed “High Cotton” (I know, I couldn’t resist naming that fluffy little white bundle that) to the nice man behind the counter at the airport that in spite of what looked rather troubling on the radar screen, I was not to worry, that the plane that was to carry little guy was a jumbo jet and perfectly capable of navigating through “a bit of weather” as he termed it.
With a peek into Cotton’s crate where he was snuggled into his deep bed of white shreddies and chewing happily on a biscuit, I bid him safe journey and returned to the parking lot to navigate my own way back the hour & a half drive to the sleepy little village where we live.
Listening to XM and an episode of Radio Classics kept me entertained during the hour & 1/2 drive until I pulled off the interstate and threaded the last 5 miles home to where my DH & our cozy bed and a good book awaited.
My iPhone rang, startling me in the darkness: (note to self: don’t listen to Suspense Theatre when driving alone at night).
It was United Airlines, apologetically informing me that High Cotton’s flight had been indeed been canceled and would I please come posthaste and pick him up as they would be closing in 2 hours. I asked if my baby puppy was OK and they laughingly told me that they wished they could keep him, that he had entertained them since I’d dropped him off and he was voted the cutest puppy of the day.
Yawning hugely, I regretfully turned my SUV around within a mile of home and soon found myself heading back the long drive to the airport. I knew that little Cotton was fine, puppies are kept in the United office until they board their planes, the staff loves our babies and often take them out while they are waiting to depart and carry them around the office, taking turns snuggling and exclaiming over them.
Soon I was enroute home again, sitting at a traffic light with little guy tucked in the seat beside me, none the worse for wear after his adventure. I glanced over to my left and the dazzling display of lights on the airport runway instantly captured my attention and what was a rather dreary late night journey suddenly became touched with magic and a reminder of the beauty hidden in plain view all around us.
With my traveling companion alongside, I finished listening to another episode of Suspense and before long we were pulling back off that same exit ramp and I was tucking little Cotton into his bed for the night. He gave me a look as if to say “Mom, what was all that about?” I patted his sleepy head and told him he’d be in his forever home very soon but now it was time for all good puppies to go nite nite.
That’s what I do, take good care of my little charges, those small ones with four feet who make sure we never have a dull moment. I love each one of them, they all have a journey to take, hearts to fill with puppy love, it’s my privilege to be part of making that journey a smooth one for us all.
It might occasionally get a little bumpy but we are always grateful to arrive home sweet home at journey’s end.