Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Saying Goodbye to Puppy
It already sounds like a sad story, doesn't it? My last day with Zora, who I had known since her adoption day when she was just eight weeks of age, was bittersweet. Ironically, that morning together turned out to be our best.
Zora had no idea what was ahead when she left her 12th floor condo, and jumped into the back seat of my car. At 14 weeks of age, she was still skittish walking in the Pearl. It was simply too noisy, too busy, and she was a comical sight as I sometimes dragged her along. Little did Zora know that we were headed over the Broadway Bridge, to the much quieter environs of residential Irvington.
I was on a house sit for Molly, adopted from Golden Bond, a rescue group for Golden Retrievers. Clearly, Molly had been abused, and she was skittish in her own way. But Molly was making great progress, and there were some dogs who didn't set her to barking. Zora and Molly both needed socialization with other dogs, and I saw this as a potential win-win.
Zora and I entered Molly's home from the back. They sniffed each others scent, and then I opened a door. Molly was surprised, and I assured her that Zora was only visiting. Fortunately, there was a lot of tail wagging, on both sides.
The highlight of the morning was extended play time in a huge, enclosed back yard. It was the first time I was able to let Zora off leash, and watch her romp on grass with another dog. Molly's favorite activity is ball playing. Molly chased the ball, and Zora barked with glee as she chased Molly. I savored the moment, witnessing Zora and Molly playfully running freely on a beautiful day. One of those completely perfect moments in time.
Zora's Mom was able to pack, while her dog was enjoying a play date. She had been laid off the prior week, and was now getting ready to move to New Hampshire, where she and her husband had a farm. Daily city noise would be replaced by the sounds of nature. That morning Zora had a taste of the good life to come.
When we returned to the Pearl, I wasn't successful finding street parking, so Zora's Mom came down to retrieve her. It was not the lingering goodbye I had anticipated. Zora was quickly leashed, Ann and I gave each other a quick hug, and then, they were gone. The rushed goodbye did make it a bit easier to leave a puppy I had grown to love, and will never forget. I fought back tears as I headed back over the Broadway Bridge, and comforted myself thinking about Zora in the countryside, running freely, reveling in life, unleashed.