Monday, December 27, 2010

Agatha Explained

In more than one post I've referenced Agatha the Gift-bearing Beagle and if you've spent much time around my children it's likely that they've asked you if you've ever heard of her.  So here it is, Agatha explained.

When LK and I moved to Memphis for his graduate work we bought a house.  Sure we calculated that 5 years in a house given the down payment we could make would make more financial sense than renting. And sure, we determined we'd be able to house overnight guests better in a house.  But really, I mean really really, we got a house so we could get a dog.

So, less than a week after moving in LK and I were at the pound- believing that we would show our heroic side by rescuing one of their caged pets.  We chose Keebler- a German Shepherd mix who was on death row.  We paid our money and went home with happy expectation that following a routine examine and spaying Keebler would be ours.  We went an even bought toys and a bandana for her to wear. We were excited.

Two days passed and back to the pound we went.

But at the pound the worker, who himself looked like the human version of the unwanted pets he watched over, told us that that dog had parvo and distemper and they'd dun put her down.

You could physically see my heartbreak.

Okay, Okay- we said, so what can we do now?  And we were told we could choose another dog.  So we did.  This time we chose a puppy- sure that a puppy would be healthy enough to survive the two day physical.

Two days had pass, and many phone calls to the pound to make sure the do was okay, and back to the pound we went.  But when we arrived, heartbreak again as we were told that dog had heartworms and they put him down.

No- no! LK told them- you killed our last dog.  This dog you just told us not more than an hour ago was ready to take home.

We couldn't bare the heartbreak of choosing another dog only to have the Memphis pound kill it, so the worker directed us to a "pet store."

We were not only first time home buyers, we were first time pet buyers so we didn't know about the whole puppy mill situation, we just knew that here was a place that would have a dog we could take home that day, and that was good enough for us.

LK told the work about his dream of having a dog that would catch a frisbee off leash at the park the way the dogs did at the beginning of The Flight of the Navigator.

The workers eyes lit up.  If you want a dog you can let off leash, a good dog that doesn't bark or dig and is so easy to train, a dog you can let off leash while you play at the park, a dog that hardly sheds ... you need a beagle.

Clearly "stupid" was tattooed across our forehead.

We paid more than one month's house payment and took the beagle home, naming her Agatha, Greek for a "good thing."

Within one week, after the dog had dug up and eaten flowers out of the backyard, after the dog spent all night barking and baying, after the dog had eaten part of the mask I'd bought in Venice, after the dog defiantly peed on our bed while looking at us, and after the dog had shed balls of hair in every corner of the house and scaled the fence to run away- I looked at LK and told him to take this hellion dog back to that woman and tell her that she LIED!!!!

Overtime Agatha and I would grow to love each other and in December, when LK and I celebrated our first Christmas away from family- I decided Agatha should buy us a gift.  She was well aware of the massive leaf situation we had with all the old trees in our yard and thoughtfully bought us a leaf blower.

Since that year Agatha has brought us presents each year and well before the boys knew that there was a man name Santa, they knew Agatha the Gift Bearing Beagle would bring them presents.

They've even asked if she'll be able to find us at the new house.  And LK assured them that just like when she would run away back in our Memphis days and find her way home, she would find the new house. And she did.

So here is to hoping Agatha brought you all your heart desired.


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