Powderpuff, Benji

In early October of 2007, after a lengthy day of community volunteering in Miami,my younger, first year in college, daughter phoned me. She was frantically concerned about a lost dog roaming in her dorm. (She was a cat lover, so I knew her concern was serious.)The dog had no leash, collar or tags. She had asked others, if they were the dog’s owner.Unfortunately, he had no visible master. Nor, were there any missing posters for the dog near her university in Coral Gables.She immediately picked the playful, small, thin,skeletal dog up: it weighed about as much as an empty, discarded large cereal box. Unfortunately, the dog was of no identifiable or familiar breed to her.Sadly, this scraggly, long-haired moppet had been on the streets, too long- an oppressive and punitive injustice…My younger daughter anxiously asked, for advice; I quickly mentioned to contact the local Animal Control. She did.They didn’t show; quickly, hours were passing, and evening would come shortly.I called various television stations, asking if someone was searching for a dog. No one reported a lost animal. Frustration and that intuitively “sinking feeling”was slowly creeping in our lives.I couldn’t help my daughter or The Kid. And she could not keep the dog in her dorm room. We needed another game plan: all the family members started thinking- all four of us. We thought of a shelter, a humane shelter would be great.After some begging and finding someone with a car on campus,my younger daughter then took The Kid to a “what we thought” was a safe shelter. It was advertised on the Internet. Simultaneously,in central New York, my older daughter busily researched the Internet about the possible shelter. After some time, she called me with a grave tone in her voice. It was a questionable animal facility, they were noted for animal cruelty.The “sinking feeling” sunk in. Immediately, a new action plan was devised: “Save The Kid.” Otherwise, he would not probably last the night at the new place.Again, the younger daughter needed to beg for a ride, and save The Kid.(This was one of those rare moments that I wished my daughter had a car on campus and had lived in Miami her whole life.) After some time, my younger daughter found transportation, went to the shelter, and finally, had The Kid in tow.Meanwhile, my older daughter searched the Internet, and logically suggested boarding the dog in Miami Beach, at a safe and reputable hospital.This would be the best spot, for The Kid. After a quick family talk, it was decided that the safest spot would be our home. (I was hoping the dog had been microchipped, for identification purposes.He was not.)…After a lengthy stay in the hospital, The New Kid finally came home with my younger daughter in late-October, to northeastern Ohio. …He slowly and gradually made friends with our family fixture: an affable,old, and deaf, almost 17 year old, Westie.Thanksgiving was the best: two hungry mouths at our feet, savoring the turkey’s aromas. Things were working out between both dogs; they slept on a giant leopard pillow I made.The New Kid even hugged the Old Guy; it was a strange sight, for us. And then my heart broke…Sadly, the old guy passed away unexpectedly on the evening of December 24th….After some ardent and daily looking on the Internet,for The New Kid’s owner, I found a similar looking dog in mid-January. That dog was missing from its home since Thanksgiving. “Tuffy’s ” owner helped me identify the breed of The New Kid.He is a Chinese Crested Powderpuff. They really do hug…As of now,the New Kid is fattened up, sleeps well on several blankets, has many toys, and is not fearful of the dark, anymore. With tears and howling, we both miss the Old Guy.He has slowly adjusted.Yet, inwardly, somehow, I think our northeastern Ohio gray snow can’t compete with the warm, southern, bright Florida sun, sweet orange citrus scents, floral beuties,and hot -to -the-toes sandy beaches.We’re learning all sorts of things about the New Kid.He has to smell my indoor plants, scratch my window screens to stare at the deer, and loves to lick the snow with delight. He endearingly bites my nose.For him, I think, he’s finally home… I read that it was believed by some faiths, that dogs are the guardians of heaven’s gates.Also, for the Chinese Crested, they were said to be buried with mummies, to aid in their journey to heaven.It seems a fitting role, even for The New Kid, who’s name is Benji.

Alicia from OH