I always feel bad for mother dogs when their pups are given away or sold. I picture them wandering around looking for their babies, weeping over their loss. In reality, most mom dogs seem to be happy to have one less infant hanging off their teats. When we adopted Annie and Chico three years ago last week from a family that lived in our neighborhood, their mom, Roxie, trotted off with a free-at-last spring in her step.
Time has passed. My 8- and 9-pound baby dogs, half Lab, half Staffordshire bull terrier (aka pit bull), grew up. Unfortunately, Chico got a bigger dose of the pit bull and became aggressive. Combined with his ability to jump-climb a six-foot fence with ease, he became too dangerous to keep. My heart broke as I turned him in to the Salem humane society. When he wasn’t jumping fences or going after other dogs, he was the sweetest, most loving and most handsome dog in the world. I pray that he found new owners with lots of space, patience and love.
Meanwhile, Annie, the more mild-mannered of the two, has become my best friend. She’s almost 80 pounds now, but still likes to lie across my lap. That’s her favorite thing. Her second favorite thing is going for a walk.
We discovered about a year ago that her birth family had moved away, taking their dogs Roxie and Jada with them. Sad. But this weekend, we were walking toward the house at the corner of 98th and 101 when we heard barking. As we moved closer, I glimpsed two familiar dogs, one blonde like Annie, the other brindled. A man came out of the house. Annie’s original human dad! It turned out the family was visiting their in-laws.
The dogs didn’t know each other, but the man recognized Annie right away. He called his wife and kids. “Look, it’s Roxie’s pup!” Their son and their little girl grabbed onto my big dog in a happy reunion as Annie wagged her tail and licked their faces.
We compared dogs. Annie looks just like her mother, only bigger. They both have the same white stripes on their noses, the same copper eyes, and the same sleek bodies, but Roxie is pure bull terrier, as is Jada.
I saw so no sign of recognition between the dogs, but for us humans, it felt good to close the circle and see that both dogs are happy, healthy and beautiful. I’m hoping we get to visit again and again. It doesn’t always have to be good-bye forever.