One of my favorite TV shows of all times is "Gilmore Girls" a beautiful and quirky series about the bond between a mother and a daughter. On the show, the mother and daughter have a tradition where every year, on the daughter Rory's birthday, the mom, Lorelai, tells Rory the story of her birth. I do a similarly weird thing, where I like to tell my dogs (yes I talk to them) the story of how they came to be mine and of the first time I saw them. And so it will not surprise you that the first dog I ever adopted where I was the mama (not a family dog), I named Rory. Here she is pictured about a day or two after coming home.
I first saw Rory in the month of October, just one month after a devastating breakup with my boyfriend. I had moved out from his apartment and was living with my parents, sleeping on a blow up bed in the basement. To call me fragile at this point in my life was an understatement. I had been volunteering for many years and walking dogs every Sunday with a group called For Our Friends. That Sunday I was told people were bringing by a dog they found as a stray. She had been living in their basement for a couple of weeks. They said they tried to keep her but their dog was not accepting of her. They pulled up and this little brindle dog hopped out of the car, very serious looking, not more than 40 lbs. We did our usual evaluation and determined that we would take her. They called her Brownie. She was about 7 or 8 months old.
I took her for a little walk and already my head was planning and plotting if I could take her home. Keep in mind I had been working with dogs for years but this was the first one who had me really seriously thinking. I think the timing had a lot to do with it and also maybe a little bit of fate. I had two cats at the time, was living at my parents house as I said, where we had a senior dog, a labrador retriever named Sydney, who was 9 years old at the time and my parents had a cat as well. I decided I would take it slow but first things first, I asked the president of the rescue if we could call her Rory and to my excitement, she said yes! That day as I put her into her cage, she fought me like crazy although never tried to bite, and I said goodbye until the following week.
I remember the second week I met her, this one male volunteer had taking a liking to her and was walking her all week and he came that Sunday. He remarked about how smart she was and how she seemed to listen to people when they talked and I watched and saw that he was right, as people spoke to each other her eyes would dart back and forth to the person who was speaking. And her ears would stand up and move like antennas.
Finally I was able to get agreement with my family to bring her home. She was spayed and vaccinated and she was ready to go. My Dad came with me to the animal hospital where we picked her up. I will never forget that day, me and my Rory riding in the back while my Dad drove. From there well there were many ups and downs with my girl, months of getting her not to chase cats, lots of training, quite a few tears, but mostly love. She and Sydney bonded quickly and were good buddies until I moved away. Now Rory is 5 and she will always be my baby girl. She is super smart, alert, sensitive, affectionate and very obedient at home but is a fearful dog out in the world. I will definitely post more about Rory's challenges in another blog. But I accept her as a whole, just as she accepts me.