“This is the new dog? I thought you wanted another Dobie?”
“Yes, this is Seymour. Yes, I did want another Doberman.”
Kori, owner of the dog food store called Max’s, smiled as she looked at my new boy who looks as if maybe one day-maybe- his body will catch up to his big lab head, the short stubby legs and that silly, extra large, pug-like question mark of a tail. All is all, the antithesis of the long-legged, graceful, elegant, red Doberman I had imagined would join our family.
Aware that he was being watched, Seymour flapped his long, soft ears a number of times. Then he sat down and barked at her. That annoying high-pitched bark of small dogs. One of the many reasons I never wanted a little dog.
Kori shook her head, sighed and then said, “Sometimes we get the dog we need rather than the dog we want.” Finding and fetching the cases of dog food I wanted, she plunked them down on the counter in front of the register. “I have learned that lesson, many times.”
Owners of pet food stores are philosophers. At least this one is. Kori is like a bartender, happy to listen to the travails of her customers and their dogs or dream dogs. Occasionally about their husbands. No judgement. Advice only when expressly requested.
She had been listening to me for over two years as I talked with her about the great Doberman rescue sites I found. Especially Dobies and Little Paws in Fillmore, California, our trips down there to check out possible dobies to complete our pack. Consequently, when I walked in with Seymour on that cold November day last year, she was surprised but quickly understood. Especially when she looked at Seymour’s face. Who can resist a face like that?
“Sometimes you get the dog you need rather than the dog you want.” Wisdom in that simple observation. A kind of wisdom that applies to all types of life experiences if you think about it. Which I have done, a lot.
Seymour sleeps on my bed. I have never allowed any of my dogs to do that since I was told it was a bad idea by breeders. But I like sleeping with Seymour. His nightly ritual of jumping up on the bed, then flipping on his back and stretching his body as far as he can so that I can rub his belly and followed by kisses cracks me up.
This is the huge ottoman to the oversized white leather chair where I work, write, study or just relax and watch TV. I love this chair, despite its somewhat ragged condition. It was in this chair where I crammed for my qualifying exams for the doctorate. And aced them. Seymour perches right here at my feet, giving me ideas, energy and focus about the latest medical mystery novel I’m writing. Well, kind of.