I was sitting in my office at work trying to make a key decision -- what did I want for lunch, Subway or KFC? -- when I received a picture/text message from Theresa:
For a full description of my relationship with Newt, click here.
At this point, the last thing we need is another dog in the house. So I responded to Theresa's text, making my point quite clearly:
NOT A CHANCE.
TOO LATE. IT'S HAPPENING.
The hell it is, I thought. Believing I could better make my point over the phone, I dialed her number.
"We're not getting another dog."
"Isn't he adorable?"
"We're not getting another dog."
"He needs a home."
"Okay, I'll make you a deal. Get rid of Newton and we can keep the puppy."
"Aw, we can't get rid of Newton, he's family."
"Okay, okay, here's the thing," said Theresa. "The puppy got attacked by a coyote or a pit bull or something and they need someone to watch him at night and on weekends until he heals. Can we adopt him temporarily?"
I can be reasonable. "Yeah, we can do that. But -- let there be no mistake about this, T -- WE ARE NOT KEEPING HIM."
"I know, I know."
Theresa brought the puppy home that night. He was in pretty bad shape. All four legs had been, well, "eaten" isn't the right word but it's the first one that comes to mind. He had tubes sticking out of the wounds for drainage, several stitches, and of course he was wearing the plastic cone to keep him from messing with his injuries. He looked like a doggie-martini.
"Here," said Theresa as she handed the pup to me. "I need you to hold him while I put ointment on his legs."
So I held him.
When Theresa touched his leg, the little guy whimpered in pain. He started licking my hand, as if to say, "Please, my new friend, make my legs stop hurting."
After we put the ointment on his legs and gave him his pills, Theresa put him on a blanket by the fireplace. At this point, Newton and Munson noticed there was a new kid in town. Munson sniffed him carefully, and after determining there was no danger, went on about his business. Newton, on the other hand, kept climbing on Theresa, trying to take her attention away from this threat to his status as "most spoiled dog on the planet."
We gave the puppy a bowl of food and he ate like a prisoner. Poor guy had been through a lot. He really was mangled, you could even see the bone in one of his hind legs. What was that stupid coyote doing, picking on a tiny puppy? I hope the little guy got a few good bites in, anyway. Man, look at all those stitches.
"Hey, T," I said. "I have the perfect name for this guy. Let's call him Stitch."
"We can't name him."
"Because as soon as he's healthy, some family is going to adopt him," Theresa said. "We're not keeping him."
"Darn right we're not keeping him," I said, suddenly less sure about it.
The next morning, Theresa took Stitch back to animal control. I called a few times to see how he was doing. Early in the afternoon, my phone rang. It was Theresa.
"Hey," I said. "How's Stitch?"
"That's why I called. It's not looking so good. All his stitches popped out and now he's back in surgery. It's not looking good. Just thought you should know."
For the next few days it was touch and go, but Stitch was able to pull through. Theresa brought him home for the weekend, and we've had him the last couple nights as well. He seems to be healing nicely. If all goes according to plan, the animal control department will be able to find him a new home next week.
Because we don't need another dog at our house.