I remember the last day the puppy was at our house. I returned home after classes one afternoon on a particularly cold and clear January day. (I was in grad school at the time.) My mom was at her lawyers dealing with her divorce proceedings, and my grandmother had gone to the beauty parlor. (Her words-that is what people in that generation called it.) My cousin, Nikki’s owner, knew where we would all be, when and how long, so she snuck to the house to take Father and the puppy to the animal shelter.
Father, too slick and streetwise, slipped from my cousin’s capture attempt. Later in the year when I would go running, Father would tag along with me. Something I noticed was that when a car approached, Father would immediately high-tail it into the woods, only to emerge a few minutes later after the car had safely passed by. It was a survival mechanism that served him well.
The puppy was not so lucky. When I arrived, there was no puppy. I didn’t put two and two together. I thought she was lost, run-over, given away by her first owner or stolen. (I guess in a way she was stolen.) My grandmother, however, knew something was amiss and confronted my cousin about it. Eventually, my cousin admitted to the scheme. She ‘said’ that if no one adopted the puppy at the animal shelter, the animal shelter would contact my cousin who would have then brought the puppy back instead of the puppy being euthanized. I’d like to believe her and in this case, I really wanted, but deep down, I supposed she was lying. I just didn’t want to know the truth.