Do dogs go to heaven? I say an emphatic, “YES ! because I’m going there and I want to see her again.” my good friend Allie, Al pal is what I called her. Her given name, Allison Katherine Hatcher was name picked on a Colorado Rocky Mountain trail. My children were about to give up slogging through the drenched trail when I said,
“I know, let’s figure out a name for a puppy, if Daddy would ever allow us to have a puppy…I had remembered picking a name for a cat when I was on a similar trail as a young girl with my dad.”
It was so amazing, their young spirits perked up right away, especially my son, who had just finished Shiloh in his fourth grade class. I don’t remember the brainstorming process…but I did remember that I thought ,
“Well it is, a big handle for a little puppy and they’ll probably forget all about this after the hike.”
We got home and there was no mention of the dog for a few months. Then my son, who is known as a ‘wheeler-dealer’ set his plan in motion. Someone, probably at school, mentioned the ‘classified’ section of the newspaper to Jeff. He began his dog search in earnest. He cut up the classifieds and placed them on our nightstand. He didn’t beg, he didn’t whine…he didn’t remind of us of the fact that we had chosen a name, somehow, he knew that this methodical – well researched approach would appeal to his meticulous father. They were only beagles, that he looked for, never another….dog- gone that Shiloh, dog- gone that Peanuts cartoon, dog- gone that mushy trail where this had all started.
My husband caved right near Christmas, the worst time to get a dog- say the ‘experts’…and in the winter…did we even think of training? I didn’t even know what that really was. Before you have your baby, everything will be perfect….Right? I didn’t know at the time, that beagles are stubborn, difficult to train and some would even call beagles a ‘less than intelligent breed’.
We brought the bundle of love home a few days before Christmas. It was a surprise for Jeff, one that he had just about given up hope for. I remember the night…the best night of my ‘gift giving’ life. He was sitting on the couch watching a program. We stuck up behind him and put the sleeping pup on his lap. A tear ran down his face . Here was his new best friend…and I might add, mine.
PS Last summer was Al pals last. Here she is at 14 people years, an older and a much chubbier pooch (beagles eat everything and don’t know when to stop, uh-oh… that is kind of like me)
PSS Jeff begged us for another pooch after college. This time, his Dad found the classified. Here he is with his new best friend Niia (named after a jazz singer).