Scouting Around

Our newspaper runs weekly photos of available dogs and cats to promote adoption of homeless animals.  Dearly Beloved and I had discussed the possibility, but felt that Miss Piggy might not approve.  After she went temporarily blind from her corneal ulcers though, Bonnie seemed so lost that we thought another dog might help her mobility.  Also, DB wanted a walking buddy for those 3+ mile walks he takes every day.

Two weeks ago, a photo of a beagle mix named Wilbur caught DB’s eye, so we went to the Humane Society to see about him.  Unfortunately, he was easy to locate, as Wilbur’s barking and baying were constant the entire time we were there.  

“Yeah,” one of the volunteers offered, “Wilbur’s got a big mouth.”  

DB decided that Wilbur wouldn’t do, so he walked around, looking at all the other dogs.   There were some adorable puppies, which we knew would be quickly taken, so we passed on those.   DB chose a dog of about 70 pounds and the attendants brought her out for him to meet.  She seemed like a nice dog.

I asked that one other dog be brought out.  When I’d walked past her run, she’d come up to the fence, wagging her tail and looking directly at me without being distracted by the other dogs or people walking around.   She checked out my eyeliner.  I noticed hers.

“I choose YOU,” those eyes said.

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When she was brought into the enclosure to meet us, she didn’t simply wag her tail, she wagged everything south of her rib cage.   She piddled a little with excitement when DB approached her… and then she set about charming him with her exuberant yet gentle,  mannerly ways, as he walked her around the property.

That is how Scout, a two-year-old skinny boxer, retriever, shepherd mix came to be ours.

Scout was polite and deferential to Bonnie, whose only orders to the new girl were to leave her chew bones alone.  Scout was on medication for an upper respiratory infection, but refused Pill Pockets, which were Bonnie’s favorite treat.  Yikes!  I am not dexterous when it comes to stuffing pills down an animal’s throat.  For the first 36 hours, Scout would not touch her food.   We had one dog that ate everything, another that ate nothing.

At night she sleeps in the crate we bought for her.  She likes it.

The night Bonnie had her stroke, after she had entered the state where she seemed to be unaware of anything around her, I was sitting on the hall floor with her.  I’d tried to lift her onto her bed, but she’d wiggled off so that only her head was pillowed.  Suddenly, for no reason I could discern, Bonnie screamed… an anguished, primal scream like nothing I’d ever heard.

Immediately, I heard Scout scrambling in her crate, trying to get out.  Dearly Beloved thought she wanted to go outside, so opened the kennel for her and walked down the hall, calling her to follow.  But Scout went a short distance down the hall, then turned back and came to the place where Bonnie lay.  She sniffed her briefly and then did the strangest thing.  She lay down in an exact mirror image of Bonnie’s position, her head on the pillow, too, her nose just barely touching Bonnie’s.

It lasted only a few seconds, then she scrambled off the pillow and followed DB down the hall.

I don’t know the mysteries of the dog world, so I have no speculation about what passed between them in that instant.  Bonnie lay quietly and screamed no more that night.

More than one person has offered that perhaps Bonnie, with her failing organs, had been waiting until she felt it was okay to leave us and that Scout’s arrival allowed that.  I don’t know.  Yes, I’m aware that dog is god spelled backwards.

Scout was rescued by the Humane Society from a kill shelter in another county the day before the barking Wilbur’s photo appeared in the newspaper.  She was examined, spayed, and de-wormed her first day at the Humane Society.  We adopted her the day after that.  She was rescued twice in less than a week.  Or perhaps it was one rescue for her, one for us.

It’s going to be interesting.  For one thing, we’ve discovered that she can jump the backyard fence from a standstill.  She doesn’t run away–she simply jumps back over.  She has gone from being a non-eater to inhaling her food as soon as it reaches her bowl.  I now medicate her with a syringe pill shooter.   She wags her backside enthusiastically as I shoot her a pill into the back of her throat.  Go figure.

And get this…  Scout is a SQUIRREL CHASER!

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We chose her name from To Kill A Mockingbird.  I find myself telling folks she’s a GIRL Scout when they ask.  To describe her to the grandsons, I explained that she was a BROWN(IE) Scout.   And yes, her coloring– brown with white chest and feet–is like Tonto’s paint horse, Scout.

But those eyes are pure Angelina Jolie.

(PS.  I have posted so many photos of a sleeping Miss Piggy in the past, I’ve added a photo of her from last summer to yesterday’s post.  She always reminded me of a teddy bear when she held her tongue like that.  It was one of my favorite expressions.) 

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9 thoughts on “Scouting Around

  1. Arkansas Patti

    Scout heard something she understood in Bonnie’s scream and needed to give comfort
    I am glad you have another rescue dog to help ease that empty hurt place that losing Bonnie left. Mighty came to my gate a week before my Jemima died. Sometimes the timing is just right and hard to explain.

  2. I love Scout! An adorable bundle of doggyness. And you’re right, Bonnie does look like a teddy bear in that photo.

    I now write the ads for our local paper for our animal shelter and I love doing it. The shelter gets a free ad every week and I always try to write something to make people fall in love with the pet. At the very least, I hope it gets someone into the shelter to adopt SOME animal. Glad to know the ad you saw eventually led you to Scout! (Love that name)

  3. I have to admit that I teared up at the part where Scout laid with Bonnie. Dogs are such amazing creatures. My youngest has always been the animal lover in our home and our dog sleeps with him every night. Except when my oldest is sick or has had a really bad day – then he sleeps with him. If both of the boys are sick? He sleeps in the hallway or goes back and forth between their rooms. He does love his boys so.
    So glad that you and Scout found each other. Looks like she fits right in 🙂

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