Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Puppy Love

Today I found a stray puppy wandering around on Main St without a leash or an owner anywhere in sight. I scanned the street for someone who might know where this little perky tailed puppy originated from - the guy outside the bar smoking said she wasn't his, a woman down the street asked me if she was mine. The big street had no clues.

It was one of those moments where the lazy, automaton part of you is like, "Aww, her owner is bound to be around here somewhere, it isn't your business, someone else will take care of it, just go back to work Ms Snoopy." And the other part of you is thinking, "I have to help this little lost baby, she needs me!"

The lady down the street helped me find a piece of twine inside KKD while I held the puppy by her collar. She had a tag with 2 cell phone #s on it and I called both but to no avail. I left messages. What kind of people lose a dog and then don't pick up their cells? Jeez.

Not sure what else to do, I brought her up to my office and shut the door. Christina, Suzanne and I crouched on the floor and fed her saltines and she was so hungry, she devoured them whole. Her tag said that her name was Mela but we weren't sure how to pronounce it so we said it as "Meela."

Mela gave Suzanne many kisses and explored every inch of the office. I figured it wouldn't be long until her owners called for her. She was a thoroughbred puppy after all! But as the hours ticked by and there was no phone call, I became more and more attached to Mela.

She cuddled up in my lap and slept like an angel for a long time. She seemed relieved to be some place soft and warm on such a chilly, rainy day. I took her out for a pee in the park and she tried to chase after a dog while "Whooing" like Snowy in the Tin Tin comics. She appeared to be some sort of a beagle breed who liked to chase squirrels and anything that moved.

She spent hours perched on my shoulder watching the activity in the park across the street while I lamely attemped to type with one hand. Needless to say, not much work was done between the cooing and the cuddling. It was not long before I reeked of dog.

This was sort of how I found my cat 7 yrs ago. An animator at Tippett found a frightened little fluff of fur in his backyard that turned out to be an abandoned white kitten. A modeler was keeping him at her house but she already had 2 cats. A rotoscoper was all set to adopt him when I decided I had to have him. I had spent the entire day carrying him around in my sweatshirt and when the time came to turn him over, it was too late, we had bonded.

Maybe this is what they call the mothering instinct? Some creepy set of hormones and DNA that is bred into me and makes me want to protect lonely animals and make sure they are fed enough.

My brain was terrified that I would never be able to care for a kitten, especially when I worked 60 hr weeks at a company that required most of my life blood, but somehow, we managed to make it work. The Tippetts let me bring little Max to work with me and the entire studio helped raise the little monster, the White Devil as he was fondly called. A couple years after we left they did the VFX for the film Cats and Dogs and I like to think that little Max had some influence on the evil white cat character in the movie.

Just as adopting Max had felt like a big, unexpected-but-right change in my life, finding Mela seemed providential. My life is at a crossroads, I am not sure if I am coming or going, moving back to California or sticking it out in the wilds of VT - this dog was a sign, right? A sign to stay here and raise this baby puppy? Finally, the heavens were answering my big questions and seeing me onto the correct path! Yes! Thank you fates!

But no, actually, that was not how it all panned out. The puppy went home with her father and I had more questions than I started with. On the upside, I had a great talk with my long lost friend in San Francisco and now the plan is that we are going to get a place together in SF!

Or not, maybe, who knows, so many plans and so many fates pulling you this way and that all day long. Perhaps it is up to us to make these big decisions and the puppies and kittens are just a nice bit of companionship along the way.

I just hope little Mela has fond memories of her big excursion into the scary world and her brief time spent snoozing on a strange ladies lap. What an adventure, ah, the haphazard life of a dog.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

The sign is obvious: you MUST get a dog. It's just like the movies where the character struggling to find meaning in her life takes in an orphan and all is right with the world again.