Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Bridget"


Turning the corner of the hallway, I immediately noticed a few teachers clumped outside one of the classroom doors. Ohhs and ahhs floated through the air, piquing my curiosity immediately. My heeled shoes clacked against the hard, waxed tile as I joined the tight group to investigate.
            My heart quickened as I realized the commotion centered around a small, tri-colored puppy nestled against Sharon’s neck. The pup whimpered a little and tried to snuggle in even closer. Now my heart melted.
            “I can’t keep her,” Sharon said in dismay. “My husband doesn’t want to have to train a new puppy right now.”
            “May I hold her?” I asked as I stroked the puppy’s sleek fur. Sharon reluctantly handed her over. Now I lost my heart!
            In my hands I held a tiny beagle, terrier mix. Her coat, mainly black, shimmered blue in the light. A brown spot dotted her eyebrows above each eye, and the same shade of brown outlined her eyes and spread around her body creating a wedge between the black and white on her coat. The brown masked her snub little nose, too. I inhaled the sweetish musky scent of all puppies and knew I needed this little dog, probably more than she needed me.
            “Let me call home,” I looked over at Sharon. “I’ll see if I can take her.” The pup snuggled into my neck as I reached the Teacher’s Lounge. Dialing home, I quickly told David about the dog. After Dixie, my son’s dog died a few years ago, I’d sworn that I would only get another dog if all of the variables fell into place. I wanted a young puppy, a female, a tri-color beagle and terrier mix. Fate had literally handed me the dog for which I’d unknowingly longed.
            Of course, David instantly agreed to bringing the puppy home. He didn’t ask our son, who was still asleep. David volunteered to drive over to the campus within the hour to pick up the dog. I went back to Sharon, told her we’d take the dog, and followed her to her room where she had a little slip of sheet, some food and water, and a little box for the dog. She gave me the vet records since she’d already taken the puppy in the previous day for shots, de-worming, and a flea treatment. I offered to pay for all of these expenses, and she thanked me profusely since her husband was upset over her spending so much.
            David swung by the school a little over an hour later and found the puppy curled into a tight black ball on my lap. We shifted her gently into the box, and she settled back to sleep immediately.
            As David left the room, he asked, “ Do you have a name yet?”
            “No. I’m thinking of some possibilities. Maybe you and Paul can come up with some suggestions.”
            The day crawled by with me trying to come up with names. I’d found out more of the puppy’s story. A custodian had found her on the road side, with another larger, dead dog. The puppy, when he approached, was trying to nuzzle the dead dog as though trying to figure out why the other dog wouldn’t move. He was certain the other dog was the puppy’s mother. My heart broke to hear such a sad tale.
            Arriving home, I headed straight into the office. There sat David, puppy curled into a tight ball of glossy black. Before I could even say a word, Paul turned from his computer and said, “Her name’s Bridget.”
            “Bridget?” I queried as I kneeled down on the floor next to David. “Why Bridget?”
            “It’s one of my DAOC characters. She’s fast, intelligent, and bold,” Paul explained. “We figured she’d need a good, strong name to help get her settled.”
            “Bridget,” I whispered as I pulled the bundle into my arms. She woke up and instantly began licking my face with enthusiastic affection. Already she recognized me. “Welcome home, Bridget. Welcome home.”


Copyright 2006 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Bridget today! 

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