An Anniversary

Lila, pictured above, arrived on our property exactly 10 years ago today. She was wearing a collar and part of a chewed-up leash. She was also nursing a sprained paw.

We had three other dogs at the time. I remember one of our dogs was barking madly and my daughter and I ventured out cautiously to see what was upsetting them since she and I were alone on the property. My husband was away on a  business trip.

When we finally realized that a puppy was the cause of all the commotion, we slowly approached it. We had no idea that it was hurt, whether it belonged to someone,  whether it was a boy or girl, or what her name was. We just saw that it was very timid and didn’t move at all when we came close.

We examined her closely and that’s when we noticed the chewed-up leash. We looked for tags but found none and then we saw that she was not able to walk very far. My daughter and I looked at one another. I told her with my eyes that I had not intention of adopting a fourth dog. She pleaded with her eyes that we should at least take her to the vet to see about her paw.

Weeks before this happened, my husband was talking about his desire to add a black labrador to our household. I remember how upset I was, after all, he was still taking lots of business trips and the bulk of household affairs were left to me. At the time, our daughter was still homeschooling, his mother was still alive and needed my help and I was committed to many projects in town. We already had three aging dogs and the last thing I wanted was to add another responsibility to my already full plate. I was very vocal about it.

Our visit to the vet determined that the sprain could be bandaged easily, that she was female, that her tongue was black, that she was a mix breed containing labrador and maybe shar-pei or chow chow. We thought about a name for her, the vet picked Sofia, my daughter said Lila. Lila Sofia was the compromise! She was around 5 months old and looked in good health. I paid for shot, just in case. The mystery was where she came from.

We never really found out where she came from. Some people told us that they had seen her jumping or being thrown from a car! We told people about her but no one came to claim her. In the meantime, I told my husband that we had given her temporary shelter and would put her up for adoption as soon as her paw healed.

When time came to advertise her adoption, my daughter begged me to reconsider. She reminded me that the other dogs were getting older, that Lila would be a comfort to us after she went to college, etc. In short, she convinced me. My husband graciously has never reminded me that I was very vocal about not wanting another dog. Lila and he have bonded so deeply in the last decade that I know they have been quite good for each other. The other three dogs we had when Lila arrived have all passed away. One was 17, one was 15 and one was just 10 but had been hit by a car and never properly recovered.

This is an serendipitous animal anniversary that we are happy to celebrate!

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