Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Marshmallow Christmas Candy Part II

My marshmallow wasn't exactly overjoyed, but it returned to focusing on the Dalmatian, to whom it was becoming extremely attached. I suspected this attachment might have something to do with the fact the dog's name was Candy. My marshmallow and Candy could drown together in their sweetness. We quit looking at the other websites and focused on the two snapshots we had of Candy from the rescue shelter. She looked into the camera so gently and hopefully.

Unlike my brain, my marshmallow has no concept of the meaning of the word “stress.” It manages to make me completely forget the fact that I become stressed at the slightest provocation. It never once considered the fact that this little trip it had volunteered to take might wake up a few anxious feelings that had been lying around snoozing with one eye open, just waiting for such an opportunity to add a little excitement to their lives. Marshmallow thought we were just going to be peacefully driving along interstates with this docile creature lying quietly and gratefully in the back seat.

My first panic attack set in before I’d even picked up Candy. Lisa, the woman from the shelter in Maine who supervised Candy’s big adventure, kept a wonderful, detailed account via email of who was picking up our precious cargo when and where. I was supposed to drive Candy on Sunday from 2:00 to 3:30. By Thursday, all slots had been filled except two legs: the one immediately preceding mine and the one immediately following it. Suddenly, I had visions of driving across four states, turning my little Sunday afternoon jaunt into an all-day and all-night event.

Then, it turned out Candy didn’t have a collar, and Lisa asked if anyone had a spare collar for her. I prayed someone would, as I envisioned pulling over for a “potty break,” watching helplessly as the dog slipped out of whatever cobbled-together, noosed leash I might make. I'd grab for her slippery rear-end, coming up with nothing but some shedding hair, as she disappeared into the night somewhere along a very dark stretch of highway.

Happily, volunteers were found for the legs surrounding mine, and by Saturday evening and Sunday morning, I was tracking Candy’s progress. She’d made it with no problem to her overnight volunteer’s house. Someone had bought her a brand new red collar as a Christmas present. She was a perfect riding companion, apparently doing nothing other than sleeping in the back seat of the car. When she needed to relieve herself, she’d let the driver know by pacing from window to window in the backseat. She was described as living up to her name, being “very sweet.” I was looking forward to meeting her.


BikeProf said...

Before we got Muttboy, I searched online through the dog rescue sites. The ads that were written in the dogs' voices nearly killed me. "My name is Woofer and I'm a labrador mix. I try really hard to be a good boy, but I have lots of energy. I love to play with tennis balls and cuddle." I would be sobbing uncontrollably by the end. I guess I also have a marshmallow heart.

Anonymous said...

Dear sweet marshmallow -- I'm with the Hob, I don't think I could survive being spoken to by a needy dog! xo, BL

Emily Barton said...

Oh, yes, being spoken to by a needy dog is the worst. Of course, dogs are probably actually far more practical than we are, and if they could really speak, would be saying things like: "Get over your sentimentality. Oh, I know, a home would be nice, but I'd be just as happy if people would let me roam wild with a pack of buddies, in a place that has lots of rabbits and squirrels to eat. You people are too "loving-home-obsessed."

P.S I wouldn't recommend either one of you read A Dog's Life: The Autobiography of a Stray, unless you're in need of a good, long cry.