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Curtis Comes Home

Monday, February 25, 2019

 I looked at Curtis, this little miracle on the seat beside me. It was like looking at the sun. Since Chet Baker, I hadn't seen a more naturally beautiful dog, or one whose every thought shone out of bright brown eyes the way this one's did.  I couldn't believe that he was coming home with me. Still shaken by the hugeness of it all, I was vacillating between elation and terror, but trying hard to project the impression that I, and not some random nameless power, was in charge here.  I needed to be strong for Curtis.

 It felt so amazing to be riding in my car with a dog again. To know we were headed home, and that he had been plucked from an uncertain fate, and was hurtling along into a very bright future. I couldn't keep the tears out of my eyes, as his gaze searched the highway stretching out before us. I felt from the very beginning that I could read Curtis' thoughts, and he could read mine.

I wanted to bring Curtis to Bill, as soon as I could. For as much as I'd missed having a dog, the thing that pulled me out of my trench of resistance was knowing that Bill needed a dog. Chemo has been terribly hard on him, and he's endured days on end when all he could think about was getting out of the whole miserable thing. Outlook is so much a part of the fight. No one could fault Bill for the feelings that flooded and overwhelmed him just as the deadly chemicals did. I knew that having a warm, loving animal to love and hold would be immensely therapeutic for him and Wendy, too. Since she'd been with a Springer pup on her South Africa trip, she'd been talking about getting a golden retriever puppy. While I perfectly understood the urge to have a warm, cuddly puppy around to love and be loved, I was afraid for them both that a new puppy would be too much atop too much for Bill's devoted primary caretaker. It seemed to me that adopting a grown up dog who needed a home would be a better solution. I could shoulder his care, and just share him so all they'd have to handle is the joy he brought. But it had to be the right dog. And that's where my beautiful guiding spirits lent an enormous hand. All I had to do was accept their help. All I had to do was look at Kelly's Instagram post, the first thing on my feed Saturday, February 16. See the dog. Read her description of his singular personality.  Send a barrage of texts to Kelly. Change my travel plans. Stay another night in Columbus. Wait outside the shelter for it to open on Tuesday. Look into Curtis' eyes. And press, with trembling hand, the red YES button. No big deal, right? Then why am I bawling?

  As we rolled along, I made plans to unload the car (I still had all my luggage from the trip to Oregon); give Curtis a bath, and take him over to the pink house to meet Bill. I had still breathed not one word of this momentous event to anyone. My heart was so full with the secret and the import of it all that it was about to burst. I was on the edge of tears or laughter the whole ride home.

I'm not crying, much.

Especially when Curtis sat right on the console, where Chet used to sit, and leaned on me, the way Chet used to.  And then he kissed me! Bawww! I will say that Curtis' kiss is far more gemmunly than Chet's. That Bacon would French you faster than you could say Pbbbth!! 

We made it home. 

I'm so glad, as excited as I was, that I thought to make this little video of Curtis walking up the sidewalk of his new forever home. On the ride home, he alternated between looking somewhat apprehensively at the highway ahead and curling up, eyes closed, in the back seat. I watched the thoughts crossing his expressive face, and I could sense that he was afraid that this car trip would end badly: perhaps in a visit to the vet, or to placement in another shelter. It was the oddest thing to see him retreat farther and farther into his shell as my car slowed and negotiated the curves and final turns into the driveway. Wouldn't you think a dog would sit up and want to see where he was headed at the point where the tires crunched on gravel?

But he didn't. He curled up tighter. Even when I turned the car off, Curtis refused to look out the windows. Oh, my heart. Oh, you poor darling.

Watch as it sinks in on Curtis, the Thinking Dog, that he just might have hit the shelter dog jackpot. 


Yep, I let him out of the car for the very first time without a leash. This journey is all about leaps of faith.

They say I must be one of the wonders
Of God's own creation
And as far as they see, they can offer
No explanation
Ooo, I believe, fate, fate smiled
And destiny laughed as she came to my cradle
Know this child will be able
Laughed as my body she lifted
Know this child will be gifted
With love, with patience, and with faith
She'll make her way, she'll make her way
Natalie Merchant, "Wonder"


You say "Go see!" exactly the way I do to our dogs. "Who's here? Go see!"
Love love love

I love your doggeh voice. Happy, happy.

Crying in my coffee. Such a win-win-win for all of you...just perfect. ❤️

Omg. I cried.


You go, girl!

That is the happiest dog finding his new home. Love this so much.

now, there's a dog who understands what a house is! Love the way he just beelines up the walkway to the front door.
Much happiness ahead for all!


As your relationship deepens, so may his kisses. ;-)

I am rejoicing that you did this, took this leap of faith – and wisdom. You ALL need this dog, and he needs you. A PUPPY, in the midst of all that? NOPE.

Curtis did look very concerned. I think he now knows that he hit the doggy jack pot.

LOVE LOVE LOVE the video!! He truly understands you, from the moment you said, "Get up and look around" and he did just that---right through when he walked up to your door like he'd lived there forever. You have found a canine companion who is perfect for you! He will bring joy and love into your lives, just when you need it most. <3

Welcome HOME, Curtis! And no more rattling around the house by yourself, Julie!
What a great story unfolding.

Incredible dog (...and incredible fearlessness/faith on your part letting him out off-leash so quickly!).
Can't wait to seem him with Bill... is there any better medicine/elixir than a dog's unconditional love.

I usually pooh-pooh comments in which the person talks about something making them cry. But now I am the one with tears of happiness. For you, for Curtis, for Bill. Such a wonderful start to your journey with Curtis.

Your smile says it all. And I get a kick out of your tone of voice. I do believe that's what Curtis is hearing--this lady is in LOVE WITH ME!
And that "this is my home" marking...poor Curtis must have been holding urine for a LONG time.

Would it be inconvenient to just videotape him all day long?

You can tell how happy he is to be entering his new yard and home! You got me bawling. Congrats to you and him. You and your family will be lucky to have him. And he is insanely lucky to have you.

Lynyrd Skynyrd fans approve of the doggeh’s name.;-)

So happy for you both, tugs at the heartstrings!

Soooo happy for you and for Curtis, Julie. Praying for years and years and years of joy together. And looking forward to more posts about your life with him.

Love this post!!!! Beautiful!!! Looking forward to more posts about your life with Curtis.

What a great little story. Congrats on adopting Curtis. Gee i talk in the same doggie voice too. I am dog sitting this week, practicing to someday adopt my own. You may remember me asking about Chet when considering a BT. Who knows what i'll end up with. I sooo look forward to future posts about Curtis!

Natalie Merchant's song, "Wonder" is one of my faves! Julie, your face reflects pure joy & happiness in your pictures. It's hilarious that Curtis walked up the sidewalk and didn't even try to sniff around in the grass. "I'm HOME!"
Love following this absolutely, deliciously happy story!

Home for good! What a wonderful, trusting way to start out. Happy couple and you even have "your song" now. Kim in PA

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