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Happy Two Year Gotchaversary, Curtis Loew!

Friday, February 19, 2021

 We're a pair, and it's a damn good thing, because living alone this far out in the country, snowed in for weeks during a pandemic isn't for sissies, or extroverts, for that matter. Just knowing there is someone else in the house, even if he's hairy, has a cold nose, and doesn't talk, helps. But that someone is Curtis Loew, a dog of great character and kindness, and that makes all the difference. 

                                                           You are hairy too. Just in patches. 

Love between two humans can sustain, enrich, swell, fade, wrack and rend, and that many-splintered thing, wonderful or heartbreaking or somewhere in the gray zone between, can go on for many years. But dog-love is constant, a bright flame we get to kindle and cradle in our hands for but a decade and change, and then it must go, be replaced in a different way. I've started with Curtis mid-decade. He's five now, and I treasure him all the more for it. He's a specimen and a half, in his prime, and I am delighted to be here for that stage of his beautiful life.

"Everything you love is very likely to be lost, but in the end, love will return in a different way." This quote by Franz Kafka is often reworded to say "a different form," which is a little more direct. Kafka could, of course, have been writing about dogs. Yes, I miss my little black inkblot every day, but Curtis does a fine, fine job of filling that sweet, achy cavern in my heart.  He's love, too, in a different form. 

 Curtis Loew is anything but Chet's reincarnation. He is a separate nation. Independent, self-contained, focused primarily on his freedom to do his work in the woods. He accompanies me, at least partway; humors my primate need for long hugs and ridiculous endearments, and shares a bit of my every meal with the slightly stunned, wide-eyed look of someone who's just won the Ohio Lottery. 

on the ride home from the shelter Feb. 19, 2019, his IV patches still shaved from neutering surgery; wide-eyed wonder in every line.

What this dog came from, chained out for most of his four years in the deep south of Ohio, and what he's landed in...Lord, Lord, he's a brindle Cinderella. Yet he earns this champagne and knucklebone life with every swish of his eloquent tail. 

He delights, comforts, warms and amuses me. He worries me to death, plunging off after unseen scents, and gone for hours on end. I have to remind myself, each time, every day, that he knows what he's doing and he will come home. Curtis was sent to teach me how to love without clinging, to hold on loosely. It shouldn't be that hard for me to do; that's the kind of love I'd like to have, too. 

Oh give me land, lots of land under starry skies above

Don't fence me in!

Let me ride through the wide open spaces that I love

Don't fence me in!

Let me ride to the rim where the West commences

Gaze at the moon 'til I lose my senses

I can't look at hobbles and I can't stand fences

Don't fence me in! Just turn me loose... let me wander over yonder 'til I see the mountains rise...

 Curtis is my spirit animal, without question. 

Two years ago today, I filled out a questionnaire, signed a bunch of forms, and tearfully said, "I do!" to the soulful gold-brown eyes of an unknown but hopeful and polite cur-dog at the CHA Animal Shelter in Columbus, Ohio. 

Happy Gotchaversary, Curtis Loew!  I threw my arms around him after writing this, remembering him in a cage, waiting so patiently for the right person to come along. It made me cry to think of him
discarded. Who could just get rid of a soul like Curtis?

photo by Shila Wilson, taken five days after his adoption and I'm already besotted. Curtis baby, no more chains or cages for you. Just soft beds, willing rabbits, table scraps, and a million kisses.

And two years later:

With my deepest thanks to Kelly Ball for bringing us together, for knowing she'd found my next dog the minute she met him.


Nothing I love better than a love story with a happy ending!

I treasure your cackle. For me, it is the epitome of not only Zickness, but also the feeling that all’s right with the world.

That Kafka quote is one I appreciate too. Curtis, sending lots of love your way, be sure to channel some to your mama, too. This image reminds me of your pic of Curtis, your spirit animal -

So many lines in this post are classic, pull-at-the-heartstrings, pure-unvarnished-truth lines. I don’t know who is the luckier between you and Curtis!… nor does it even matter.

@Weezie, that's a gorgeous painting!! Oh I love that era, the way artists thought and told stories in oils. Thank you. He is The Lone Wolf.
@queenbeehoney I can't help but cackle with this dog. He's not the clown Chet was, but he's funny in his own special way.
@cyberthrush it takes a lot to smoke you out but I always smile when I see you here. I know you're out there. :)

I wish we could match every CHA pet with a worthy human like you, Julie! xoxo Thank YOU for making that leap, for taking that risk. As with remote country living during COVID, adopting a dog about whom you must rely on the honesty of other people's reporting to have any kind of window into who they might be is most definitely not for sissies, either! I love how you embrace Curtis yet allow his wild side to flourish. It's a beautiful pairing.

@Unknown from CHA, Curtis was gone for 2 1/2 hours this snowy morning while I finished writing this post. Came back exhausted, dirty nosed (digging in the snow?) but delighted with himself. Wolfed down his late breakfast and is konked out here in the studio. It's a typical Curtis Loew day. He's unstoppable by snow, ice and cold. Only a cold hard rain or a hideously hot day will send him in, my all-weather cowboy. I feel so fortunate to have the things this active cur needs. He would wither away in the city. Hey, just like me!

Nice assonance.

He is a handsome beast. Lucky boy to be blessed with your love.

Happy Gotchaversary, Curtis Loew! Can you believe it's already been two years since *you* got her?!! ;) Much love and many more "versaries" to you both!!

Somehow our dogs find us! I have never had a bad dog. From my Golden Retriever rescue to my skinny butt terrier who makes me laugh every single day at a time when I need levity in my life.
Happy Anniversary Curtis! You rescued a good one! 🐾

Oh my. I could hardly read through my tears. My daughter Jillian wonders why I always cry so much when I read happy ending stories. I love that he is your spirit animal and is your companion during these awfully long winter months. Renée xo

Oh my. I could hardly read through my tears. My daughter Jillian wonders why I always cry so much when I read happy ending stories. I love that he is your spirit animal and is your companion during these awfully long winter months. Renée xo

This is one of the MOST beautiful stories I have ever read.

Oh, my heart! Thank you for sharing Curtis !

I love the Kafka quote and will try to remember it for when I next need it.

Thank you for such a tender and touching description of the most divine love that can be shared between a human and their animal spirit friend (s). Each one brings us a different gift and allows us in turn to open and share different parts of our own heart. I am so glad that you and Curtis have each other and that you so eloquently share your love with the rest of us.

Wish I could give you both a big cur hug.

I think it would have been impossible to find another Bacon. I'm so glad you have let Curtis reveal who he is, not who you think he should be. What does he call you? I suspect it isn't Mether. Just wondering.
Happy Gotchaversary!!

@Sharon, he usually calls me Momma. :D Kkkkkkrazy Dog Lady, signing off.

Awww. You have given Curtis Loew a wonderful life! It's hard to believe he was ever confined to a cage or tied to a chain. Happy Gotchaversary!

I think we are all besotted with Curtis Loew! I know I am! Happy Gotcha Day, Curtis!!

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