We don’t know Pawley’s exact birthday, but sometime right around now six years ago this little adorable animal was born somewhere in Gaston County, North Carolina.
I found her about five weeks later. It was a rainy and cold Wednesday in January. My friend Jenn and I took an extra-long lunch and drove to the animal shelter in Gastonia to see about her adopting a dog she’d noticed on their Facebook page. (Six years later, Jenn still only has two cats.)
But as I waited for Jenn, I noticed a shivering pile of brown and black puppies in one of the outdoor pens. You couldn’t even count them, they were so bundled together, trying to get warm. I asked a nearby worker if I could hold one. Which one? he asked. Any of them, I said.
He reached into the pile and pulled out Pawley. These have been here awhile, he said. Tomorrow is their last day. And thus the story of how Pawley became the third member of our little family.
She hasn’t always been the easiest dog:
But Pawley is one of the greatest things to ever happen to me. She shares my adoration for the outdoors and for bacon. She’s my favorite companion for walks and runs. She’s the protector of our little group. And she’s probably taught me more about love than any human.
So, this is my “happy birthday to Pawley” post. And my “if you can, get a rescue” post. Because she’s my best crazy decision.
I’m behind on like six projects. So, 90 percent of my weekend was spent researching and writing. I’m legitimately concerned I’m developing arthritis in my right hand from typing.
So, other than my kind friend Jenn, who offered me a brief reprieve for wine and human conversation on her porch on Saturday night, I spent most of my weekend with these two characters for company. Luckily, I happen to think they’re the best company.
(Sidenote: In case you were wondering about what’s going on with Pawley’s weird shaved neck, she had surgery a few weeks ago to remove a giant tumor on her trachea. She’s recovering nicely and actually looks much thinner without the huge lump of fat under her chin. It’s basically like I got my dog a neck lift. Rosie has requested a tummy tuck be next.)
I’ve had Rosie for almost 11 years. That’s 77 in dog years. The average human life expectancy in the U.S. is 78. So, basically I’ve had Rosie for a lifetime. (This is how I do math.)
When I’m away from home—as I am this week—I don’t miss much. I freaking love to travel. But I really miss this chubby little dachshund. I have another dog, Pawley, who I adore. But Pawley is a dog’s dog. (Some days it feels like she’s basically a feral coyote that I’ve tried to domesticate.) Rosie is a different story. She prefers her sleep to be in fresh sheets, her dinners to be spaghetti, and her baths to be lavender scented.
So when I leave I always miss her. But I’ve long thought that the best part about travel is coming home to a place you love. And Rosie always makes me extra happy to come home.