If you know me at all, you probably know that I have often
said, more and more often over the past two years, that I would NEVER have two
dogs at the same time again.  Then
I said that I would never have another indoor dog.  Then I said I just wouldn’t have a dog again, that when Cari
and Ellie departed this world, I would be done with dogs.  To say that Cari and Ellie have been
problem children is an understatement. 
They have made enemies of our neighbors, caused me undue stress, cost us
a ton of money and are mental cases in nearly every way possible.  I have begun to admire cats more and

Then, on Thanksgiving, I heard them scratch on the back door
to be let in, and when I opened the door, there were three, not two, dogs
waiting for me.  A small, Jack
Russell mix stood looking at me expectantly.  I tried to run him off.  In fact, we tried for four days to run him off, but he
continued to come in our fenced-in yard through a small hole in the gate.  The fact that Cari and Ellie didn’t eat
him was astounding, and he was the only dog I had ever heard of who willingly
incarcerated himself.  Finally, I
fed him, but we told the kids not to get too excited.  Another dog was not part of my plan.

Fast forward several weeks—as usual, my plan didn’t
mean crap.  The dog, whose name is
Freckles, is now happily sleeping at my feet as I type.  He’s slowly learning that marking one’s
territory in the house is a big no-no, and he’s quickly figured out that it’s a
hell of a lot warmer in Harper Lee’s bed than the garage.  He’s no fool.

The message here, of course, is to never say never.  I was absolutely, 100% sure that I did
not want another dog.  I did not
want another living thing begging for food, peeing in my house, or putting
muddy hand (or paw) prints on my glass doors, yet here I am, with
three—THREE—dogs in my house, four cats on the porch, two crazy kids asleep at
the end of hall, and a mouse that Santa brought running in a plastic wheel
during all hours of the night. 

Harper always says that God puts things, or animals, in our paths
for a reason.  I think that must be
true.  Even though I tried to run
him off, I have really grown to love Freckles.  He is funny and smart and likes to play, which has been a
ton of fun for the kids.  He needed
us, and maybe we needed him too. 
Maybe I needed him.