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The Scuppers Story - Part I

The man and woman were on the couch working crossword puzzles one summer day. Lewis and Clark and Paddy and Coggy were scattered about the rugs in chosen sunbeams, preening. Preening themselves, preening one another, yawning and stretching. Out of the blue the man said, "You know, I wouldn't mind having a second smaller dog. The kind of dog that could be here on the couch with us." The woman nearly broke her neck as she lunged for her car keys to speed out to the SPCA. Oh. Maybe first we'd better talk about what we want to have. Oh yeah. Good idea.

"How about a nice little Benji kind of dog? You know, just a raggedy little furry dog with big brown eyes," the woman said. "Yes. That would be nice." said the man. "A nice little raggy dog. Just a dog," he said. The woman thought for a moment. "Or maybe a Jack Russell Terrier. They're little. They're cute. We know the JRT from the park (Snap is his name). How about a JRT?" "No," said the man. "I'd love to have a JRT but it would eat tiny Coggy for a snack, I'm afraid."

The woman decided it would be prudent to give the second dog some careful consideration. Some in-depth research. Some asking around about breeds. Some visiting. Some conversation. She would get on the net and look up doggie things. And after THAT ten minutes of lunacy passed, she grabbed for her car keys, raced out to her car, and headed straight for the SPCA. "I'll just see what picks ME." thought the woman. "Maybe there's a Benji or a JRT look-alike kind of doggie."

At the SPCA the woman was led by Gina through a door behind the front office into a sort of "holding area". A single, plexiglass-enclosed large kennel with a huge opening to the outside. Very clean. Sparse, but clean. And behind the plexiglass, paw-paw-pawing and smile-smile-smiling was a smallish, blondey-vanilla-creamy, cocking-his-little-head this way and that........ doggie. Terriffic triangular flop down ears and soft freckles across his muzzle. Gina opened the door. The doggie raised up to her and kissed-kissed-kissed her face. "There's my Dizzy," she said. "I love this little one. He's been here for two months and I don't know why nobody wants him!" Danger words for the woman who always roots for the underdog. "NOBODY WANTS HIM". The woman asked Gina, "Why wouldn't anybody want him?" "I don't know," she replied. "I'm thinking about taking him home myself."

As the woman had promised herself not to take the first doggie she saw, she asked to see some of the other smallish doggies. So many. TOO many. All special. She returned to the doggie in the plexiglass kennel and asked if she could take him into the yard for a little while. "Sure," said Gina. "Let's get a lead." Whereupon the dog she called Dizzy followed her into the office as though he was in charge of the whole place, went around behind the front counter and got nuzzles from the two people working there and he niffed on the cats. "Hmmm. He seems right at home here," the woman observed. "Oh, yes. We pretty much let him have the run of the place. Everyone here loves him," said Gina.

Outside, the woman walked and played with the little guy for about 20 minutes. She squatted down beside him and he gave her lovely little kisses with his paws on her shoulders. "Yep. This is the doggie for me." The woman talked to the doggie and he cocked his head this way and that trying to understand her. The woman was falling in love.

Back inside, the woman told Gina she had made her decision. "I'd like to have this doggie." And the quizzing began:

"Are there other dogs in your home?"
Uh-oh. "Yes, a labrador retriever."
"OK. Any cats?"
Uh-oh. "Well, yes. I have three cats."
"OK. How about a yard? Do you have a yard?"
Uh-oh. Those haunting words "we have no fenced yard"... "Oh, yes. Of course. A very nice yard."
"Is it fenced?"
Uh-oh. Here comes the lie... "OH MY, YES." The woman REALLY wants this doggie
"What kind of fence do you have?"
Uh-oh. Think-think-think, panic-panic-panic......."Uh, cinderblock in the back and chain link surrounding the other three sides." Straight to hell...
"How high is the chain link?"
Oh, geez... "Oh, I'd say it's about 6 feet high." phew - I think that ought to do it. Pains of hell growing ever more real...
"Oh, dear," says Gina. "I don't think we can let Dizzy go there. He has already escaped from two other animal shelters by climbing chainlink fences. Here, he can't scale the concrete block walls. I really don't think we can let him go."

Utter shock. The well-intended lie had BACKFIRED! (Oh God, you devil!) What does the woman do? She mounts the most incredible defense for owning this dog ever presented before a jury!

"But he'll NEVER be unattended! He'll NEVER be out without me or my husband. He'll ALWAYS be on a lead or tether! Our animals are too precious to us. Look! He likes me. He's been here two months. He needs a home. You have my word."

"Well, I guess it'll be allright. Here let's do the paperwork" And the woman snatched the papers and pen from Gina before Gina could change her mind, filled them out, wrote a check with lightening speed and sealed the deal. "He shall be called Scuppers. After the Sailor Dog. He's had many travels and many adventures just like the sailor dog. So Scuppers it is," said the woman. She could not take Scuppers home that very day, but the day after his final shots were given. Two days she had to wait. Two looooooooooong, excited, can't-wait-til-day-after-tomorrow days. But the time passed and she finally went to collect her little doggie.

To be continued...
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