14: Puppy Love

14: Puppy Love

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable

Puppy Love

I don’t like dreams or reality. I like when dreams become reality because that is my life.

~Jean-Paul Gaultier

My husband Roy was driving. He was the Commodore of the Houston Canoe Club and we were taking flyers for the San Marcos River Clean-Up to Whitewater Experience, a business run by Don Greene. “I had a dream last night,” I began hesitantly. “I never had one that seemed so real. I saw every detail.”

“Yeah? What was it about?” he replied, getting interested.

“I dreamed that we were getting a little black and tan puppy. In the dream, we got it from a business that was run out of a house.”

We had not been married very long and been talking about getting a puppy, but the time never seemed right.

“That’s nice. What kind of dog was it?” Roy was almost parked in front of Whitewater Experience.

“I’m not sure,” I replied. “But it was small and energetic, and we both just adored it.”

“Well, maybe after we get through today, we’ll visit the SPCA and see what they have for adoption,” Roy responded. “I don’t want a frou-frou dog. It’s going to have to be a dog that will camp and go canoeing with us.”

We parked and got out of the car, and as we approached the building, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Whitewater Experience was doing business out of a refurbished old house. No, it couldn’t be, I thought, yet it looked vaguely familiar. Roy grabbed the flyers, and we walked through the front door. I stared and grabbed Roy’s arm.

“This is the place in my dreams, Roy, right down to the Indian blankets on those old Army footlockers.”

About this time, Don Greene greeted us and Roy introduced him to me. After exchanging niceties, I couldn’t stand it any longer. “I know this is going to sound strange, but you wouldn’t happen to have a small black and tan puppy for sale, would you?”

Just as I posed this question, a small Yorkie puppy emerged from under Don’s desk. He ran directly to me and gave me puppy kisses.

“It’s him, Roy. This is our puppy.” It was the puppy I had seen in my dream the night before.

Don looked confused by our exchange, so we explained my dream to him. He was mesmerized. “Well, I wasn’t going to sell this one. I was going to keep him for myself. You see, he shouldn’t even be here. I call him Gordo the Magnificent because he was the first puppy born in his litter. He was so big that his head was stuck in the mother’s birth canal. I had to hold open the birth canal and drive a stick shift twenty miles to get them to the vet for an emergency operation to save the litter. The vet was successful, and four puppies were born. The rest of the litter has been sold, but Gordo is something special. He has even been with me on several canoe and raft trips.”

Don said that Gordo never approached strangers. But he ran directly to me. He was the dog I had seen in my dream, and I was crestfallen when Don said he was going to keep the puppy.

Don saw the sadness in my eyes as I played with Gordo. “Well, I have the mother and the father. There will be more puppies. You folks are good folks and would take him in the outdoors with you. I guess I can let you have this one,” Don said.

I was ecstatic. Now the big question . . . “How much do you want for him?”

“I got $250 for the other puppies,” Don said. “Guess I’ll ask the same for him.”

Now I was saddened for the second time. There was no way we could afford that.

“But for you guys, I would let him go for $225.”

Don agreed to a payment plan. We made the first payment and got ready to take the pup home. Then Don said there was one stipulation — that he keep Gordo long enough to teach him how to eddy turn in moving water before we took him home. We agreed, and two weeks later, Gordo was ours.

Most dogs only respond to one person, but from the beginning, Gordo was always our dog. He was smart, friendly and not afraid of anything — except thunder. We registered him with the AKC with a name that fit our lives — George Mutt. George because I always wanted a dog named George, and Mutt (Roy’s contribution) because this was the first registered dog Roy had ever owned. George went on many adventures with us and was indeed a water dog. He had his own life jacket and understood currents. He loved to “fish” in the shallows, and when he got hot on a summer canoe trip, he would jump into whatever body of water we were paddling.

George Mutt brought us joy for fifteen years. We have owned other dogs since, but none of them was a “dream” dog, and none measured up to George. His pictures are still in our living room and bedroom, and Roy still carries a picture of him in his wallet. He will be with us always — if only in our dreams.

~Janice R. Edwards

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