Spot is a Bassamation. She’s a stray that wandered onto the Texas farm of my brother’s fiance shortly before they were married, while they were preparing the grounds for their outdoor chuck-wagon wedding reception. Try as they might to find her owner, she was still around when their wedding day came, so they tied a bandana around her neck and she mingled with the guests. Our kids were enamored with the gentle dog but it was my husband, Rich, who surprised us all. After years of resisting the kids’ persistent pleas for a dog, Rich looked at me and said “I could live with Spot. Should I go tell the kids?”
Not too surprisingly, we were the hit of the reception – the family that was rescuing the black and white dog. But getting her home to Minnesota was something else again. Turns out that various shots and a health certificate were required – fortunately my niece volunteered at a vet’s office who obliged by seeing us on a weekend. And then there were the flight restrictions. Our airline didn’t take dogs. Period. And all the others would not fly dogs in the heat of the summer. The idea of renting a car to drive her home was not appealing, but was slowly becoming our only option. In step my mom and sisters and a wonderful breeder. While out on a drive in the country, Mom and the others passed a breeder’s sign that said “We ship our dogs anywhere.” Anywhere? Not being shy, they trotted up the drive and relayed our predicament. Given her love of dogs, the breeder immediately offered to assist in our rescue of this stray. Once we identified a flight that a) left before 7am, b) was heading north, c) was non-stop, and d) the temperature had not yet reached 70 degrees, Spot was winging her way to her new home.
At the time, the vet estimated she was 3-5 years old. She has spent over 11 years as a beloved member of the family. And although it was the kids who pleaded for a dog, it’s Rich that Spot adopted. The two are inseparable. They say that strays are devoted to the person who rescued them, and somehow Spot knows it was Rich. She’s slowing down these days – at age 15 or so, she’s entitled. And I finally found a way to worm my way into her heart. Peanut butter. The arthritis in her bones is evident in her stiffness and the way she moans. The vet recommended a homeopathic tablet to help ease her pain, and it’s working. The trick to getting her to take it three times a day is peanut butter. I administer the doses, so she now follows me around the house looking at me with her big eyes and a look that says “more peanut butter now?” I still may not be her favorite, but I’ll take it.