Journal entry, January 8, 2006:
We have a new friend. We think her name will be Beatrice. She's all black like a little labrador, but she's of no certain origin, six years old, and only weighs sixteen pounds. She has a little kink in her tail, as if someone folded the origami slightly wrong. She loves to sit in one's lap. Tonight we have been learning the difficult lesson "doggie doors and how to use them with aplomb". Our dog Ted is quite comfortable with her, having met her on neutral ground at the McKinney SPCA. The SPCA did not know her name--she was a stray foundling--so we have to teach her the new name. She knows two words, as near as I can tell--"fetch" and "ball". At the very impressive McKinney SPCA facility, her rap sheet included a post-it note in a rather girlish purple that said it most simply: "Very sweet".
Two years ago today we met our dear friend Beatrice. She turned out just wonderfully. She's loyal. She loves her life. She's well-behaved. She lives to fetch tennis balls and small stuffed toys.
She required some help with training, but certainly far less help than the average puppy.
It breaks my heart that so many friends like Beatrice live in shelters, waiting to be adopted. I am not dogmatic, and reserve the right to change my mind, but I believe we will not buy a puppy again,but only adopt from animal shelters from now on.
I'd rather not dwell on heartbreak, though. I'd rather dwell on joy. Bea has meant immense joy for us, and, I suspect, for her, too.
I wish you could all meet Bea, and throw her ball for her. She'd be glad you did, and I think you might be glad, too.