You know you have a serious case of writer’s block when the only thing you can think to write about is your dog. *sigh* Please humor me, I’ve been running around trying to plan 12 weddings and a cooking class, so it’s a miracle these words are actually making it onto the page.

morena

A little over two years ago, my now ex-husband and I stopped by the side of the highway leading into our town to ask some questions at a new furniture store. He got out of the car and started talking to the owner, who was standing outside the store. I was still sitting in the car when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something black moving in the tall grass next to the road. At first I thought it was a rat, so I rolled down the window to warn my ex of its presence. However, the store owner replied: “Oh, that’s not a rat. It’s a little stray dog that wondered here this morning. It’s been lying there all day.”

WTF?? It was probably 40 degrees! I jumped out of the car, parted the tall grass, and saw the saddest, biggest brown eyes looking helplessly at me. She was tiny, no bigger than a sewer rat, and she smelled just as awful as one. She had little tufts of matted fur but most of her skin was hairless and covered in mange. Her ribs and backbone were prominent, and her left paw was oddly twisted to one side.

My heart broke for this poor little creature, so I took off my jacket and scooped her up, being careful not to touch the skin. The ex and I jumped back in the car and drove to our vet. Meanwhile, our two huge labs kept wanting to see this new – if rather smelly – passenger, so I had to fight them off and yell at them to stay back. All the while, the little puppy looked at me, a mixture of fear and appreciation in her sweet eyes.

The vet took one look at her and said that he’d try his best to save her but couldn’t guarantee anything. We left her there and went home. Every week, we’d go visit her and it was a joy to see her gaining weight and growing hair. After six weeks, we got the all-clear and took her home. The vet said we had saved her life; she wouldn’t have survived the night had we left her on the road.

We named her Morena, a Spanish word that means “dark-skinned female”. She was a shy and fragile little dog who found comfort in the warmth of our fat yellow lab, Jack. She would cuddle up to him and lie not next to him, but on TOP of him! It was the cutest thing…

To be continued…

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