Monday, September 4, 2006

Ode to Jake

There is something gluttonous, yet enviable, about being able to walk into a room or a life and immediately locate the most pleasant, comfortable place to recline. Whether it's the coziest corner of a sofa or a soul, there's a rare art form to finding it.

My nine-year-old son wanted a cat for his birthday. He's allergic to them, and I don't do litter boxes, so he opted for a "cat-sized dog." He thought a Scottish Terrier would be nice, so off I went to troll for his birthday present. I found a Scottie named "Jake," but no picture, so I requested a photo. A week went by before I got a response, explaining that all they had available was an old photo in which they had shaved him completely to keep him cool, so he looked a bit odd. In the photo, he looked like a naked but smiling rat. With a birthday fast approaching, it was at least a happy rat.

After Jake sent one of his animal rescue minions to review our house to see if it was up to his standards (it was), we were instructed to bring in our current dog, Josie - an over-achieving border collie/labrador cross, for a 'compatibility check.' On the way to her interview, I prepped Josie on proper Scottish traditions, and warned her, at least for the day, not to diss haggis, kilts or the Queen. She aced the test, even the verbal essay question about ending world hunger.

When we first met Jake, he was trolling the buffet at PetSmart, the other end of his leash attached to a young animal rescue volunteer. He must have been familiar with the food there because he was waddling his way about the spilled treats to find the best ones. I was expecting a cute little Scottie, like Jock from "Lady and the Tramp." Jake could have eaten Jock for dinner. He resembled "Citizen Kane" more than "Lady and the Tramp," his portly gentleman's style cloaked a "I'll-have-my-bacon-now" attitude.

Nonetheless, we took him home. He sat quietly between my sons in the back seat of the car, like a funny-looking friend with a unibrow. Upon arriving home, he promptly took up residence in Josie's doggie bed. No growling, no fighting - he did it by conveniently forgetting over and over that the bed did indeed belong to Josie. I would remind him of this fact, and he'd look at me like it was a glorious revelation. "Really," he seemed to say, "So sorry - I had no idea." Ten minutes later, he'd attempt another assault on poor Josie's bed. This continued until we all gave up.

Jake is here to stay, although we may have to leave just to get some peace and quiet. He's a furry, forty-pound trotting sausage who greets guests warmly by body-slamming their shins and howling in the finest of Scottish traditions. He has sauntered into our hearts and curled up next to the fire. And we wouldn't have it any other way.


Jeff Meyerson said...

Great story, Annie and congratulations! Jake looks like a keeper to me too.

rita said...

What would we do without our animal babies? (Sleep more, maybe?)

I love the way you write!

Annie said...

Thanks guys. He's pretty fun. Although Josie is a bit jealous that I wrote about Jake.

KDF said...

Aw! Jake is cute!

We represent the other end of the pet spectrum, as we own a dog-sized cat, named Harry. Looks kinda like Big Papi, actually.

Mary said...

Yay for rescue organizations, too. We got both our labs that way. Of course, according to my husband, they now run the house.

Jake sounds like a sweetheart.

rita said...

My Zippy came from the United Yorkie Rescue Organization which I joined after I lost my little Yorkie Roo. Zippy's no more Yorkie than I am, but he was close enough to be rescued by the group, and he was my first foster dog.

I failed Fostering 101. Most of the time I'm glad I did.

Then there are the times when Zippy empties the trash cans and blames it on Chester the cat.