Three To One
It didn’t take long to get outnumbered in my household.
November 2011 – Final score: 2 girls to my one. The birth of our daughter.
October 2017 – New final score: 3 girls to one.
The new girl being the pup Jessie:
Border Collie Cross.
Cross with what, who knows? Maybe lab, maybe greyhound or whippet.
The white divine cross symbolized on her chest identifying her as the newest member of our family. And officially tipping the female to male ratio over to its girl majority.
Finding Our Marshmallow
In late 2017 we drove out to Mallow, County Cork. To look for a pooch at the Mallow Animal Rescue Center.
A long round trip from County Wicklow where we lived.
We could’ve visited more of a local rescue center, but something about the photos and descriptions of dogs needing a home drew us there.
We were looking for a young adult dog that was good with children and needing a new caring home. We weren’t looking for a pup.
We left Mallow having reserved a new born puppy.
When we arrived that morning we were led around to a small fenced enclosure housing three border collie puppies.
“Maybe have a look at the pups”
And so it began.
The enclosure contained two boys, both brothers and their sister. A family affair.
Three balls of black and white fluff. No more than a few weeks old.
One of the worker volunteers opened the gate for us to have a closer look. The two brothers bolted in excitement to play straight past us. Without thinking about it. As boys do.
Sister pup ran straight up to my daughter. Thinking about it. As girls do.
White cross marking covering her chest. Divine intervention – for her and for us.
No Planes, No Trains, But Definite Automobiles
The pup arrived at our home via a circuitous route.
As part of the rescue centers delivery van stop offs, she traveled from Mallow, to Dublin, to Carlow – where I picked her up.
She rode in the back of my car from Carlow to our home in Wicklow. She was sick of traveling and sick in general.
The poor pup suffered from car sickness.
When my wife and daughter greeted her at our front door they noticed one thing. She had almost tripled in size.
Remember the original Alien movie?
Crew lands on a distant planet. Curious George looks straight into a freshly opened pod he has no business looking into. Pod creature wraps itself around his neck and face. Creature gets removed back on the ship. Curious George has his last supper. New born alien creature bursts out of his chest and disappears in to the dark bowels of the ship.
A few hours later another crew member comes across the alien creature.
Which has become an instant fully grown beast.
That was this pup. Only not quite as big and far less dramatic.
Pup was very cute.
Pup deposited diarrhea all over our bedroom floor that first night. On strategically placed pieces of newspaper covering the carpet. Not on the carpet itself, thank goodness.
Pup kept us up at night like a new born baby.
Pup became less cute.
Pup’s new bedroom became the kitchen. Immediately.
She settled very quickly. She had a comfy bed. She had some good chew options. The kitchen table leg got it, the kitchen pot plant got it.
Puppies chew things don’t they? It’s okay.
Pup slept in her little bed (before she destroyed it) while my wife studied at the kitchen table. Study time had to be scheduled around pup nap time. When pup woke up it was all go.
My daughter named her Jessie. It fit. She became Jessie’s girl.
Cue Rick Springfield..
In her first year Jessie was a nervous girl. Nervous of people. It’s understandable. She’s a rescue dog.
Mallow Rescue Center had rescued her mother from cruelty. Jessie was born at the center.
They have done and continue to do an outstanding job with all of the dogs and animals they help.
Mama was still pregnant before being rescued. That abuse at the hands of a human would have passed though to Jessie energetically.
Jessie didn’t want to go for walks in the early days. She sunk her hips in. My wife had to practically drag her out of the house.
Once she got going she was okay until she spied someone. Two kids with a soccer ball two hundred meters away sent her sprinting in the opposite direction.
She loved the way back, the home straight. She would go Husky style and drag my wife toward the front door of our house.
She was fast and strong. Still is. Only faster and stronger.
“We gotta move?”
South South East
A couple months later were forced to move house.
The move became a blessing, a better location for us. And better for Jessie.
We did the move ourselves. Bad idea. I hired a long wheel based white van. It would take us several long distance trips between the current and the new place. Over two days.
Jessie had to be left at home during the moving trips up and down.
On the afternoon of the final day my wife was going to clean the old house while I continued with van trips and our endless belongings.
We came home from one particular moving trip to find a loaf of bread torn into. Ravaged. Pieces of sliced loaf smudged up against and into the kitchen walls. Bread everywhere. A new display of art.
I popped Jessie into the back of the van to take her for a walk in an opposite housing estate. My daughter wanted to ride in the van. Jessie was in the back of the van for less than two minutes, maybe a minute and a half. I stopped at our destination to let her out.
She had let loose in the back of the van. Floating faeces rolling down a urine river. In that short period of time. More cleaning.
On one of our final evening drives, we rode a two car convoy to the new house. Both cars packed with our remaining belongings.
Jessie rode in my car. My wife followed in hers. Jessie got loose within the back of the car about a hundred yards down the road.
Jessie let loose into a bag of freshly laundered clean linen. The whites.
I had to hop out and adjust the back of the car. I opened the boot and something got caught. My wife was parked in her car directly behind. A dance song was on her radio. I struggled with the boot of my car making frantic arm movements synchronized to the beat of her music. A mad dance. It looked ridiculous.
She lost it then, simultaneously laughing and crying at the same time. It had become the move from hell.
Courtesy Paramount Pictures/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer