For years now, I’ve said that I want a dog named Athena.
It has nothing to do Greek Mythology and her being the daughter of Zeus. It has little do with the name just being very pretty, although that helps! I seriously just want a dog named Athena so that when I call her, I can break into the song “Athena” by The Who. I can open my front door, let the cold air in, and belt out at the top of my lungs, “Athena! I had no idea how much I’d need her!” And then she’ll come bounding in, because in my fantasy, I have a dog who listens to me and doesn’t run into the woods.
On Friday morning, I was in a bad way. Des’ wicked virus was just starting to pick up, after coming in slowly but steadily on Wednesday. Scarlet was tugging at her ears and still sick then, and I feared a double ear infection. Or worse. I was drowsy. Scarlet wanted me to give a message to Cassidy for her and I couldn’t find my phone, as often, so I ran to my computer to gchat with him on Google. Oddly, he wasn’t there. I did get the strangest feeling about it, just the way I did earlier on the night he proposed. Sometimes I can read the little things well. He had left that morning at the crack of dawn, saying he wanted to get an early start on the workday so that he could leave work early and come home to celebrate getting through the tough week.
Des wouldn’t stop crying, and Scarlet wouldn’t stop whining, so I turned on “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” so I could brush my teeth!
Then I heard the front door open, and Cassidy poked his head in. He sounded cheerful but he asked if I could grab my camera because there was something wrong with his bumper and he wanted clear photos of it. I ran for my camera without hesitation, but I felt a little weird and breathless inside. I thought to myself, “This man is crazy. I know that. What if he really did it? What if he brought home a kitten for Scarlet??” I ran outside. He walked to the front door with a bundled blanket. I aimed my camera.
It wasn’t a kitten.
My settings were off and my hands were shaking. I was photographing in the middle of my own surprise. I’m astounded that any photos at all came out, much less the above three. I was running in and out of the house for new angles. I was searching my head and heart for new emotional angles. The man. Brought home. A puppy. So Scarlet named her “Athena.” They liked my name!
We welcomed her into our home. Her home.
She was actually pretty mellow, considering she had been on a long journey in a truck from Alabama.
So Cassidy’s story is that he randomly happened upon her online photo a few weeks ago. His heart started pounding because he was already in love. The rescue organization is Peace and Paws Dog Rescue, and they’re based in New Hampshire. Our Athena has a husky mother and a basenji father. She was found wandering AL in unsafe places, and was rescued into a foster home. She is four-months-old and we can tell that she was very loved and even trained in the foster home. She came to us with all of her shots, she was spayed, she was microchipped, and she was driven up all the way from Alabama with several other rescued dogs.
She looks like a husky, a basenji, a red fox, a dingo and Dobby from Harry Potter. All at once!
Sometimes I worry that we surprise Scarlet with too much – the new bed, the Disney trip, a king-sized bed in our room that she can cuddle in every morning, and now, a puppy. However, this is who we are. This is Cassidy. We signed up for this parenting, and this life, with the intention to be full of delicious surprises. There will be ordinary, or even difficult, days all too often.
There will be extraordinary days too.
This was my surprise too.
Surprised, I was.
What will he do next, this crazy man of mine?
“Athena, I had no idea how much I’d need her
In peaceful times I hold her close and I feed her
My heart starts palpitating when I think my guess was wrong
But I think I’ll get along
She’s just a girl – she’s a bomb
She’s just a girl – she’s a bomb”
(Those above lyrics? Yeah. That’s the story right there. The head and heart story of falling in love with a dog again.)