10 years ago we brought home a puppy dog from the Chester County SPCA. “Sparkle” was curled up in a ball in the back of a cage shivering. We didn’t even see her the first time we walked through – she was not a happy little girl. She had been picked up as a stray after living on the streets for a while. She was a skinny little thing in desperate need of a home. I think she was also ashamed of that silly name.
After talking to the folks for a few minutes, they put her on a leash and brought her out to a little outdoor pathway/patio area they have. Victor had her by the leash and sat down on a bench. I sat on a curb across from him. She-who-would-become-Cybil laid down and put her head in my lap. That was it. We walked back in and filled out the adoption papers.
10 years later, she’s not a skinny little thing anymore. Neither am I, come to think of it.
We were both working outside the home when we first got her, so we needed to train her to be by herself in the house while we were gone. We’re not fans of crates – we took her out of a cage we’re not putting her back in one – so we would leave the house for a few minutes at a time and extend the times. Fortunately, we often worked opposite shifts, so the length of time she was alone wasn’t great.
But when we would come home after a few hours away, we’d find a piece of clothing – a sweatshirt, pajamas, in the living room. She’s bring them out of the bedroom and lay on them – waiting for us to come home. Her security blanket.
She hasn’t done that in years, but she still goes crazy-happy when she sees us after a night out – or after a vacation. Running from one to the other and back – trying to figure out how she can be in both of our laps at the same time.
It’s hard to believe she’s been here for 10 years. It’s difficult to remember a time without her. Spoiled rotten, neurotic, smart as a whip and obstinate as hell when she wants to be. She has us wrapped around her little paws.
So what’s a puppy dog get for her 11th birthday?
They were marinated in olive oil, garlic, and fresh rosemary, and then grilled to a perfect medium rare.
Cybil didn’t get any mashed potatoes nor did she get any bones – but she did get her broccoli.
She’s curled up in the hallway, right now – one eye on me in the office and one eye on Victor in the living room. She’s still a herder and wants to know where her charges are at all times.
What a great 10 years it’s been!