Ever since Max, I can’t look at a German Shepherd without my heart melting just a little. So when I stepped from my vehicle on that dark evening in late November and saw those giant ears pointing so regally up to the indigo sky, my entire spirit buoyed me forward.
“Hello!” I said to the shadowy shape emerging from the darkness. She stood silently, her tail swishing in a friendly way from side to side, the tan spots on her eyebrows punctuating her dark face from the shadows that descended from the mountain behind.
I held out my hands to her and then ran them over her downy-soft head and down her back as she turned and trotted by my side towards the house.
The main door stood open and a square of yellow light glowed from behind the screen, defining the figures of two people.
“Hello,” I called as the dog and I climbed the wooden stairs to the porch. “Who is this?” I asked, indicating the dog at my side. Her name is Molly I’m told as she and I stand together outside the door, light now spilling on to her face so I can see her kind brown eyes.
“She’s beautiful,” I say as I run my hand over her head again. “I love your dog.”
“Do you want to have her?” Asked the man, who I had never seen before. I half laughed and stuttered and was unsure how to respond.
“She is lovely,” I say, “I’m sure I would love to have her,” I say, “Um, why?”
Well, he answers in a soft Irish accent, of course he is not giving her away. Molly is such a wonderful dog and she is going to move with him and his wife back to Ireland. He speaks of Molly as I would speak of my dogs, with great love and a great sense of connection.
“You’re going on an adventure!” I say to Molly. “That’s exciting.”
And then I step inside the house where I have come to buy some apple cider. The woman who lives here has an orchard behind the house. It is carved from the boreal forest at the base of the mountain and is somewhat of a hidden gem in our neighbourhood. I just discovered it last summer, this piece of paradise around the corner from my house.
The man is her brother-in-law and he explains that he and his wife have every intention of taking Molly to Ireland with them, but if for some reason things don’t work out, if something happens and they can’t take her…
Back at home, I tell Morgan about this black German Shepherd I met and how I may have agreed to adopt her. “Absolutely!” he says, “I’m in,” when I tell him the story.
Neither of us had been thinking about getting another dog right now. It is too soon after Bear, but maybe, we say, our hearts were separately searching.
I send a message to the woman at the orchard that if need be, Molly would be more than welcome in our home and we would love her and take good care of her.
We are told the couple has decided, without a doubt, that Molly is going to Ireland with them. There are shades of disappointment at first but then we think, perhaps it is for the best.