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Meet Steve - Sing With Me If It's Just For Today...
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
guysterrules
guysterrules
Meet Steve
“Don’t get the same breed, the same color, or the same gender.” My ex-therapist, Robyn, told me this when I lost Bob and wanted to adopt another dog as quickly as possible. She was the best therapist I’ve ever had, and she specializes in pet loss.

Eighteen months later, I should have listened to her.

On Saturday, I drove fifty miles into the high desert to meet Strider, a five-year old black lab whose website description sounded promising. We hit it off immediately; our mutual neediness meshed. He jumped into the back of the Explorer, and we headed to our new home, almost as new for me as it would be for him.

He’s a good boy, no doubt about that, and tries so hard to please that it’s almost heartbreaking, or warming. I’m not sure. He’s had no accidents, and with the exception of making a desperate dash into traffic that sent me flailing down the street in flip-flops screaming his name, he listens and he’s calmed down into a routine, of sorts.

He’s smaller than Bob, not as tall and stately, and he’s thinner. His head is far pointier, and his snout shy of Bob’s strong profile. The divot in his nose has no possibility of being useful in the kitchen. His eyes don’t connect in the same way as Bob’s, and he doesn’t have Bob’s sage soul, yet.

Those differences aside, it hasn’t stopped me from calling him “Bob” on more than one occasion. I give myself an internal kick, but there it is. Embarrassed, I quickly correct myself, but I know it’s too late. I can lie on the couch with Strider balled up in the crook of my knee, and if I don’t touch his pronounced pointy-head, I can pet him while watching television, and it’s all so familiar. And good.

Strider just needs to emerge--––his peculiarities, his rhythm, his responses to me will slowly come into their own, so that nasty slip of the tongue will fade away, and I’ll no longer call him “Bob.”

In fact, just to make sure, I’m going to rename him Steve.

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Comments
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nancec From: nancec Date: December 29th, 2005 01:28 am (UTC) (Link)
I tried to control myself, I really did. But I gotta say it: AWWWWWW!!

He sounds and looks awesome! I'm happy for you but a little jealous because I just can't have a pet right now.

I hope he's a good companion to you. Please post keep posting pics of him. And I like the name Strider.
From: hq447 Date: December 29th, 2005 01:30 am (UTC) (Link)
oh, gorgeous, gorgeous!!!!
notoriousbrb From: notoriousbrb Date: December 29th, 2005 01:33 am (UTC) (Link)

He looks like a Steve

If I weren't a total cat person, I'd be wishing he were mine. How is that house coming?
creactivity From: creactivity Date: December 29th, 2005 01:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Details! How did he come to be in the shelter? How old is he? (Is he too old to adjust to a new name? I couldn't rename my cats for just this reason.)

I don't agree with your ex-therapist. It doesn't matter if color and breed and gender and even looks and expressions are identical, each is an individual with qualities all their own. As his personality is known to you and yours to him, you both become something else - something better - anyway.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: December 29th, 2005 06:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Apparently, he was adopted when he was 18 months, and dumped at a shelter after three and a half years. The family claimed they couldn't keep him because they were moving to an apartment (?!?). They spent a great deal of time on him, though, because he's so responsive to all of his commands.

He's five now, but a very young five.

Dogs can always adjust to a new name, especially one that has similar sounds.

I can't wait for you to meet him!
ruralrob From: ruralrob Date: December 29th, 2005 01:46 am (UTC) (Link)
I can see where your therapist was coming from - it is definitely well meaning advice - but it unfortunately rules out having the best breed evah! Namely the black lab. You did well to ignore her, my friend.

Td, it's early days, but what's not to love here. Black labs are put on earth to love humans, and tyhis one will love you to death, and you will do likewise. I absolutely guarantee it.

Baxter and Bailey, btw, send their greetings to the new arrival - and send out a virtual sniff of the bum. Steve's, not yours.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: December 29th, 2005 06:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, the wonders of black labs. People who haven't had the pleasure don't fully understand how incredibly smart and attentive they can be or how remarkably loyal and loving they are.

You know.

Steve has really settled down into a routine in the past two days, and I can see his anxiety slip away. It's great.

How is Bailey?
From: inkprincess Date: December 29th, 2005 01:46 am (UTC) (Link)
awww, he's adorable!! hell, i call Megan Munchy sometimes, so you calling him Bob isn't a problem. lol
From: danman869 Date: December 29th, 2005 02:16 am (UTC) (Link)
What a sweet, handsome boy! No matter what your therapist suggested, I am glad you found another canine companion!

As someone above posted, how's the house coming along? Would love to see pictures if you have time to share them.

Take care, Terry. *HUGS*
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: December 29th, 2005 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I keep waiting to stop painting painting painting, and then I'll take pictures. I promise.

Better yet, why don't you two come on up and visit sometime? There's a great Mexicvan restaurant close by.
brigid23 From: brigid23 Date: December 29th, 2005 02:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Steve's a cutie, and has a certain smart look about him.
I hope he keeps your toes properly warm!
quuf From: quuf Date: December 29th, 2005 02:27 am (UTC) (Link)
He looks like a Steve.
ratchetrn6 From: ratchetrn6 Date: December 29th, 2005 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)
He's a beauty. I know in time you and he will be best of pals. It is hard to replace an old friend, an old soul, but i am happy to see that you're on the road.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 29th, 2005 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)
He's a darling boy. Happy New Year, my friend.

terrilynn (http://seaandsky.typepad.com)
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: December 29th, 2005 06:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy New Year to you and L, too! Thank you for checking in on me.
(Deleted comment)
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: December 29th, 2005 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, at some point he's going to get a canine companion, and I promise you I will name that one "George."
(Deleted comment)
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: December 29th, 2005 06:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I miss you. I hope you and Craig are back home and the kitchen is well on its way.
raptusanxieux From: raptusanxieux Date: December 29th, 2005 04:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Very handsome!
oilygrrl From: oilygrrl Date: December 29th, 2005 04:30 am (UTC) (Link)
What a sweet face! I'm glad you two found each other.
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