The biggest thing that went down during the blackout: we’re keeping Dawn. Forever. In my defense I voted no. It’s not that I don’t love her, but I had my mind settled on four dogs. I thought four would be the perfect number for our family. It would be like the old days, when Mason could walk two, and I could walk two. ALL four actually fit in my little Honda Civic.
I knew things weren’t going my way when I tried getting Mason to agree on a time for a meet and greet. Dawn’s potential adopter was a perfect fit. She is an active, semi-retired woman. She has another dog she takes everywhere with her. Mason didn’t want to hear about any of it.
Within five minutes our conversation turned into a rare screaming match. The second our voices went a few octaves above normal, the dogs scattered, looking over their shoulders with that WTF expression. Our fight ended with Mason throwing his coffee off the deck and yelling “What would I like to do? What I’d like to do is pay Dawn’s hundred dollar adoption fee and f*ck it.”
Later that week, walking with my friend and dog sitter Lino Chavez, I told him Dawn might have found her new family. Lino is possibly the most supportive friend in the universe. He’s the guy that calls me everyday when Mason’s on the road, just to make sure I’m okay. But when I told him about Dawn leaving the Farnival, he said in his broken, musical English, “Meleezza, nooooo. Dawn is peaceful.”
Even my dogs were against me. The day before Dawn’s meet and greet, I walked into the bedroom, glanced at the bed, and stopped in my tracks. The cuteness factor was overwhelming, like a snapshot from a dog calendar. Our pack – Adriana, Floyd, Sara, and Meadow – were all sitting on the bed. Dawn was snuggled between Sara and Floyd. Ade had her head resting on Dawn’s back. Meadow was on the fringe of their cuddle fest, wearing her goofy smile.
As I turned away, I caught Dawn’s glance. She was staring at me with those innocent eyes, looking as happy as any other mutt. How could she look so innocent after seeing so much? She’s lived a lot for a three-year-old dog. I thought about how she witnessed her whole pack get killed, how she survived alone on the street for way too long, how she birthed and fed nineteen puppies. I thought about how downtrodden she’d looked in that ghetto. But look at her now. She is peaceful here.
“Who wants Dawn to stay at the Farnival?” I asked.
Five tails whapped against the comforter until it was all I could hear, like drum beats reverberating yes. I was done fighting it. Officially, Mason and I are three-time foster failures.