The Power of Prayer

Today it became clear to me that the power of collective prayer does, indeed, produce miracles. I overheard the Angels from God, and Irma La Deuce, strike a bargain with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost... in fact, any Ghost within earshot...that if something could be done to expedite the adoption of Miss Shayna and Miss Sabrina, they could be counted upon to not screw up for at least one whole week. I believe that Toot added an ASAP to the request, and suggested a twenty-four hour timeline after which, she might just head south for a chat with B. L. Zebub.

You see, The Angels from God despise puppies. And yet, I continue to try their patience with an endless stream of rescue dogs, which they take in stride for the most part...unless the rescue dogs happen to be puppies. And so, when I received the panic call from a discombobulated dog owner, who had an accidental litter of puppies on his hands, in Portland, Maine, my heart stopped. The emergency in this situation lay in the fact that the owners had been unable to sell the pups as planned before their move to Florida. Now that they were 24 hours away from their flight occurred to them to call me.

Shrimp Scampi set the puppy standard for the Angels From God. When they sniff puppy...they think of Shrimp.

Fortunately, I had absolutely nothing to do on Tuesday morning...... except cram for my first accounting exam. Yes, I have taken the big leap back into Continuing Education for a second degree.....and I am facing the fact that as an artsy, fartsy type.....I am a math moron. Accounting may be no big deal to most of the world....but it is my worst nightmare. On the first night of the class, I vowed to shoot myself in the head if I ever have a job where I have to know this stuff. It has been downhill from there. And so, with exams on Monday and Wednesday nights.....I started off the week in panic mode.

The panic actually kicked in on Friday, when I had occasion to complain to my friend Cindy Halliday. Cindy has just adopted two Eskies from us, and she has hosted me and my 4-pack for many a chardonnay garden party at her home in Southern Maine. Cindy volunteered to host my two foster dogs, Dinah and Kemo, who were awaiting transportation to their new homes. Cindy thought this strategy would relieve the stress of six dogs, while I hit the books.

Kemo and Dinah went to visit Aunt Cindy.

Big Car Ride!!!

And, with a rush of gratitude, I delivered Dinah and Kemo into Cindy's capable hands. I had about 18 hours of peace until the puppy panic call. On Tuesday morning, after 4 hours of sleep, I found myself passing Big Moose Mountain on the Maine Turnpike. I told the passengers that we were going on a BIG CAR RIDE, but kept mum about the nature of the errand....knowing well that there would be Mutiny on the Bounty once the subject of puppies arose.

Toot and Nadia detect the high pitched sound of puppy barking!

When we reached Portland, the passengers announced our arrival, saving me the effort of determining which slum residence we were supposed to visit. I was greeted by the pups' owner, who ushered me into the backyard, which was gated off by a collapsible clothes drying rack. I surmised that these Eskies could not be the sharpest pencils in the box if they hadn't yet negotiated that obstacle.

I was pleased to see that the pups' sire was a beauty....bearing a strong resemblance to Nikita....and was extraordinarily friendly. The dam, on the other hand, was parked in hormonal hell, and sported a haunted, hysterical look.....sort of like Toot on crack. And, it seemed that the the pups were taking their cues from her.

With a resounding stroke of luck, Shayna and Sabrina had not seen a vet -- ever. They were blissfully shotless, and were hosting an army of kamakaze fleas. The Angels From God stood in shock....and Nikita said..."What's a five letter word for puppy?" "Tell me, I said." "PARVO." And, then Nadia chimed in...."And, WORMS." "And, FLEAS," Toot added, with her impressive command of the absolutely obvious. Aren't they lily-livered rescuers? Honestly, if rescue weren't hard.....well....impossible, wouldn't be worth doing.

The puppies were quite a sight.

The first order of business was a bath.

And so we began our trek home, with earsplitting puppy caterwauling wafting out of the crate. I turned up the car stereo to drown them out, but after fifteen minutes the screeching stopped as the girls slipped into either sleep or car sickness. When we got home, I discovered that it was the the girls were sloshing around in their own bodily fluids. I took the highly annoyed AFGs and ILD upstairs first, to allow for a quick reapplication of Frontline... and then went back to the car to retrieve the girls.

By this time, my neighbors were arriving from work, so I discreetly scooped the puke out of their crate, and wrapped the girls in a towel to contain the fleas. We made a beeline for the bathroom, where I closed the door to prevent nosey interlopers from participating in the bath. After a few good lathers with the flea shampoo, the girls looked pathetic but clean. They were then let loose to meet their hosts.


Immediately, I could tell what the problem was going to be. Shayna and Sabrina were simply too CUTE, AND, to top it off, they were SWEET. There was none of the obnoxious dopiness that the AFGs encountered with Shrimp Scampi or Amari, Ivy or Emma. No, Shayna and Sabrina simply exhibited a naive sweetness and bewilderment at losing their parents... that drew them to the AFGs for comfort and snuggles.

In short....there was absolutely nothing for the Angels From God to complain about...but do you think that stopped them? Admittedly, every time one of the AFGs turned over, there was a puppy underpaw....but that hardly justified the snarling that came out of Nikita. I watched in horror as little Sabrina looked up at him with her sweet little face, gently poking her nose in his direction, and I saw him bare his teeth and snarl at the little thing. I said, "For Christ's Sake, Nikita, what the hell are you going to do, bite a little six pound puppy?? Are you nuts??" And with that, he stood up, flounced his tail in Sabrina's face and plopped down on the bed ....effectively turning his back on her. She snuggled into his back and he inched over. She kept snuggling, and he kept inching until his legs were dangling over the side of the bed. When he could inch no farther... he fell off the bed and crawled under it.

It was Irma La Deuce who received their lion's share of the girls' unsolicited affection. Shayna and Sabrina kept rooting out Irma in her pile of fluffy perching spots, even in her sacred leopard print bed, and they snuggled next to her on either side. There was no place for Irma to hide. Her six pound body stiffened......her neck extended by a few extra vertebrae. Her ears flattened like airplane wings, her little mouth opened in a tiny circle, and her eyes opened so wide that you could see the whites around the entire eyeball. She was the spitting image of Betty Boop....if Betty were experiencing nuclear contamination. Such was the impact of these sweet puppies.

Shortly into the first night's sleep, I relented and let the girls sleep in the bed....because they would not shut up in the crate. It seems that nocturnal screeching puppies do not enhance neighbor relations in a rental community. So, the girls snuggled in amongst the AFGs, and the pillows, and blissfully slept through the night. When I awoke in the morning, I was delighted to note that I had several flea bites on my cheek. Apparently, the flea shampoo was only 95 percent effective, but at least the Frontline kept the AFGs and ILD flea-free. I was another story, however.

For years, my grandmother, Irma, had warned me, "Denise, when you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas," but I had always thought that her reference was to my particularly poor choices in gentlemen callers and husbands. Now, I understand the literal impact of her warning, and am now resigned to the fact that that my grandmother was not always right....but, she was never wrong.

By the following Sunday afternoon, I had several adopters interested in the girls. None of the arrangements were working out very smoothly, and I was preparing myself for another week of puppyness, when the miracle occurred. I was on my way out the door for a stress-related fast food fix, when the phone rang. I was tempted to ignore the call, until Toot tripped me as a preventative measure.

Nikki and Nadia...and pup...await the outcome of the adoptor's inquiry.

And, it was truly a miracle. Sophia Bilides called to inquire about adopting BOTH girls. Not only was an adopter pulled out of thin air, but Sophia was the PERFECT adopter. And now, the girls are rehomed, and renamed, Rita and Roza, after Greek songstresses, and the term BIG CAR RIDE has become Angels From God code for "We are going to get screwed.....again." I am not sure which other worldly spirit I should thank for this miracle, but since it appears to have occurred before Toot's deadline, I think her soul is safe.

I believe, though, that her promise to refrain from mischief has been compromised, as I now spot her peeking at me through a melange of Mexican pottery from atop the stove.

Read more about Shayna and Sabrina's in their adoption story.


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© 2002 Eskies Online/Denise Gareau