"Nope, doesn't look too safe to me. Now forget this crazy dog idea and give me some crunchies."

Previously, on Cherries in Winter: The Dog Saga, Suzan thought she’d found the perfect dog. This was based on a single photo and a one-paragraph description, but hey, people have gotten married with less information. So she stalked the adoption agency and the dog’s foster mommy until the agency finally wrote back. “We’re trying to place the dog with someone who has a yard, okay? She likes to run around and play.” Deficient in a yard, Suzan had to let go of the “perfect” dog.
And now, the saga continues…

My mother (again with her! It wasn’t enough that half the book was about her, now the blog too?!) sent me an email from petfinder.com. The photos were of an adorable poodle mix—long, spindly legs, short, fluffy hair, and one ear higher than the other. The cuteness factor was off the charts. The description was even better. All the watchwords jumped out: Cuddler. Velcro pal. Snugglebunny.

“She sounds perfect!” Mom enthused over the phone. “She’s the dog for you, I just know it.”

“Really?” I said. “Even the part about her being blind?”


Dazzled by the cuteness and the cuddly description, Mom had apparently missed that important word. “Oh, well,” she said. “That’s too bad.”

Sure, I thought. Ridiculous.

Or was it?

Suddenly I began to have fantasies—rescue fantasies. Why not adopt a slightly handicapped pooch? After all, dogs are smart; I could teach her “right” and “left” just as readily as “sit” and “please, please don’t pee on the rug.”

I rushed to fill out the application and send it in. Thoughts of getting a beagle like my beloved neighbor dog Isabel left my head, replaced by Saint Me and her Little Blind Poodle.

The next day, I was scheduled to have a home visit by a volunteer who works with the Blind Poodle’s rescue organization. She was a stylish French woman who arrived with her dog…which happened to be a beagle.

As the woman looked around the apartment, she told her beagle to sit and stay—en francais. The beagle understood French commands.

Now, I think I’ve established my love of beagles, but I don’t know if I’ve mentioned my love of almost everything French (with the exception of their occasional riots, complete with flaming cars). So the idea of a French-speaking beagle just about put me over the edge.

“Ze stairs,” the woman was saying, while I was losing it over her chien. “Ze stairs are a hazard for ze dog. She is blind, you know.”

I looked at the stairs dumbly, as though I’d never seen them before. In truth, I hadn’t—not from the perspective of a small dog that wouldn’t be able to see them. Not only were they circular stairs, but there were open spaces between the rungs and nothing behind each step. About 30 opportunities for a small, sightless pup to fall about 12 feet.

So much for Saint Me. More like Going to Hell in a Handbag, Me.

To be continued…