Saturday, December 26, 2009

The New Brood

My husband and I really did it this time. We so missed not having that extra heartbeat in a room. That little creature that loved you unconditionally. That constant shadow who followed you from room to room, well.....if you love dogs you know what I mean.

So we decided to do something we wanted to do for a long time, rescue a greyhound.
Enter "Kiowa Sunbeam", who is now our wonderful girl Kai!

We wanted Kai to have a companion(we always had a few dogs at a time) and we wanted to find a male terrier mix so I hit Petfinder. com for weeks until I found this little guy, Dutch. There was only one problem. Dutch was in Arkansas and we were in New Jersey.

So I have a friend who was born and raised in Arkansas and with the help of another friend's great on gas Toyota , we decided to make a mad dash halfway across the country to his parents home in the northern part of Arkansas.

As we drove out to Arkansas we stopped at just about every TJ Maxx we could find. My friend Shea has a justifiable addiction to these Belgium chocolates that are only available at TJ Maxx during the Christmas season. If you loooove chocolate you know it had to be done!

Now, little Dutch (he was actually called Hutch at this point) was in the south western part of the state. My friend Shea, has a friend Martha, who was not that far from Dutch's location. Martha was going to be heading up to the Ozarks (nearer to where Shea's parents live) and offered to pick up Dutch and drop him off to us. It saved us about another 6 hours of driving, so we thrilled. In hindsight though, we could of found a few more TJ Maxx's but the car was already so loaded down with the stuff I don't think we would have had room for the dog and one more piece.

On the day we were to meet Martha, we had quite a few hours to kill before our rendezvous so my friend Shea takes me to the most incredible natural wonder in the world, the Blanchard Springs Caverns. I highly recommend seeing these caverns if you ever get to the Ozarks. I can not even describe this other worldly experience. Amazing!

Being the artists that we are we had to stop in this art center in the Ozarks and take a look at some of the wonderful handcrafted items from the local artists. Well while we were there Martha calls to let us know she had Dutch and would see us in a few hours but that there was a problem.

About 20 minutes before Martha arrived at the Bailey Family Special Needs Animal Rescue Dutch's brother Starski was returned to the rescue center. He had been adopted a week earlier and the family decided they did not want him. My husband had really liked Starski and we had inquired about him before Dutch, well you know where this is going by now.
I could not say yes, "bring him too", without talking to my husband first. I called him over and over on his cell phone and could not reach him. I called people that might know where he was (most likely on his job site) and left messages to please have him call me. Martha had to leave in a very short time so she would not have to be driving through the night. I needed to make a decision and I was also thinking "two puppies, we would have to be out of our minds". We are!
My husband got back to me in the nick of time. Here is Milo formerly known as Starski. We just had to have the little guy!

This was quite a trip. The first thing we had to do when we got into Arkansas, at about 7 pm, was to pull into a dark bank parking lot and change into black clothes to go to a viewing of Shea's sister's father-in-law, at the local funeral parlor. Shea never met the man and I certainly did not know him or anyone else. We were also the only two people dressed in black looking like we were going to a NY art opening compared to all the jeans and cowboy type shirts. Was kind of surreal. The mourners were the happiest nicest bunch of people you ever wanted to meet. Did not feel like any family viewing I've been to back east.

There were so many little quirky episodes on this trip that we should have been filming it all. Since I am not the best writer I will spare you all from any further details.
Just enjoy these photos of our new family because we are enjoying them immensely!


Sheila Vaughan said...

Sandra, I'm so happy for you and for your lovely dogs. What a wonderful christmas present you've all given each other! You're not only a brilliant artist, you're also a kind and generous person. I'm sure you'll have great times together. All the best for 2010 !

sandra flood said...

Thanks so much Sheila!

Tina Steele Lindsey said...

Sandra, this post read like an independent film movie. I enjoyed it very much. Continued good things.

Anna Wilson-Patterson said...

Warmest congratulations on the beautiful additions to your family. My idea of heaven, would be a road trip with TKMaxx's every few hours.

Cheryl McCarley said...

Wow!! How a family can grow so quick!! Enjoy your beautiful new family members...

Rebecca J. Dunn said...

Sandra, enjoyed your post so much. What a great x-mas for the dogs and your family. You and your husband are so wonderful to go half-way across the country to adopt those lucky dogs! BTW, as an Arkansas, I can relate to some of your experiences! Keep up the great writing.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Love it. For both you and the little dog.
I see friends here, also.
Happy New Year to you, Sandra and thanks for your compassionate love for animals.

Valarie Wolf said...

Sounds like your own version of 'Thelma + Louise'! Congratulations on the new additions to your family---they are lovely!

sandra flood said...

Thanks so much Tina! It was like an independent film.There was a lot more to the story too.

sandra flood said...

Thanks Anna! I love your Hound drawings! I also wanted to thank you for the lovely email about the passing of my Degas. You hit the nail on the head. It truly was like all time stood still.

sandra flood said...

Thank you Cheryl! I have lots to paint about now. I have been in such a funk since my Degas passed but I feel I am coming out of it and I am looking forward to painting!

sandra flood said...

Thanks Rebecca! Arkansas was a whole different place from NJ. Even though we live in the country along the Delaware River in a very small village of 1500 people it still did not prepare me for Arkansas!
I particularly loved the "yard sleddin'", hot biscuits, fried catfish, sweet tea but not too sweet!

sandra flood said...

Thanks Mary and a Happy New Year to you too!

sandra flood said...

Thanks Valerie!

Diane Hoeptner (hep-ner) said...

Lucky dogs! Great post, Sandra! Looking forward to seeing more wonderful paintings in 2010!

swallowtail said...

This is the first time for me to land upon your delightful blog. What a riot of a roadtrip, wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry, so both works! What a pile of dogs... now I will have to scroll on, and see if I can find your paintings! hehehe.

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Nancy Goldman said...

Love your story and am happy that both dogs found a good home. Rescue dogs are the BEST!

wayne said...

Hi Sandra,
I understand completely your love of dogs and share your devotion and admiration of their unflagging faithfulness and loyalty, patience and guarding (often waiting many hours their owners to return home), and their affection leaping out through their happy eyes, wagging tails, jumps, and whines of happiness :)
My wife and I have 2 Border-Collie-Kelpie crosses (brother and sister, and sister is 'boss' and gets o have last lick of doggie bowls etc, lol). Our son adores them too and, even though he's grown up and married, he comes across to our place to give them a second 'walkies' most days .. of course they love him.
We don't need a doorbell here(!), >> our dogs 'let us know' when anyone's around!

Like anyone else, they appreciate their 'creature comforts' ;) .. and i can't help but give in to the 'sitting-up-straight with wistful-hopeful-eyes methodology' they know *will usually work a treat*!!
Glad to read this fascinating story, and so happy for you :)
take care, best wishes,

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Barbara M. said...

Hi Sandra,

I thought I commented on this moving story, but I see I didn't. I was nearly in tears reading how it happened. Our wonderful dog is ten now, and the thought of losing her is something I try not to think about. Thank you for showing us that life goes on. You are wonderful.

Take care,


Anonymous said...

Sandra, Kai is so gorgeous. I looked on Petfinder for a Whippet or Italian Greyhound but when I contacted them they explained that they are sight hounds and will bound out the front door if there's a rabbit in the front yard. Alas, my yard isn't fenced. So I adopted a little Terrier at a shelter.
Congratulations on the new heartbeat in your home!

Anonymous said...

What a fun story. I love dogs, road trips and Arkansas. Just went to Hot Springs, Arkansas last weekend. Its only a 4 hour drive for me though.

Beth said...

Sheila, I loved hearing your experience in Arkansas. I live about 50 miles from Blanchard Springs. This area is both beautiful and friendly. It's a great place to raise a family and teach school. I love to plein air paint in our ozark hills along Norfork & Bull Shoals lakes and the Buffalo and White rivers. Maybe you'll have an opportunity to visit again some day. Your new "babies" are adorable.

heathy. said...

I loved reading about your journey to rehome your adorable dogs, and you have inspired me to improve my painting ability. I just love your technique and style!