I have a dog in my sports bra
I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive. —Gilda Radner
I have a dog in my sports bra. His name is Yoda Mouse and I got him from a breeder. My daughter wanted to check out breeds and I just wanted some puppy time, so we found a breeder that had several types of puppy, loaded up the granddaughter and off we went. When we got there, we were shown into an immaculate home and taken to a room full of fuzzy little babies old enough to be chosen. I must have picked up 15 gorgeous little puppies, enjoyed cuddling them, and then put them down. All the time, one little white and fawn guy was watching me steadily. Finally, I said “Could I hold that one?” He ran around my chest, licked my face, then stuck his head up my sleeve and went to sleep. Half an hour later, I had a dog. Yoda happened to me easily as much as I happened to him.
This is Yoda:
This operation started out reputable, but was bought by someone who still ran it as a clean and healthy operation, but was disingenuous financially. One week later, the whole business disappeared and God knows what would have happened to my little Yoda. I would have spent a lifetime in anguish, worrying about him.
He’s one of my three. I got Emily Roo from a breeder, too. This breeder was saving up for college and she made sure every one of her babies was well placed. Yoda was bored and lonely when I was at work, so I went to the breeder who had produced my daughter’s angel of a dog, Bee. It took Emily Roo a little time to decide if I was “the one,” but she made up her mind and now we are true loves. Emily Roo likes to lean back out of the sports bra, rub at her little face with her paws, then extend one delicate paw, grab my face, and pull it down for kisses.
Given they are chihuahuas, it is no surprise that they fit in the sports bra. I cannot regret either of them — they are among the great canine loves of my life. (I have to separate the loves of my life into categories; if I had only one big corral of them, it would get overcrowded in there.)
This is Emily:
This is Bee:
Bee does not fit in the sports bra, nor does she want to.
Papi Papidopolou fits in the sports bra, too, but that is impressive, since he’s the size of the other two, combined. I confess, when Papi spends an hour in the sports bra, my neck aches a bit, but it’s worth it. It is also a testimony to this determined little guy that he gets in there and tucks all the way in. Papi is a rescue. As I said, I have no regrets about Yoda and Emily, but I felt sick at heart that there were rescue puppies out there who were just as marvelous as my two, but at risk of death for the sin of being unwanted. I wanted to add a rescue to my crew and share the love and tenderness that Yoda and Emily got every day with a little one who needed a chance.
When I got Papi, his name was Patches. I got him from Sunny’s Animal Rescue, which is attached to a veterinary practice in Puyallup, Washington. I wanted to get a dog from them, but I didn’t actually know which one I wanted. They post their furbabies on Petfinder.com, which is a wonderful place to look for a new little buddy. I knew that the doggy who wanted me would let me know and we would go from there.
There were so many gorgeous and lovable dogs at the rescue place, and every one of them wanted out of there, but only two of them seemed to want me. Of the two, one of them pressed into me so hard it was as if he was thinking that if he only became an organic part of me, that I would take me with him. Turns out, he was right about that.
This is Papi the day we brought him home:
He was so thin that his every bone stuck out and you can see from his eyes that he is still absolutely traumatized. From what little I can gather from the information, which was kind of a garble of print, there was a new baby. I can see it in my mind’s eye — get the tiny puppy. Adore the tiny puppy. Puppy gets bigger and at the same time, they have a new baby. They dump the puppy, now a dog, into the back yard where he jumps at the door, screaming in fear and abandonment. They get annoyed at the noise, so they dump the dog at a high-kill L.A. shelter and go home and forget about the dog.
Blessedly, he was scooped up and brought up to Washington state, and the rest is history:
Sometimes we will never see our reward for Tikkun Olam. We will never be sure if it did a bit of good, although we have to do it anyway, just because we must do the right thing for its own sake (no rewards or consequences promised or implied).
Sometimes, Tikkun Olam is a living thing, a sweet little heartbeat next to our own — a thriving, gorgeous, grinning little one cradled close, sleeping peacefully, doing happy puppy whuffs. Sometimes he pushes a tight sigh out and for all the world it sounds as if he is weeping, perhaps because he remembers how it was and knows that, if it is at all in my power, he will never be there again.
P.S. All photos but the last one are credited to my talented daughter, Nicola Mahoney.