The SICSA associate began making copies and pulling out the remainder of the adoption paperwork. I looked down at Precious who seemed completely oblivious to me being right beside her. I was already beginning to feel more doubts about her fitting in with me and the three she would soon be meeting despite the fact that two SICSA employees entered the cubicle to give Precious a farewell hug.
“You are just going to love her.”
(Really?) I nodded and smiled.
With the paperwork completed, I was handed a large bag of dog food which I promptly asked them to keep. There was plenty at home. She put a temporary leash around Precious’ neck and opened the cubicle’s door.
A group of senior volunteers were gathered in a double line to say “goodbye” to Precious. They seemed to genuinely adore her and while happy to know she was adopted, they did seem rather sad she was leaving.
Precious basked in the attention, fiercely wagging her tail, and greeting each volunteer in the line.
“Oh, I just love this girl. She is what her name says – Precious.”
Outside on the curb, I stopped, looked down, and thought, “What have I gotten myself in to?”
“That’s such a beautiful dog. Did you just adopt him… or her?”
I nodded to the lady and her husband who were just entering SICSA.
We crossed the street and just behind Frisch’s Restaurant, three boys were riding their bicycles in circles as they tried to burst open a full plastic water bottle one lad had pulled from his backpack. The one boy stopped.
“You got a beautiful dog, Mister.”
“Is it a boy or a girl?”
“She’s so pretty.”
Precious nosed her way to the boy and basked in his immediate affection. I was overly cautious as she was still very new to me.
“I don’t think you have to worry about her attacking anyone. She’s a sweetheart.”
How could he know? I didn’t even know.
The boys rode off, leaving the water bottle in the middle of the parking lot. I retrieved the bottle to throw away but glad I did not as halfway home she needed a drink.
At the stoplight along Dorothy Lane crossing Ackerman Blvd, a lady shouted out her car window as she rounded the corner before us, “That’s such a gorgeous dog.”
By this time I was feeling a bit proud of my choice. People thought she was beautiful.
What was it others were seeing that I could not?
As we continued south on Shroyer Road, I felt very peculiar. I now realize it was anxiety as we neared The Haasienda where I would have the pleasant or disastrous responsibility of introducing Precious to The Trio.
Again, at Dorothy Lane and Shroyer Road, I received two more compliments on Precious’ beauty – one from a guy filling up with gas at Speedway and another from a lady behind her guy on a motorcycle as they waited on the light to change.
As Precious and I continued the next few blocks south on Shroyer Road, I began feeling a gnawing anxiety. I was certain I had done a foolish, spontaneous, sophomoric act of bringing home a fourth dog.
I stopped outside The Haasienda waiting for some kind of divine acknowledgment or interference.
I unlocked the door and we stepped inside Precious’ new home.