Once upon a time … ever after

Published 11:57 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Stories that begin with “Once upon a time…” and end with, “… and they lived happily ever after” are my favorites. Guess I am a sucker for happy endings.

It is even better when I am part of a story that ends happily. This past weekend that happened. It all began with, “Once upon a time there was a puppy…

The little dog appeared as my family and I headed up our dirt road last Sunday a week ago. My husband happened to look in the rearview mirror and see something run into the road behind us.

“I think that’s a dog,” he said, stopping the car. “It is a dog.”

I opened my door and got out of the car. Through a swirl of dust, I caught sight of a face rushing toward me, followed by a bouncing body and a wagging tale.

“It’s just a baby,” I said scooping it up in my arms. “Oh and it is shaking.”

Since we were on our way to town, we left the puppy in a pen at the end of the road on property my father-in-law owns. The baby was so scared she tried to scramble under the seat to keep from getting out of the car.

“I guess the last time someone took her out of a car it wasn’t a good experience,” I said, reassuring her with pats that we’d be back to get her.

We returned, rescued her from the pen and took her to our house. Unfortunately, the dogs who already live with me (also rescues) didn’t take to having a new pack member. Since they were much bigger than the puppy, our neighbors allowed us to keep her in their pen for her safety.

She went into her temporary home without a whimper, gratefully gobbled up the food I gave her and then settled down for a nap. I looked at her sweet sleeping face, trying to imagine how anyone could leave her out in the world alone.

“We have to find a home for her,” I said, and my husband agreed. “We just can’t take on any more animals.”

Now comes the second chapter of the story. The next morning I grabbed my camera and took pictures and a short video of the puppy. She cooperated by doing her best to be cute for me.

“You are a sweetheart,” I said as I picked her up and rubbed her belly. “Someone needs to love you.”

I posted the picture and video on Facebook and sent up a prayer that the right person would see them. That happened and here comes the best part of the story.

My friend, Scott, and his wife, Donna, saw the post. After some discussion, they chose to open their hearts and their home to this lost puppy. She was to become a friend for their son, Noah.

Saturday night I got her ready for her new home by giving her a bath and a blow dry. As she dried, she turned into a beautiful ball of cotton-soft white fur with a few black patches on her face and tail. After the bath, she settled down and slept all night without as much as a whine.

“This has to be the best dog I’ve ever seen,” I told my husband.

Sunday morning, one week after she wandered into our lives, we took the puppy to meet her family. It was love at first sight for both puppy and child.

I handed over the towel she slept on, her bowl and a couple of toys. Then I gave her head a final pat.

“Noah named her Lulu,” Donna said. “He is so excited.”

Later, they posted a picture of Noah with Lulu sitting in his lap as they drove home.

I smiled, glad that what began with, once upon a time there was a puppy, for Lulu and Noah, ended with …and they lived happily ever after.