A voice kept telling me "Go to the Pound." I kept thinking no, it's too early. Finally, when I failed to find the proper statue for Chester, I followed that voice to the pound. They had four times their normal capacity due to Hurricaine Katrina. The Dog Catchers (we still call them that here, not "Animal Control Officers") were loading over a hundred dogs in crates onto a long horse trailer to make a trek to Idaho. Several kennels were labeled with notecards reading Idaho.
I walked down the aisles looking, while one worker was telling me they were expecting another wave of dogs this afternoon, and had to make room. A humongous chihuahua looking dog with huge independent ears was trying to get my attention. Then I noticed an empty kennel labeled Corgi with an Idaho tag. Another worker had a blonde furball hiding between his leg and a chain link barrier of the kennel. I knelt down and asked "Is this one going to Idaho?"
With a little "golden nudge", I got my answer. "Not if you can help it Bud....." In a trance, I went to my Jeep and got Chester's leash, and intercepted him on his way to the trailer. He gave me another golden nudge and said "Hi Bud, I'm Joe Dog." I knew what he meant though. He meant "Your Dog", after all, he's from the Big Easy......... Still, he was dubbed Joe Dog. I paid the fees, promised to get him spayed at 6 months (estimated age right now is 4 months), and recieved my sack of goodies all in a blur that was reminiscent of my wedding. I tend to black out significant life altering events if I know they are occuring.
Then I remembered...........I could be in trouble. I called my wife, explained the situation.......almost.........and asked, "Could We?" and "Is it to soon?". She, too, wanted to save Joe from the trip to the frozen north of Idaho. Whew! He hopped into my Jeep, and we headed for the hardware store to get a collar and a few toys. He rode really well, but still, I was bothered by my hastly decision. Before I had even placed a marker on Chester's grave, he had a sucessor. When it came time to pick up my daughter from school, I snapped the leash on Joe's collar, and we walked to meet her. The look on her face when she saw Joe was all that I needed to make any reservations of the apparent impropriety of my hastiness evaporate. I had made the right decision.
All to often, we as adults, worry about appearances, what is proper and right. We want to believe in absolute right, and it's partner absolute wrong in regards to our actions. Truth, however, lies between these extremes. Sometimes, what is right is to live in the moment, to hear inner voices, to chase fallen leaves, and to receive a Golden Nudge, even if it's from the other side. There is a wisdom in children and dogs that we, as adults, often miss out on. Chester taught me that. Joe will make sure I do not forget.