I have done a lot of stupid things in the course of my job.
I have chased fire trucks, I have “overlooked” no trespassing sings and I have leaned out over bridges to take a better photo. But if I thought any of those things were bad or foolish or whatever — they pale in comparison to what I did Monday morning.
While out on a photo shoot of the remains of a house fire, two sooty, ashy puppies came running up to me. They were young, (I’m guessing around 10 weeks) very dirty and very skinny.
What did I do? You know what I did …
On the way home I called my husband to warn him.
“So, please don’t be mad at me, but I may have done something you’re not going to like,” I started.
“How bad is the car?” was his response. (He assumed I had wrecked the Honda.)
“Nope, nope, the car is fine … but I have puppies.”
“WHAT? Was that pluralized? Because it would be bad enough if you came home with one. Please tell me you don’t have puppies.”
“Well, I could … but I’d be lying …”
(Insert multiple expletives here.)
There weren’t any other houses in the area and no one was around to ask “hey, are these your dogs?” — what’s a girl to do? I’m not heartless, after all. Of course I took them. What was I supposed to do? Leave them? No way.
On the way back to the office, I picked up some puppy chow, food bowls and a couple of toys and right now, as I’m writing this, Jeff and Gary (yeah, I named them …) are happily snoozing away with full bellies in the newsroom.
And they are absolutely adorable.
My husband isn’t thrilled, but he gets that it’s not in my nature to turn an animal (or two) away. And because I’m the one who picked them up, I feel responsible for their futures. There’s no way I’ll take them to a shelter.
“It’s just temporary,” I assured him. “Just until I can find them a home.”
Well, as it turns out, no one wants puppies — at least, not so far. But I’m determined.
I would just keep them — I love dogs, I have a large fenced-in back yard and I have a 4-year-old who would just think they were the best things ever. The problem is that I also have a 100-pound American Bulldog who is not fond of other dogs. That’s actually putting it really nicely — I’m afraid she’d hurt them.
So, I’m fostering. And planning on employing a series of baby gates to keep them separated.
The last time I took a puppy “just until I can find him a home” was in 1999 with a scruffy mutt named Barney. Long story short: Barney will be 18-years-old in March and is still in the family. So, OK — my track record for “fostering” isn’t so great. But I can’t help it, who doesn’t love a puppy? Or two?
I don’t yet know the fates of Jeff and Gary, but I’m convinced their lives have already been made better. In the meantime, my little “newshounds” are hanging out with me at the paper and having a good ‘ol time.
Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Easley Progress and The Pickens Sentinel and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.