how we met

Odie and Loki 1

I will never forget the day I first saw Odie. My sister was searching for a companion for her beagle-mix, Desi, and found two 11-year old miniature Dachshund brothers listed on the Portland Humane Society website for the bargain price of $36. As whatever dog she brought home wasn’t going to be my dog, I didn’t particularly care what she brought home. But the idea of bringing two elderly brothers into our house at once annoyed me. It also spurred constant chatter amongst our family as everyone sided with me wondering what my sister was thinking.

Why would you buy two 11-year old dogs? Either you or I or both of us will get attached to them and then they’ll die. What’s the point of that?

I didn’t know much about the lifespan of small dogs when I made that statement as the statement was made slightly in jest, but it ended up being eerily prophetic.

At my sister’s request, I accompanied her to the ‘meet’ – the day she wanted to introduce her dog to the brothers to see if they got along. We zigged and zagged through the rows of dogs wanting to be adopted before we found Odie and Loki. They were curled around each other, asleep, their heads facing the back of the cage. My sister rapped on the glass window, and they at once turned their heads to stare at us. My eyes immediately focused on their tongues, which hung lazily from opposite sides of their mouths. At first sight we began laughing hysterically propping ourselves up from the ground trying to prevent ourselves from rolling in laughter.

They have lazy tongues!

Eventually one of the employees brought us into a room to meet them. Odie was placed in my lap. They had recently had their teeth pulled and Odie was still affected by either the anesthesia or the pain pills he ingested. He sleepily hung his head in my lap making little movement, which convinced me that I was right. He was old. And he was going to die any day. Not long after being placed in my lap his nose began to bleed. Obviously this further proved my theory.

We left without having a chance to expose Desi to the boys because of Odie’s bloody nose. They didn’t know why his nose was bleeding and recommended we come back another day. There was an older couple who had already met the boys and, perhaps, wanted to take them home. My sister staked her claim on them by putting them on hold for 24 hours.

As we walked to my sister’s car, I told my her I never wanted to go back there. I couldn’t deal with all the sorrowful eyes staring at me pleading for a home.

My sister went back the next day and again brought her dog for the purpose of meeting the boys. I stayed home. I meant it when I said I never wanted to go back there. I was on the couch when the door opened and my sister walked in with her dog, Desi. A minute later Odie and Loki bounded in the door right behind them, darted into the living room, and began rolling around on the area rug aggressively scratching their backs as they rolled from side to side and then scooting across the rug dragging their bellies for a full-body scratch.

My sister bought them without much time to think about the purchase. She said the older couple was ready to buy and were mad she had put them on hold. My eyes were wide as I took in her words and the sight of the boys gloriously welcoming themselves into their new home. That was the day Odie unexpectedly burst into both my home and my heart.

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