|Linda, in her store with her two guard dogs. Well, if wagging and barking "hello, come pet me!" is an alarm call|
Ever since Krista started writing her blog, I have threatened to write a guest appearance, mainly about Banjo, the rescue she changed our lives with, but also (like it or not, Krista) about Krista herself.
There are some days that change your own history and the day I met Krista was just one of those days, although of course I didn't know it at the time. My husband, Carroll, and I have an antiques store is an obscure and ridiculously remote part of southern York County, Pennsylvania called Gatchellville. About six years ago, I was in the house, which is located right across the driveway from the store, and my husband came in and said there was a customer at the front door of the store. I reminded him that we were closed and that he should tell the gal to come back another day. Carroll told me that he told her that to go away and come back another day but that she refused to leave! Well, now I know that that is classic Krista. If there is something she wants, she goes after it, and she doesn't leave until she has it.
It turned out to be a lucky day for all of us. Carroll and I had just moved to southern Pennsylvania. Krista and her husband, Joe, had just done the same. We all loved antiques, good food, old houses, and animals, and along with another couple, Barbara and Richard, we formed a band of brothers, so to speak.
We have spent the past six years pondering the universe, fighting over politics, drinking more champagne than I want to admit to, lavishing each other with gifts, and becoming a family.
Without knowing what was happening, these people have become the people who, without question, I would lend money, donate a kidney, flip hundreds of pancakes for, and in Krista's case, trust with my animal's medical care.
Inevitably at the end of a workday, when Krista and Joe show up at our house for dinner (why do I do all of the cooking, by the way?), the topic is first and foremost people and their animals what happened at the clinic how people can be cruel, lazy, and downright stupid with their pets, and how it is a never ending uphill battle to make the world safe for the animals in our possession. We have to get this conversation out of the way before we can go on to other things like how our families drive us crazy, what antiques we saw at a show we went to, and who wants what gift for Christmas.
I will tell you that Krista-Joe, too-do not suffer fools easily and pity the poor folks who come into her clinic who have neglected their pets. In her case, the customer is not always right and she does not mind telling them. Well, that's as it should be.
For me, I know she has gotten my own pets miniature poodles named Mason (who has since passed away), Noodle, and Banjo through any number of scrapes and I rest easier just knowing that she is at the other end of the phone in an emergency.
Two years ago, my little dog, Noodle, was attacked by a vicious Rottweiler in the back yard of our house. We were minding our business, out for our evening walk, and this dog came out of nowhere and somehow mistook Noodle for a nice dinner sandwich. It was one of the scariest days of my life. I thought that, not only would Noodle be gone, but that I would be attacked as well, and the two of us would be left to die alone in the field.
By a miracle I was able to get away, but I thought that Noodle was dead. There was blood everywhere. However, I sensed a faint heartbeat when I got him into the house. One phone call and five minutes later, I was at Krista's old stone house. Joe was carrying Noodle in and she had turned the upstairs bathroom into a sterile emergency room.
Thank-Goodness Noodle is still with us! Amazingly not too much worse for wear. We were lucky that day.
Another lucky day occurred last February when we got a call from Krista someone had dropped off a small white poodle and she thought we might want to adopt it. It turns out that the people had even offered to pay for euthanasia if it could not find a good home.
I wasn't looking for another dog. The way we care for Noodle is the way some families might care for n entire squadron of five year olds-just dressing him in his daily sweater sets is a job-so I wasn't looking for another dog.
But as is Krista's way, she was pretty insistent that we wanted this dog. I agreed to come in and meet him the next day. I wasn't excited. I figured there had to be a lot wrong with him if his previous family would just drop him off, unwanted.
When I met him, I knew I was right. There was a lot wrong with him. He had ear infections, urinary tract infections, matted fur, runny eyes, chronic diarrhea, and was positive for heartworm. He was the scrawniest, most pathetic poodle I have ever seen; with a face that just cried out with is misery. Please, please, please, won't somebody love me!?
I knew if I just picked him up for one second I would be a goner. So I resisted for a full five minutes. Just staring at him from across the room. Could I commit to this pathetic little bundle of matted fur? To make him even more pathetic, he has a strange albino-ish coloring with pink circles around his eyes and a pink nose. He looks as if he is perpetually crying.
I knew I had a little bit of an out by telling the folks at the clinic that we would leave the decision to keep this dog up to Noodle, the spoiled (and healthy and beautiful) poodle at home.
Well, the two bonded like twin brothers who had been separated at birth and were reunited on the Oprah show. From the second they laid eyes on each other, they have been inseparable, two peas in a pod, always shoulder to shoulder in their perch in the window.
This dog, who came with the cumbersome name of Jean Luc has been renamed Banjo and has learned to live with a family who loves him and spoils him, something that all dogs should hope to have. He still has some health problems, most recently a series of very worrisome seizures. He has allergies, oddball rashes, ear infections, and I think he will always be pretty high maintenance. But to me-and to my husband, Carroll, he is one of the most beautiful dogs in the world. We are so glad that we were able to rescue him from the clinic in Jarrettsville.
|Banjo, on the couch, (where he usually is), in plaid, (like he usually is), with his bone.|