About ten years ago our neighbor and good friend Cindy went through a "season of strays". We laughed and said that the dogs had put a mark on her house much the way hobos once marked the foundation of a house indicating that a generous and sympathetic soul resided there. In a very short period of time, several dogs showed up on her doorstep. Cindy found good homes for all but one. The little Border Collie she named Rascal stole her heart. Unfortunately, Cindy's husband Dave was not quite as taken with Rascal as Cindy was. He kept encouraging Cindy to find a home for Rascal, especially as she began tearing up things around the house and trying the patience of their elderly dog Papillon. Cindy made a number of half-hearted attempts, and a couple of serious attempts to find a home for Rascal.
One night Cindy came flying up my front steps with Rascal on her leash, and a huge bright red bow tied around her neck. Dave had "given" Cindy Rascal for her birthday!
When the girls came to live with us, Shameka fell in love with Rascal. On her 9th birthday when we told her she could invite someone over for a sleepover, she chose Rascal! We have an adorable picture of the two of them snuggled together in Shameka's bed.
One New Years Eve while Cindy and Dave were hosting a party, Rascal became so frightened of the fireworks and gunshots that she got scared and ran off. We spent hours that night scouring the neighborhood sticking up posters with Rascal's picture, and after giving up for the night all went home to fitful sleep worrying about Rascal. Around 3 a.m. Cindy heared a noise at the door, and there was a tired and disheveled Rascal. That little scare began a new tradition. Rascal began coming to our house to stay on Thanksgiving and New Years Eve, both times that Dave and Cindy host big gatherings at their house. She also stayed with us over her summer vacations. Well, Dave and Cindy's vacation technically, but Rascal showed up with leash and bowl and made a beeline every time straight to the air conditioning vent- something she was not used to having at home. She was all talk and little action, but you never had to wonder if anyone was at the door or around your house, or even down the block thinking about coming to your house!
To our great sadness, Rascal crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Thursday night. Our hearts were broken with Cindy as she made the long trek to the vet, and then the long trek home alone.
I hold out hope that Rascal and Weber will forever spend New Years Eve together and that Rascal has her own a/c vent somewhere to lay on. We will miss her sweet little spirit and her faithfulness to us all.