Happy Fourth Anniversary Edgar!Posted by Joyce Tischler, ALDF's Founder and General Counsel on October 14th, 2009
My parents taught me never to do anything that I would be embarrassed to see on the front page of the newspaper. Sage advice and it has saved me on many occasions, but not all. As you know, in 2005, ALDF opened a temporary “shelter” in North Carolina to care for the 330 dogs given to us by the court as a result of our successful lawsuit against Barbara Woodley, a hoarder.
But, picture this headline: “California woman flies to North Carolina to adopt old, homely Boston terrier whom no one else wants.”
Aren’t there enough dogs in need of homes in California? That woman must be a nut! Certifiable!
Uh boy. Unfortunately, that nut appears to be me. What was I thinking when I brought Edgar, one of the Bostons at our shelter, back with me to California? I needed another dog like I needed a bad rash. I had only met Edgar once before, but the emotional connection was instant (for me, at least). And, for months, I bugged the shelter staff, asking if anyone had come to adopt Edgar. The answer was always “no;” he was much older than the others and so quiet. And, did I mention homely? No one seemed to notice him. His charms, which were so apparent to me, were not compelling to anyone else. What became increasingly obvious was that Edgar and I were meant to be together. And, so this week, four years ago, I flew back to North Carolina with a harness, a leash, food, bowls, blankets, toys and diapers (don’t ask…) and brought him home to live with me.
I was sitting on my back porch this morning and watching Edgar sleeping in the warm sun. That’s one of his favorite things to do; he loves to sleep in the sun when it’s warm out. Truth be told, I have spent the last four years watching Edgar’s every move. I dote on the little gremlin. People often complain to me that Edgar stares at them. He does have a habit of staring. People have had staring contests with Edgar. Edgar almost always wins. The real action, however, is in Edgar’s ears. They twitch and move in several directions, telling me whether he is happy, excited, worried, knows he’s done something bad. Those ears are a hoot.
Recently, Edgar began demanding my attention by sitting at my feet, raising his right paw and scratching at my leg. Who taught him to do that? Not me. Indeed, I have admired Edgar’s ability to learn new thing after new thing, adapt to life in a home, get far less shy with people and become more and more like a normal dog who never went through the hell of hoarding.
I don’t know how old Edgar is. I can’t tell by his eyes or his teeth, both of which were ruined in the Woodley hell hole. He only has six teeth left at this point—the others were rotted and needed to be removed. Someone at our shelter said they thought he was around ten years old when I met him for the first time. Maybe younger, maybe older...
So, I treasure each day that we are together, knowing in the back of my mind that our time is limited, but hopeful that we will celebrate year five next October.
Happy anniversary, Edgar—I shall rub your softball shaped head, give you another cookie and dote on you some more. I can think of no better way to celebrate our time together.