Georgette found us at a busy gas station in an even busier strip center. She was a cotton ball with four legs and no collar. She vagabonded up to our car as if she wanted to hop a ride. My wife quickly scooped her up so she wouldn’t get run over. There were a lot of cars coming and going. After fueling up, I got in our car. I gave Margaret (my wife) the “what now” look. We discussed it and of course we had to find her owner. It had to be one of the others fueling up. I went car to car and found no one who would claim the little cotton ball.
I went into the convenience store and asked the customers and even the young lady behind the counter. No luck.
Coincidentally the same strip center, where the gas station was, did have a veterinarian. We took our own dog, Lady, to see her regularly. So off we went. We left a description and our phone number with our vet. It was the 90’s. There were no smart phones and no websites for these things.
Our vet said she looked like a pure blood shih tzu. We were confident someone would miss their little girl and go looking at the vet’s office, especially since she probably got out of their vehicle at the strip center.
We took the lost dog home until someone could claim her. After several days of enduring 2 dogs, I went back to our vet after work to see if she’d had any news. But it seemed this little dog belonged to no one.
I drove up to our house. My wife, our cocker spaniel Lady, and my son ran out to greet me.
“Well?” My wife asked.
I shook my head and said, “Nobody.”
“Well. I guess she’s ours then,” Margaret said.
I lost control of my jaw.
“But we already have a dog and really can’t afford another one.”
See… Lady was only 9 years old but already having some health issues. We’d already had several expensive vet visits.
My son asked, “Can Georgette sleep in my bed?”
Lady was not allowed to sleep in our beds and this visitor also would not be allowed. Wait… I thought…Georgette? And looked over to my wife.
“Yeah. We named her. Well…Lawrence named her,” she said.
The name came from some Disney movie. We apparently were now the owners of a new pet.
Months went by and Georgette quickly and easily became a part of the family. Lady tolerated her and would often play with her. But Lady was older and getting sicker.
Not long later, our vet gave us the news. Pancreatic cancer and there wasn’t much we could do. “She is suffering and very sick,” she said.
When I got home from the vet’s office, my wife hugged me and asked if I wanted to tell my son why I had come home without Lady. I told her, “No.”
“I’m going to grab a drink and sit in the backyard for a while.” I needed some time too.
The next day, we told our son. He cried of course. We held him closely and he sniffled through with these words. “Can Georgette sleep in my bed?”
Of course we said yes. After that, Georgette lived, loved, and played with us for over 11 years. She always slept in his room. Not that one dog can replace another, but it seems Georgette showed up from out of nowhere and at just the right time for our little boy… and us.
– Ric Gonzalez