Eight years and 4 days ago, I made one of the best decisions of my life. I went to the SPCA looking for a dog.
As I strolled by the cages each with with a sorrowful fuzzy face staring up at me, I passed by a little black and white puppy that was lying on the linoleum floor. I actually walked about five steps past this puppy when a strange force grabbed me, spun me back around, and communicated the equivalent of, “NO. YOU MISSED HIM. GO BACK.”
And so I walked back to the pen that housed this little black and white dog, and he shakily stood up, pressed his nose through the chain-link fence, and wagged his long tail at me. A SPCA volunteer passed by, and so I asked if I could go to their “meeting room” and get to know this guy.
And so we did.
We spent about 15 minutes in there, playing and cuddling. He seemed a happy little dog, and very mellow, so I put him at the top of my list and intended to keep looking around for any others that might be better. And yes, that seems a ridiculous statement. But I didn’t know then, what I know now…
Anyway, I came out of the meeting room with him and was about to hand the leash back to the volunteer. The puppy was still furiously wagging his little tail at both of us, and as he stepped forward his tail smacked into the side of a Rubbermaid trash can. He yelped, and dove in between my legs to hide from whatever it was that had just attacked him from behind.
The SPCA guy just laughed and said, “Wow. Looks like he’s yours now?“
“Yeah. Yeah, I guess he is.”
And that’s how it began.
Four days later (so eight years ago, today), my brother and I picked this puppy up in the Jeep and drove him back to my little apartment in the Heights, where I named him “Jib.” And after a week-long battle with pneumonia/lung infections, he settled in and we made a home together.
Now I wasn’t exactly a homebody back in the day, and I prided myself on knowing the best nightly spots in Houston for boozytime. And actually, I was starting to head in a pretty bad direction.
But having Jib gave me the impetus to come home directly after work, rather than stop for drinks somewhere. And once I was home with him, it was much more difficult to leave. And so I started skipping the $1 margaritas at Los Cucos on Monday nights. Then I passed on “Customer Appreciation Night” at The Dirt on Tuesdays. And so on, and so on…
There was an infamous incident with a squeaky toy that happened within our first year together, one that prompted close to $5,000 in veterinary bills.
Fortunately, Jib had a village around him and a good friend not only fronted the money for Jib’s surgery but also organized a garage sale in his benefit. And we are both forever in her debt for that kindness.
And we’ve both gotten older…
And this one was taken this morning, on his 8th birthday. (Or, in dog years, his 56th.)
So here’s to The Jibbus. The best dog that has ever been, or will ever be. Thank you for being my friend all these years. I wish you the happiest of birthdays.
I love you, my puppy.
a.k.a. The Snackkeeper