I'm not sure how it happened, but we've become a pack. I mean, I do know the series of events of the last 10 - 12 weeks (looking at a rescue photo for 2 months, filling out an online application, phone calls, visits, trial adoption). What I don't quite understand is how I went from being a cat person to a dog owner and how Paul went from being a non-pet person to the guy saving table scraps and buying squeaky toys. How did this funny little dog end up a part of our lives?
Meet Bhikku ~
The outer dog ... If you were to ever think we'd get a dog, this is probably not the dog you would have predicted. He's an unknown mix but probably part poodle, part Bichon Frise, and maybe something else. So he's got a stout little body, short legs, and a poodlish head, all covered with curly white and apricot hair. He arrived here on April 30 fresh from the groomer, who shaved his body yet left his topknot and ears long. The rest has been growing out and I've been cutting his ears back to something less flowing. Eventually he'll be covered in soft curls. He's in his 'golden' years, probably around 10, with cataracts and a skin condition. He's a little overweight, but daily walks and fewer treats have already improved his figure. He rarely barks, usually just when excited while playing ball with Paul or if we've been at work.
The inner dog ... Once you meet him, you understand why we're adopting him. The Friends of Pets website described him as 'an amiable boy.' He has a charming personality that is led by a 5" tail that shakes his whole body. He follows us almost everywhere and is always happy to see us, even if we've only been gone a few minutes. He arrived with good manners and he has picked up the house rules very quickly (though that doesn't mean he doesn't get up on the couch if we leave the house for 5 minutes). When the three of us walk, Paul often holds the leash. If I get behind, Bhikkhu looks back to see if I'm coming. If Bhikkhu and I walk without Paul, he runs around the house upon our return until he finds Paul.
The name ... Paul and I have been reading together about Buddhism since our trip to Asia this winter. In one book, every quote of the Buddha begins with 'O Bhikkhu,' and we had started using the phrase affectionately with one another. A Bhikkhu is an ordained Buddhist monk. He is "expected to obey rules of conduct" and the translation from the Sanskrit literally means "beggar, or more broadly, one who lives by alms" (quotes from wiki). Given his wise and kind nature, our hope that he'll obey rules, and the fact that everything he eats comes from us (and he does beg), we've named him Bhikkhu (we pronounce it "bee-coo").
Change ... if you read my last April entry, you may have been wondering about the change in our lives. I even gave you a clue. To continue with the Buddhism, if live is change, which can bring suffering, you might as well have a Bhikkhu at your side to help you down the path.
Apologies to Buddhists out there; we hope this sweet boy's name doesn't offend anyone.