Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Road Home

Allie and Jen
Allie & Jen in Staunton, VA
Who volunteers to go on a marathon ride from Hamburg PA to Staunton VA, 560 miles, to pick up a dog?

An animal lover, a best friend.

Jen Brinson.

Counting down the last days of summer vacation, she signed on for the ride. Barely back from Elizabeth City, NC, she pretty much turned around and went almost back again.

We were there not even 5 minutes and Jen had Allie heeling and sitting. Jen wears many hats; count dog trainer among them. Patient and caring, Jen was onto this dog in a heartbeat. Two sweet girls.

Peggy & Laurel Fork Lab
Had you predicted that I would ever purchase a dog online, would not conduct a face-to-face meeting with a potential family member, that I would forego handling the dog to read the temperament, I would have said not a chance. But I did, and I am NOT sorry.

I had the recommendation of Janelle Moser, whose family owns a Laurel Fork Lab, and held several conversations with the puppy's breeder, Peggy Parries. She sent me several short videos; add a photo and I was willing to drive 560 miles to fetch her home.

Kismet, aka love at first sight.

Simple as that.

Almost there. Your forever home.

The ride home was long but the company great. Jen was my eyes for the dog; she kept me posted and chatted up Allie. I was impressed with this dog just from the drive alone. She was calm, quiet, and happy. She slept most of the time, or watched and waited. A patient dog, a pretty girl, a good dog.

In Jan Karon's At Home in Mitford, Father Tim acquires a big black dog. A good dog. Karon describes it this way:

A really companionable and indispensable dog is an accident of nature. You can't get it by breeding for it, and you can't buy it with money. It just happens along.

Allie just happened along.

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