My Tia Berta finally got a dog three years ago. Originally, we thought they would go the route of choosing a West Highland terrier as she had talked about for a while, but instead they got Portia. She is a sweet, classically rambunctious Jack Russell terrier which loves to run circles around the squirrels in my aunt’s backyard reminding them who’s boss. She likes to be scratched behind the ears and closes her eyes, as if relaxing and assenting to the human touch.
After my mom had to put our dog Sandi down, she vowed she would never get another dog and I think to some extent decided to close her heart back up to dogs. I had always been the dog-lover but he won over my mom. Portia had just begun opening my mom back up again to the thought of eventually getting another dog, which is huge. When Sandi was put to sleep, I was in India. He had been my compatriot through some pretty rough times: the dissolution of my parent’s marriage, having my ailing grandmother move into my father’s old bedroom and then eventually pass away. I remember Sandi howled after Tita’s death, as if her spirit was still hovering in the room. Dogs are attuned and acute to the rods and cones of the world while we see in color.
So even though I am at a tradeshow in Chicago, I got a phone call and email from my mom today about her disappearance. Since sleep is already evading me nightly, it made sense to check on Craigslist and see if there are any announcements there. I posted one of my own, on behalf of my aunt in Dallas and the prayer vigil begins. My aunt has gone to the pound often since the Wednesday disappearance and is distraught, as you can well imagine. This is nothing to say of my cousin Miguelito who pined away for years wanting a dog. Visualize what you might feel: my aunt opens the door after she hears the doorbell. The gap at the bottom of the door somehow is large enough for Portia to squeeze out. As she shoots past, my aunt hurtles off the porch and starts running after her, as the small happily wagging tail fades into an ever increasing distance. Since she had just been groomed, she has no tags on her, just her winsome personality.
Can you pray that she would be found? Miracles happen every day and I would entreat this little scrappy dog to bear the heart of a carrier pigeon and find her way home.