Still Waters: Thank you Reagan


I needed a doggie fix pretty badly. Since I lost my Ebony in January and Boca Burger just a few months before that, it’s been pretty lonely at my house. For a few reasons, I cannot adopt another dog quite yet but was sure going through “withdrawals” and needed a puppy fix.

So after church and lunch on Saturday I double checked the hours of Conour Animal Shelter in Monte Vista, who regularly shares photos of their dogs who need homes, and we publish them in the paper. There were a couple of bigger dogs I had my eye on because I prefer bigger dogs and many people don’t, so I was worried they might not get a home, and their time might be up. The shelter wanted them to go together.

I had my speech all prepared when I drove up to the shelter. I would tell them I would adopt those two dogs when I was able, later this year, if they would hold them and not put them down, but if someone adopted them first, that would be great. I was willing to give a donation to make sure they wouldn’t be put to sleep if no one wanted them.

But when I stumbled in the front door about all I could get out was that I needed to pet a dog since losing Ebony, and of course I started to cry. I didn’t even mention the two dogs on the flyer. There was a gentleman at the counter, but the lovely lady behind the counter (I believe her name was Yvette, but I’m not sure) didn’t miss a beat in helping both of us at the same time. I think she’s used to multi tasking, as she was quite busy during the time I was there.

She slid open a doggy gate at the counter and called “Reagan.” A big black dog appeared, and she guided him towards me. He was one of her own dogs who comes to work with her, but she let me borrow him for a while so I could get my doggie fix.

It was as if this sort of thing happened every day.

Reagan (not sure if that’s how he spells his name, but that’s how it sounded) came out to get petted. I sat down and began petting his head and back. He was not a black lab like my Ebony but was a big black dog (forgot what kind Yvette said he was) with a wonderful, sensitive spirit. He was so loving and kind. Occasionally he would stick his face up to mine to let me know he understood I was sad, and he would do all he could to help me.

Short of letting me take him home with me, of course. He kept an eye on his mistress and made it clear that she was his person. I told him I had no intentions of taking him away from her. I just needed to pet him for a while.

I petted that sweet black dog until my hands were covered in his fur and my heart was less sad. Reagan was exactly the “fix” I needed.

I don’t know how long I was there petting that sweet creature, but people came and went while Reagan and I shared some special moments. The man at the counter left after completing his paperwork, a young couple came in to look at the dogs for adoption, another lady came in to surrender an animal, there was a commotion in the kennels to deal with and a call or two to attend to.

Finally Reagan was thirsty and went back behind his doggie gate to get a drink. By then there was a lull in the activity at the shelter office, so I had a moment to talk to Yvette before she received a call with a doggie medical emergency and I left.

She told me that Conour did not put dogs down if they had been there too long and during her time there she had only seen a few dogs put to sleep because they had cancer. I felt so much better.

I told her I couldn’t yet adopt a dog but asked about the two on the flyer I had brought with me. I was prepared to give my speech and a donation to hold them if necessary.

Not necessary.

The gent at the counter when I came in had adopted them both!

I got the doggie fix — and the answers — I needed.

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