Anyone who is even slightly familiar with me knows that I am not a fan of surprises. Even before I began down my path toward becoming a crotchety old man, I liked things predictable and steady. I hate cancelling plans, I strongly dislike rescheduling, and I absolutely detest mystery presents. This is why a blind date would have been my worst nightmare. I know people like to talk about the pleasant surprises that come along, but the risk is too great that for ever chance encounter with Anna Kendrick, you get an audit, a flat tire, a relative dying, and explosive diarrhea. Potentially all at once. So predictable, steady, and relatively safe sounds incredibly appealing to me.
Apparently our oldest dog, Pango, is the same way. He's about as regular of a dog as you'll meet. Every single time we come home, he will run to the toy chest and grab a present to give to us. It really is one of the sweetest things I've ever seen. I've seen him root through the huge bin looking for just the right toy to be that moment's gift. One of Pango's absolute favourite things to do is to go for a walk. He will let us know in very obnoxious squeaking whines that we need to go if he thinks too much time has elapsed that we forgot. Swiss clockmakers could set their watches to how consistent Pango is.
So late last Friday night, Pango starts the squeak. I'm frantically trying to submit my Meteorology Lab that is due and memorize how tornadoes are formed so we're a little behind schedule. I finally get my homework done around 11:00, so Pango is seriously pissed off and is starting to look at contact information for the SPCA. He completely freaks out with joy when I emerge from the office and grab the leashes and the poop bags.
Our other dog, Ranga, doesn't annoy us about walking, but probably loves walks even more than Pango does. Ranga struts down the street like Tony Manero headed to a speed dating event. We should just have "Staying Alive" playing in the background as Ranga confidently walks along. Due to the lateness of the hour, we decided that we would just take him down the street and back. Down the street is a very large yard in which the boys love to run around. As we get to the big yard, the Sane One is suddenly concerned. Another dog off leash has come trotting up to investigate what is going on. After the required ass sniffing of all four legged members involved in this story, we discover that the other dog does not have a collar or tags of any sort. We also do not see someone else coming along that would say "Oh, sorry that my dog was off leash, I'll come get her." It appears that this dog is out and about all on her own.
This was further confirmed when we headed back to our house and the dog troted along following us. We get to our driveway and the inevitable conversation starts as to what we should do. I'm not sure if you guys know this, but Texas in the summertime gets a little....warm. It's a gated community, so access to things like swimming pools for water is also not really possible. I tell my wife that we simply cannot leave the dog outside, so we open the door, and in scoots our houseguest. I knocked on a neighbor's door that still had their lights on and she stated that this dog has been roaming around for several days. Awesome.
We quickly identified that she was friendly, smart, cuddly, and very, very thirsty and hungry. We took pictures of her, posted on the lost and found boards, fed her, and gave her a bath. That night she happily slept in bed with the rest of us and seemed to have no problem finding herself a spot. The next day we took her to the vet to see if she was microchipped, and of course being in Texas, she wasn't. She also had hookworm, so we had to decide what to do in regards to if we pay the complete cost of care or if we get the puppy plan like we did with our other dogs. While we thought about it, we went and got her a feeding station, new toys, and a large bag of puppy food. So I am sure you can come to the conclusion of what we did.
Having spent some time on the streets myself, there was no way in hell that we were going to leave this dog out there. Having spent some time in a shelter myself, there was no way in hell we were going to drop this innocent puppy off to a fate unknown. The Sane One's father is adopted, her husband is adopted, and both of our dogs were adopted, so she's practically swimming in pathetic stories. Pango was shot as a puppy with a BB, Ranga got thrown away in a Whataburger dumpster on New Year's Eve, and the woman I thought was my mother turned out to be the next door neighbor that got kids dumped in her lap while my actual biological mother went and pulled tricks because she was lousy at selling pants. We really didn't need another sad story to add to the mix, we had plenty of them as it was. I always joke about this, but there is an element of truth to it. I was a clearance kid. People don't want to adopt 6-year olds. They want babies. My parents were looking for another girl because my sister wanted someone to play with. There were no girls at the time because they had just gotten done with the Black Friday sale and all the babies went right away. All that was left were the older models. My brother, being 3, was at least cute enough to be adoptable. But he and I came as a package deal because they really didn't want to split us up. So instead of another sister, my sister got 2 brothers. My parents could have made the decision to just take one kid, but they kept us together and we came over as a pair. When faced with a situation where we can help someone, our rule is that as long as we have the space, that person will have a roof over their heads. I have had countless employees and friends stay with us when they needed a place. An abandoned puppy was not going to be turned away from the Fisher household.
So world, please meet Taukiri Fisher. Taukiri is Māori for "Oh, dear!" (exclamation of distress or surprise). I told the vet it means, "Holy shit!" We call her Kiri for short. She joins an apparent proud tradition of black rescue mutts with Māori names that are in this house. Pango means "black" but that is only his nickname. His real name is Conrad Smith, named after the greatest All Black outside center to have ever played the game. Ranga is short for whakaoranga, which means "rescue". She may not have been expected, but it should probably have come to no surprise that we took her in, we've done it time and time again. So maybe surprises aren't so bad, after all. I'll still pass on that audit, though.