Thursday, October 25, 2012

In the presence of a Pharaoh...Hound that is!


For those of you that don't know me well...I am a HUGE animal lover, especially dogs!  I am blessed to have two amazing, sweet, loving and loyal dogs in my life...Spanky, my mom's Maltipoo and Megan, my Pharaoh Hound/Border Collie mix.  Now for some irony with my being in Malta.  The Maltipoo and the Pharaoh Hound are both dogs of Malta (side note: that played absolutely no part in my decision to apply for a Fulbright to Malta, I swear!).  As the title hints, this entry is mainly about Megan.  Since adopting Megan from the ASPCA over 13 years ago, I have done a lot of research on her breed as it is in no way a common breed in the States.  When I say she is part Pharaoh Hound, part Border Collie, what I mean is that she is 99.999% Pharaoh Hound and the rest Border collie and by "the rest" I mean...long hair and floppy ears, that's about as Border Collie as she gets.  Her temperament, her stubborn but loyal heart, her personality and demeanor along with physical body features are all Pharaoh Hound.  The Pharaoh Hound's history is rooted in Egypt as they were apparently the guard dogs of royalty.  They were then brought to Malta some 2000 years ago and it is here that their breed is kept alive and true.  So you can only imagine my excitement in knowing that I would have short haired Megan's running around right? Well, not so fast.  It took over a month for me to finally see one and it happened just this week while waiting for the bus to go to work.

I was standing at the bus stop (sucking on a lollipop---LL anyone?? anyone??) ...ok we move on, FOCUS KELLY...when a woman walked by with a Pharaoh Hound.  Well you can imagine my excitement and how quickly I woke up since it was so early in the morning.  To the other people waiting for the bus I really believe they thought I must've spotted a celebrity because I literally began to follow and stare at...the dog.  It was an older dog, like Megan, white in the face and pranced as it walked just like she does.  Well what happened next was I guess to be expected but surely not at a bus stop with a bunch of strangers on a weekday morning.  For all the excitement I had in seeing my first pure bred Pharaoh Hound, an incredible sadness hit.  I'm talking a gut wrenching-ready-to-bawl-my-eyes-out sort of sadness, so I had to think quick and act fast.  Sunglasses out, placed on face and papertowel folded and ready to collect tears.  Oh yes friends there were tears.

See, Megan is our princess, she has a presence and grace unlike any other dog, yet a purity and innocence about her that eats away at your heart.  We adopted her because when I saw her at the ASPCA and saw how beautiful she was and knew the hell she had been through, I just wanted to save her, show her love and a good life.  We had just put down our Rottie/German Shepherd/Husky mix a month after her 4th birthday because she had Lymphosarcoma.  It was devastating for us but we knew it was too huge a void to let be so we adopted Megan.  Well I can tell you the tables have certainly turned over the years...she has shown us more love, more devotion, more loyalty and concern than we could have ever expected.  This is the same dog that used to sleep with me and come to me because she wanted to spoon...yes spoon!  She loves being cuddled and nuzzled and always knew I was the one happy to always oblige (sorry Sam you know it's true).

So here I am, at a bus stop, looking at this dog and feeling nothing but a longing to be with my Meggie, my little sweetart, my bubbie and I can't be. WHOA, what.a.void!  Not as happy or exciting a moment I had expected but it is the reality of my current situation, all part of the "adjustment".  Fine, I get it...I don't like it...but I get it.  A few years ago, my sister and I went to San Francisco and in this shop on Fisherman's Wharf , I found a tiny picture that reads "Home is Where the Dog is"...I remembered that picture while enduring my moment and realized Malta may never really feel completely like home to me (because you know, it is more an "experience" and journey and all)  and I am 100% ok with that because Megan is home for me, yes all, Megan trumps Malta.  I told you I was an animal lover, I clearly wasn't lying:-).

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