As the cage door opened, the six black and white balls of fur tumbled around my legs, making it impossible to move in any direction. Not much bigger than a semi-deflated soccer ball, they rolled and nipped the way only puppies can do, and I felt my heart move up to my throat.
Dropping my large black bag to the side, I attempted to maneuver closer to their level. They could have been straight out of a Peanuts cartoon, if only I could imagine Snoopy actually finding a date.
I bent down and gingerly thrust out my hand. My fingers, tipped in black nail varnish, were instantly greeted by razor sharp teeth. Oh right, I remember. So much for in tact leather shoes and flip flops for awhile.
I was a bit of a rebellious teenager, prone to following my whims and allowing my stubborn streak to govern my decisions. This day was not really unlike any other; the low lying tule fog had cleared just enough to make the ten minute drive to the animal shelter completely on auto pilot. Had I been a few years older or perhaps even a bit less self-centered, my mother’s voice might have echoed in my head. But not this day-my nineteen year old self knew just what I wanted, and it was currently performing acrobatic feats in front of my eyes.
Somehow I knew that they all couldn’t come with me, and lacking much forward-thinking I scanned the welter of fur before me. A few minutes had elapsed, and the novelty of my black boots had obviously waned. The writihing had subsided, the lure of kibble more enticing.
All except one.
This little guy wouldn’t give up. His big brown eyes glanced my direction as he scampered across the now moist concrete floor, straight towards my discarded bag. His spiky teeth wrapped around the strap, and despite being largely outweighed by my carryall, he planted his forelegs and with a great shake of his head managed to drag it in my direction.
I took this as a sign.
Scooping him into my arms, I signaled to the clerk. “I’ll take him,” I called, knowing simultaneously that this could be the best and most complicated decision I’d ever made.
This post was inspired by Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Man a memoir by Brian McGrogry. When Brian his bachelor life to move to suburbia and join his girlfriend with her two young daughters, he had no idea he needed to win over their rooster too. Join From Left to Write on November 21 as we discuss Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Man. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.