Peaches and Jax.

After we lost our dog Mojo in May 2017 to bladder cancer, we swore we would never get another dog. Nope, too painful, we’re too old. And we stuck to our resolve. For 221 days, almost to the minute. And yes, I just used my calculator to figure that out.

In September, I really started missing a dog in the house. It felt very empty to me. My husband George, however, did not feel the same way. As a matter of fact, I seem to recall him uttering words to this effect: “No freaking way.” We briefly had a stray found by a friend of ours take up residence with us in November, for 12 days. I was in heaven and George warmed up to the little dog, who I named Max. But then his owner was found and we relinquished him and boom….we were dogless again.

Then the holidays came and it was hectic, not much time to brood about being dogless. And then January set in. Cold, miserable January with not a lot to do on weeknights but surf through Petfinder for chihuahua mixes and binge-watch Netflix shows.

I found a little chi mix named Georgia Peach on Jan. 4. She was being fostered through Burlington County Animal Alliance of New Jersey. I fell in love with this pup immediately. So I showed George her information. I shoved my phone in his face and said, “Just read this.” He read it, looked at her picture, handed me back my phone, and then took it back to re-read her info and look at her picture. Then the magic words: “Why don’t we apply for her?” In less than ten minutes, I had applied for Georgia Peach.

Long story short, we were approved for Georgia Peach! George was so excited that he went on Petfinder and found another chi mix named Tino, being fostered in Georgia, with connections to BCAA of NJ. Tino was people and dog-friendly, a gorgeous little boy with a fawn-colored coat. Not sure if George and I blacked out temporarily or were just so besotted with Peaches, but I soon found myself applying for Tino!

Two days later, on January 6, we headed to the PetSmart where BCAA of NJ holds their adoption events. While we were waiting for Georgia Peach, I got a call from Tino’s foster mom Terry, saying that we were approved for Tino and could get him at the same PetSmart a week from that day, Jan. 13!

I hung up with Terry, and Georgia Peach’s foster mom Elaine walked in holding this tiny bundle of fur in a little sweater and handed her to me. I could not stop kissing her. (The dog, not Elaine).

We dropped the Georgia part of her name. My husband’s name is George and our eldest son is named George. If I yell out something like, “No, Georgia! Stop chewing on the rug,” things could get confusing. (Yeah, because my husband and son cannot stop chewing on the rug). So the pup’s name is Peaches. I call her Peach most of the time, but she also is called The Baby, Peachy Keen, Peaches and Cream, Monkey, Dennis the Menace Dog, Peach-a-Licious and many other monikers.

The following Saturday, we packed up Peaches and drove to the PetSmart again. Tino was coming up to New Jersey from Georgia in a specially-outfitted transport van with a woman named Terry and her husband, who make the drive up once a month with adoptable dogs. When I first saw Tino, he had his tail between his legs and was so thin that his ribs showed.

From the get-go, he and Peaches got along famously. They are now inseparable. Tino’s name is now Jax (or Jaxie Boy, LoveBug, Mommy’s Boy, Jax-A-Licious, etc.). He is easily twice Peaches’ size but she is the alpha, the little boss baby. Jax now displays a very saucy personality since becoming a NJ resident!

Several lessons learned: never say never, southern-born dogs don’t like snow, and rescue dogs rock!

(Props to our friend Cammie, who gave me the title of this column!)