MICKEY MEETS ANNE MARIE
By Anne Marie Hunter | Published
? ? ? ?At the end of this month, I will have had my dog, Mickey, for seven years. In March, 2006, a farmer in Moberly, Missouri?rescued him with his mom and siblings from a dumpster and took them to a local shelter, Pet Connection. I first saw Mickey at a First Friday gallery walk in Kansas City. Pet Connection was hosting an adoption event down the block from the gallery hosting a show of my work. ? ? ? ?I glimpsed Mickey in a play pen on the sidewalk, in front of the space where Pet Connection was holding their event. This little black puppy, who I could barely see a hundred feet down the block through throngs of people, touched my heart in an instant. I didn’t have puppies on my mind when I saw him. I had no thoughts about owning or adopting a dog at that time. No dog or puppy was on my immediate radar. In fact, I was headed for hand and wrist surgery the following week, as I was still recovering from my accident. ? ? ? ?Yet, I had to go see him a bit closer. I left my opening and headed down the sidewalk. When I neared the playpen, this charismatic puppy looked at me with the same sweet, black eyes that he looks at me with today. I asked a volunteer if I could pick him up and take him to the space where my show was. Sure, she said. I headed back though the crowds with a gangly 4-month-old puppy, long legs everywhere. ? ? ? ?What do you think, I asked the owners ?when I walked into the gallery. Both answered, in unison, ‘You have to have him.’ I was probably hoping they’d ask me what in the world I was doing and why – and then veto my spontaneous puppy adoption idea. But, no. Two thumbs up -way up – from both of them. Hmmmm. I headed back down the street to return this beautiful puppy who’d captured my heart. What is happening here, I wondered. I came to attend the opening of my show. And, all of the sudden, puppy ownership is on the very near horizon and may have actually just landed in my arms. ? ? ? ?I put this very charming puppy back in his play pen. Immediately, gallery-goers and passersby swarmed his playpen. I watched him for a minute through the crowd. He never looked up and caught the eye of anyone like he had with me. I talked to the Pet Connection volunteer for a minute, learning some important details if I was serious about adopting Mickey. With one last look, I headed back to my responsibilities at the gallery. ? ? ? ?During the rest of my opening, and afterwards when out with friends, this skinny black dog was my first thought. When I got home that night, I tried to sleep. I convinced myself of a number of things in order to do just that. I was tired. I didn’t need a puppy. This was too spur of the moment. Surgery coming up. I didn’t sleep a wink with all of the convincing going on. ? ? ? ? The next morning, I was at Pet Connection at 7:30. Rock star parking was mine because I was the first one there. I waited with my McDonald’s coffee, nervous, sleepless, and so excited to see if I felt the same way about this long-legged puppy I had met the previous evening.? ? ? ? ?Pet Connection opened. I walked in, saw him, and in an hour, drove home with my new friend.? ?