I have always wanted a Standard Poodle. I tried years ago, but my acre of un-fenced yard disqualified me from adopting from a rescue group. Additionally, my partner, Adrian, loves Golden Retrievers, who make me itch and wheeze. So, we remained dog-less for seven years – seven years! – while we moved from Cape Cod to St. Petersburg, to a house with a fenced backyard.
Of course, we had occasional brief chats about our doggie disagreement, but the status remained quo. Then, eight months into the pandemic, Adrian casually suggested on our daily crack-of-dawn walk that we register for poodle rescues and “see what happens.” I was filling out the Florida Poodle Rescue forms within the hour, and gosh, they asked a lot of questions. We were impressed with their follow-up of our references and the thoroughness of our home inspection, even if it was on Zoom. And yes, they looked at the whole fence.
We put no parameters on the specifics of our proposed dog, trusting the Universe and Trish Robles to make a beautiful match. Initially, we met a boy being fostered near us, but the fit wasn’t right. That same night we received pictures of Scarlett, who was living almost four hours away. A smaller apricot female with a big goofy grin, she’d yet to turn two, and we knew that she was shy with guys, unlike her fictional southern belle namesake! Scarlett seemed perfect and we committed to returning with her, barring disaster.
A few days later, after packing the car with snacks, water, a blanket and high hopes, we drove south. Forty-five minutes after our arrival, the wonderful foster mom loaded Scarlett into the back seat. Adrian climbed in next to her, and we began the drool-filled drive home. We’d been warned and had towels to spare but were still surprised by just how much sticky goo oozes out of a nervous dog. Nonetheless, the wiping and paw holding worked, and she trusted Adrian completely by the time we arrived home.
That was seven months ago. She continued to drool in the car for a couple of months, until she got used to our regular rides to places she loves. She prefers cats over dogs, watches the birds for hours, and is a fast and furious fetcher. We marvel at her adaption to our daily schedule, her good manners, and her preference for being where we are, no matter “where” is. To say we love her is to understate the depth of our blessing.
Scarlett’s funny ways and loving energy brightened our lives immeasurably for the last half of the pandemic, so it seemed only natural then, that my business, The Pilates School, would choose Florida Poodle Rescue as our company fund-raising recipient.
Having signed the lease on my St. Petersburg, FL Pilates’ studio six days before WHO declared the world-wide pandemic, I found myself paying rent while we waited for it to be safe to offer group classes. In May of 2021, more than a year later, I was honored to have Mayor Rick Kriseman officiate our official ribbon-cutting ceremony. At our grand opening party we raised $250 for the amazing organization that completed our family with the arrival of Scarlett Marie Goodbaby who, by the way – shy girl that she is – quietly strolled among the 40-plus guests for 90 minutes, as if to say, “Thanks for being here.”