We fell hard for Phatman when we first spotted him as a dirty stray at Oakland Animal Services.
Big, luggy, mixy Phatman. What a mench he was. He charmed us with his warm enthusiasm and melted us all over the floor when he greeted a group of visiting autistic kids like the world's best ever amateur therapy dog. When he started getting depressed at the shelter, Tim and I took him home to let him chill out while we looked for a foster spot.
Luckily, his next stop was with Cindy. We sorta knew that when he went off to live with her "for foster" that he was home for keeps, but we tried really reeeally hard not to make it sound like one of our evil plots when we turned him over.
Okay - Cindy - I have to confess in public in front of doG and everyone, that it was a plot. This treasure of a dog had had a few near-miss adoptions but each time, he told us that he was supposed to be with somebody else. Tim and Linda and I scratched our heads to figure out who that might be and then one day, after Squeeks had been placed and you were ready for a another - voila! - it hit us. Yeesssss. Cindy. Warm, sensitive, big hearted Cindy for the warm, sensitive big-hearted Phatman. But of course. Exxxxcellent.
So Phatman went home to be * cough cough * fostered, and we stood back and smiled big each week in class as they became more and more bonded. He gooed for her and smiled at her and leaned into her in between class drills like a lovesick pup. Perrrrfect...Muahahaha.
Sadly, Cindy's husband Neil suffered a bad injury in a bike accident and wound up in the hospital for an extended stay. She found herself spending many lonely nights alone, worried about her man who'd just had the biggest scare of his life. Phatman, who had always kept vigil outside the bedroom door, decided it was time to come on in and lay down next to mom and comfort her. What a good boy.
Neil made a full recovery and walked out of the hospital with a plan. He announced (paraphrasing here) "I've been given a second lease on life. We need to travel and see the country." And so they are. They gave up their house and jobs and got themselves ready for a big cross country adventure. Cindy was nervous about asking us if we would mind if Phatman came along on their journey. Are you kidding? It's every rescuer's dream to see the dogs move on to live life large and happy.
And so off they go, to brave new adventures. We said good-bye to them on Saturday and don't really know when we'll see them again. We kissed Phatman and told him how proud we were of him, and of course his new mom Cindy got a big round of hugs. It feels so good.
Bon Voyage to this road ramblin' family! We're so happy to know that you'll be seeing the world together.