Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Matrix - 9 today

Behold World - The PERFECT Dog!

Nine years ago today God decided to make a perfect dog. He couldn't make up His mind if it should be a Beagle or a Dachshund - so he blended the two together, and there you have it! MATRIX. My baby puppy was born of two champions, neither of which was suppose to nose the cage of the other during a competition which the little girl dog wasn't allowed to show in since she was in season - so there she was waiting for her friends and family to finish when Mr. Beagle decided to be a bit bold. The result of course was a litter of absolutely adorable puppies, but the owners of the Dachshund decided they weren't worthy - they weren't pure bred dogs. They literally left them at the door of a no-kill shelter when they were very small. Matrix was a bit on the sick side and wasn't adopted immediately. Not until we fell in love.

When we adopted Matrix his name was Lambert. He was around 12 weeks old. He had been wormy, itchy, sickly, and seemed to have asthma. The shelter was apprehensive about letting us have him because he wasn't going to a home without kids or other animals. He was going to MY HOUSE....which in layman's terms means a boat-load of kids in and out, and another boat-load of animals coming and going - because the kids found them and we fostered them until they were claimed. We did have 2 adult male cats at the time too - something the shelter was certain would cause Lambert problems - I drew their attention to the fine writing on the contracts, showing them where they had to prove it was a problem. I adopted Lambert - I immediately changed his name. I wanted to call him Keanu after Keanu Reeves who stars in the Matrix, but the kids were young and couldn't say it. I suggested Neo, the character Keanu played in the movie Matrix - but the dog seemed to like the name Matrix whenever I said it out loud....Matrix it is! For 9 years now he's been Matrix.

Matrix has his own story and I wrote about it in my book about our family and Faith. He was just a few months old when I was forced out of my house - I had to find homes for the cats as well as my new puppy. I was devastated. The deed was done, we allowed a young couple with a new family to adopt him. They turned him out once their baby was born - he was too curious, they were afraid he'd bite. (PLEASE!!!) Anyway, he was found on the Tinker Air Force Base by a Captain who called the vet's number on the tag and finally got a hold of me. I explained the situation, and the good Captain choose to keep Matrix and his name. It wasn't too long however that he was deployed to police a section in Afghanistan - this was 2000.

Matrix was taken to the same no-kill shelter, where he remained Matrix, but a note was put into Lambert's file due to the vet's tag records. They never called me. Had they called me I would have found a way to retrieve him - but they didn't call me. That was OK...Jesus was there, He watched my little dog. Three (3) separate times my dog was adopted by clients. First to a family that returned him after 2 days when he bit the man for grabbing him by the back - he wouldn't hurt a gentle person. The man also complained that Matrix refused to stay outside. He howled - Hello, Beagle! Next he was adopted by a single woman who returned him because he dug in her garden and rooted up every plant she had - HELLO, Dachshund! What did she think she was adopting? A Maltese? Thirdly, he was adopted by a woman who said Matrix refused to sleep in the laundry room, he insisted on burrowing under her sheets and covers at night and sleeping between her legs. Did this woman not read the manuals? Dachshunds sleep on top of couches during the day and under the covers at night, and if you're warm they're THERE! (It's in the manual - I swear. It's called "Dachshunds for Dummies" and if you haven't read it you should! Even if you don't own or want one, you'll love the book.)

The very same day that I received full custody of my children was July 27, 2001. I asked my kids to pick a place, any place in the world that they wanted to go because I was willing to take them. I didn't care if they said Disney World. I just didn't care. I would drive them - and we'd sleep in the car if we had to. To my great pleasure they wanted to go to Pets and People, the no-kill shelter. They wanted to play with dogs and cats, walk them, bathe them, love on them, and maybe think about adopting another dog when we signed the lease in a week or so for our new house.

We entered the shelter - We weren't there 5 minutes when the familiar wiggling, pulling, scooting, rooting, howling, barking little mutt came running up to Laura and literally knocked her over! He was so very pleased to hear her voice, he was so elated to smell us, it was as if he was screaming "Hey, there you are. You wouldn't believe the adventure I've had. Let's go home so I can tell you all about it!" I could go into the problem we had with Pets and People not wanting us to readopt our own dog - but suffice it to say the contract we had signed was iron clad. I hadn't returned him to the shelter - they couldn't prove I adopted him to someone else, and therefore he was simply a missing dog when he was returned to them. It was THEIR responsibility to call me - and they didn't. We took Matrix home - for good.

He hasn't changed. Nope, he sleeps under my covers on top of my legs. He eats from Faith's pedestal, so I just let them share a bowl. He refuses to come if I don't give him the regal head nod and ask rather than demand - and he remains the core of my heart's joy. He has always been my dog - and even if Faith is famous and gorgeous, Matrix is still my favorite. She's OK with that - and he's OK with her world travels - I think he rather likes his post. He guards it well when I'm gone, and if I'm here he lets me. God knew EXACTLY what He was doing a few weeks before September 8, 1999 when He blended the two pure bred dogs - just for me.

Happy 9th little boy.

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