Ursula is the dog next door. She looks a lot like a tall Bichon Frise. Her legs are long and she doesn’t have that two-back-legs-tied-together walk I’ve seen on a lot of Bichons, but she does have the white afro. In fact, it’s hard to see her apricot markings when she’s in full fluff.
Before Ursula came home we were told about her. Our neighbors had found a stray dog on a trip to visit family in Mexico and they wanted to know if we would take her. But we had only recently adopted Cricket and she was already more than enough work for me.
Our neighbors decided to take her themselves. It took at least a month before she came home. She was skinny and fragile like a fawn. Her hair was cut down to the nubs and it was hard to tell what breed or breeds she was, but she was about Cricket’s size and very friendly. Except that her idea of friendly was to run at Cricket, bob and weave and then stand up on her back legs and box. But Cricket loved it.
Now, if Cricket sees Ursula down the block, she starts to hop like a kangaroo and pulls to get to her. And then they run to greet each other like long lost sisters and tangle their leashes in knots.
I can never manage to time Cricket’s walks to match Ursula’s, so weeks or even months can go by before they see each other again. But the other day, I saw Ursula out walking and she stopped to sniff exactly the spot where Cricket had peed a few hours earlier. She sniffed carefully, placed herself, and left a return message right next to Cricket’s spot. And I’ve seen Cricket do exactly the same. It seems that they’ve been communicating with each other whether I was able to see it or not. They are pee-mail pals and it makes me feel better to know that. I’d rather they could see each other in person more often, but it’s good to know they are keeping in touch.
I had a friend once who ran up and hugged me like Cricket and Ursula do. It was breathtaking. I never felt like I deserved that greeting but it felt good in the moment. I’m glad Cricket has that in her life.