THE TEST OF WILLS—THE CALVARY ARRIVES TO SAVE A WIFE AND A LIFE
(26th installment, Scruggs and Samantha, by Mary de la Pena)
Prince Charming continued to smile at the two girls at the counter of the Humane Society, using all his charm. Yet, as both girls were again beginning to shake their heads no, I heard a door slam in the back part of the office.
“Hey, counselors, how’s the adoption going for the two of you?” a voice said from somewhere behind the two girls. “Are you being treated okay by the staff?”
I looked up in time to see Agent Tamarra and one of the other agents come around to the front of the counter to give me a hug and shake my husband’s hand, which he, of course, turned into a hug.
“Always want to give a pretty girl a hug,” he said as he hugged the senior enforcement officer.
I looked over at the two young women behind the counter. They were trying to disappear as three sets of eyes focused on them.
“Like I told you at court,” my husband said, “there seems to be a computer glitch that has
my Rottweiler, still listed at our address.”
The officer made a few “tch, tch” sounds with her tongue then leaned over the counter, staring hard at the only girl left at the computer station. Precious Princess Two had already made a hasty retreat, leaving One to handle the situation on her own.
“I know these people well,” she said. “Besides them both being fine attorneys I respect highly, I was with Mr. de la Peña when he told me his Rottweiler had died of cancer. How many dogs does it say he has?”
“If one of the Rottweilers is deceased, then only two,” One said in almost a whisper.
“Okay, then, sign them up. There couldn’t be a better family to adopt one of our animals.”
Turning back to me, Agent Tamarra asked me when I wanted to bring in my other two dogs to do the temperament check. We quickly decided I would bring my dogs back when she was done with her field work, which would be about two o’clock that afternoon. While the officer chatted amicably with my husband, the paperwork was finished miraculously and in record time.
Even with the adoption paperwork in my hand, I still had trepidations about leaving either Scruggs or Samantha behind when I left. The loss of Twink was too fresh.
“They’ll be okay until this afternoon?” I asked.
Agent Tamarra stared hard at Precious Princess One then turned back to me. “I’ll personally make sure the office staff puts ribbons on both their cages, won’t you, dearie,” she said, again staring at One, who bobbed her head in quiet assent. “I’ll see you back here with your dogs at two, then.”
She vanished out the back door as my husband took my hand, leading me from the office.
“You’ll be okay?” he asked.
I bowed my head, resting the top of my head on his chest, and let out a deep sigh. “Thanks,” I whispered. “I don’t think I could have done it without you.”
He gave me a long hug, and said, “Of course you could’ve. You’d have found a way. You always do.”
I heaved another sigh, took a deep breath, and then said, “I’m sorry, Twink was adopted over the weekend. I’m so sorry I let you down.”
He pushed me back so he could look into my eyes. “Hey,” he said, “you didn’t let me down. If Twink wasn’t meant to be, then she wasn’t meant to be. So, who is Samantha?”
I looked back at his smiling face. I was stunned to feel the same weak-kneed response I had felt those more than two decades earlier. I couldn’t help but smile back at him.
“Samantha is the black kitten I really wanted,” I answered.
“Hmm,” he said, still smiling. “See? Don’t tell me you don’t get what you want.”
“But, but, but,” I stammered. “I am so sorry about Twink.”
“Silly girl,” he said, again giving me a hug. “Samantha, Twink—I don’t care. As long as you’re smiling, I don’t care what cat we have.”
With one last hug, we walked to our cars.
As he opened my car door for me, he surprised me with a very public kiss.
“I love you, little girl,” he said.
And there it was again, the flutter of my heart that had so long been dormant. Was my heart really beating again? Was love flowing through my veins again?
I waved to my prince charming as he drove away from the shelter. Who knew that by saving a life one could also save a wife?