Friday, April 26, 2019

The other side of the fence

Dear Backdoor Neighbors,

We bought our home in August 2000. It was brand new with sodded yard, no trees, no fence; it was truly a blank slate.  Year by year we painted our vision of the place we would raise our children-home.  Our first year, we added a sturdy 6' stockade fence so kids could play without worry and to help shape how, in our minds eye, our large yard would become our own private oasis.  We added a landscape curb in the front for a flower bed, trees, eventually had the small patio expanded into a huge one and added a storage barn.  The kids have a swingset, Handsome a 300 gallon stock pond of fish and lillies and me I have a huge fenced raised bed garden, lilacs, wisteria, crepe myrtles and even an elderberry bush.  Slowly but surely this home and the yard that surrounds it have woven the story of our lives.  Our yard has grown rich with memories of our family, friends and even a few furry animals.

We've seen houses built, neighbors come and go but one has particularly touched our hearts.  We call him Bean.  As a homeschool family we are home most days.  Having a dog, a few ladies (what Jessica calls her pet hens) and a fish pond we are in the backyard several times a day.  We knew you had a dog-about the same age as Rosie.  We've watched him grow from a little puppy to the big dog he is today.  Not much attention was paid to this dog until he started jumping. When Jessica would go out to visit her ladies or play with Rosie he would jump and peek over the fence as if he wanted to come over.  She would always talk to him and he would have the hugest smile.  Eventually he would run to the fence and jump to say hi when we opened the back door.  Jess started calling him "Bean" because he looked like a jumping bean!  Now the story really begins, the dog behind our house now had a name and just like that, Bean became family.

When one of us walks out the door, he would jump and we cheerfully say, "Hello Bean!"  After Rosie goes out the last time each night we say "Goodnight Bean!"  Eventually that one picket, nearing 19 years of age, became loose.  An old pool ladder was drug to the fence so the girls could stand on it and scratch his head.  Bean is a real lover of head scratches!  Months flew by and Bean continued to jump and we fell more in love with his adorable self.  A few weeks ago that loose picket fell to the ground.  I'm not sure who was the most excited-Bean, Rosie or us! Being a responsible neighbor, I put one of my garden hog wire panels by the fence so Rosie couldn't go into your yard.  The two dogs stick their heads through and seem to almost "hug" one another.  When Rosie heads out the door, she heads straight to that gap in the fence to say hello to her friend, Bean.

I'm not sure if you've noticed the tennis ball or sticks near your deck but those came from Jessica.  When she plays fetch with Rosie, Bean begs to join in the fun.  She has gotten in the habit of grabbing something to throw at the same time for both dogs.  We have a flashlight that has a red pointer light that Jess sometimes plays laser chase with Rosie after dark.  She realized Bean was trying to get it so she stood on the ladder and pointed it around the grass in your yard-Bean looked like a puppy chasing the light.

I guess you could say we have fallen in love with a dog that's not ours.  We were on the verge of tears when a "For Sale" sign was placed in front of Beans home.  Our hearts cried at the thought of Bean going away.  We started to joke within our family that perhaps Bean could just stay and live with us.  The kids friends (all the way to Montana) have met Bean and love him.  Then yesterday the real tragedy struck, a giant SOLD sign was added.  We actually put a chair by the picket and were loving on Bean when Handsome said, "just go ask them...."

It took me a while to work up the courage.  I mean seriously, how strange is it to go up to a neighbors door that you really don't know and profess your love for their dog.  Hand in hand, Jessica and I walked around the block; we marched up to the door and rang the bell....knocked on the door....but no one was home.  We felt defeated, would we ever work up the courage to ring their bell again?  Would we be too late?

I spent some time on the swing that hangs from our Earth Day 2001 Loblolly twigs which now tower 25+ feet tall in our back yard.  I'm scrolling through pictures I had just taken; they always say a picture is worth a thousand words so here.  Here are the thousands of words we'd like to say-we don't know what you call this sweet face but we call him Bean. My kids, my Handsome husband and I are going to be lost when he moves.  So if there is a chance that he doesn't fit with your new home or if you'd like to start fresh with a new puppy we're here for you.  We'll be glad to love Bean forever more.

With much love,
Your Backdoor Neighbors

UPDATE LATE EVENING 4.26.2019
☆☆Tissue Alert☆☆
Years ago I saw a movie called "Serendipity" and I became a lover of that word!! It turns out our love for Bean is very serendipitous.
Beans owner tearfully conveyed that they couldn't give him what he needed and had been looking for him a home. He will now be residing at Hopes_Home_for_Wayward_Pets (you can follow our pet family on Instagram). He will meet Dr. Hooper on Monday at 2 and will be royally snipped on Wednesday. Please whisper a prayer or blessing that he adapts quickly- he's a lady (chicken) chaser.

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