“You should meet Marigold.”
The volunteer walks us to the back of the facility (the way back). At the end of a dingy and dark corridor, lined with double-stacked crates, we stop in front of the identified dog of choice. Inside this particular cage is, what appears to be, a small(ish), black(ish) canine hovering low to the ground. It is hard to see, but I am certain that this dog does not look like a “Marigold”. Aren’t Marigold some kind of orange or yellow flower? My mind wanders to the energetic lab mix that we had walked a mere ten minutes earlier. That dog appeared vivacious and healthy. I am uncertain about this one. I think she is laying in her own feces. Sad.
The volunteer escorts Marigold out of her cage, leading her outside, as we follow close behind with anxious curiosity. Upon exiting to the light of day, we assess her appearance. It is “okay”. Perhaps a little mangy and thin, but not enough to say, “We don’t want her.” We keep moving forward, remaining hopefully optimistic of our potential adoptee. I mean, come on, this kind of appearance is to be expected considering the environment, right? A dog from 1) the streets of Jersey CIty and 2) an underfunded shelter on the ramp of the New Jersey Turnpike. Her head looks particularly large compared to her emaciated body. She has extra skin sagging from her underfed belly. She tucks her rear-end under her thin frame, when she walks. The volunteer questions, “Do you want to walk her?” We agree and I take the leash. We walk to a quiet area of the Liberty State Science Center parking lot (located across from the shelter). She is calm and obedient. She appears happy to see the light of day. In the midst of the expansive parking lot, shadowed by that giant dome (planetarium), we arrive upon a spot of sun. She lays down. She stays in this position, appearing perfectly content, as Dean and I make conversation with the volunteer. Marigold has an aura of calmness…the presence of a survivor…and a general sense that she does not need much to be happy (or so, what I project upon her ). Either way, it is amazing. And in that moment I looked over at Dean. He has fallen for her. I knew that, if he was in, than I was definitely in!
And, as is said, “that was that.” The rest is history. That was our moment. Marigold’s feces-covered body sat on my lap as we made the 5-minute ride from Liberty Humane Society to our home in Downtown Jersey City, in the Toyota Tacoma that is about to become our home for the next 12+ months. Marigold was renamed Lupe. And as with any meaningful relationship, we have loved her good, bad, and ugly. It has been a crazy 6 months with this little bitch, but she is now part of our family, as well as our faithful traveling companion.