The vet we found in Phoenix scanned her. Her microchip told her story.
Her name was Shelby. She had belonged to someone for ten years, then they left her at the Phoenix Pound. She lived in the pound for a year and a half until she was finally adopted. We got the name of the people who had adopted her, but they had moved, no one knew where. Did they give the little old dog away? Did they lose her on the highway, or did someone dump her? We posted ads, we called. At thirteen years old–or was she fourteen?–she became Trudi’s dog.
Trudi changed her name to Snitzle. They lived for the rest of the winter in Trudi’s glorious RV, with its white carpets and her paintings, an inflatable spa outside centered on a square of roll-out grass, surrounded by Tallavera pottery and wind chimes. The RV was parked beside a huge Tucson wash. With Trudi’s other dogs–an old white whippet, and an old white beagle mix–Snitzle chased coyotes and javelina. They drove to the Mission San Xavier, and the dogs lay on the Buick’s dashboard while Trudi painted. They drove to Willcox to see the cranes, and to every art show and horse show in and out of town. They ate in restaurants. They slept on Trudi’s bed.
Shelby was Snitzle and Snitzle was Trudi’s.