The Winning Bid


The Saturday before last we went to an auction in Lancaster, PA to benefit a clinic we used to take Aaron to.

We were ready to eat doughnuts, ice cream, and homemade potato chips. I was also prepared to bid on a handmade quilt or a piece of furniture. We wanted to be as generous as we felt we could be.

After our doughnut breakfast (glazed and cream-filled), we went to have a look around. We found the quilts and furniture indoors, and outdoors we tried out porch furniture, looked at plants, and gave a cursory glance at the farm equipment.

Then along a wall we spotted a small crate with two puppies for sale. A Jug and a Miniature Labradoodle. Everyone had eyes for the Jug, but I lingered over his mate. After agreeing that he was cute, we wandered off to look around again.

Bored with quilts, Olivia wanted to go back and look at the puppies. The event was becoming more crowded, and I had a feeling of urgency to figure out what I wanted to bid on.

We were keeping an eye out for Aaron's doctor from the Clinic, who buys quilts every year with his wife to donate or give as wedding gifts. The founding doctor of the clinic was also due to speak. We didn't want to miss either one.

I went back to find Olivia and Michael still at the crate. They were talking to the owner of the Jug. I realized that the hovering around the puppies had turned serious. Our talk turned to figuring out what time they were on the block. They were a last minute addition that morning and hadn't been assigned to any particular area.

Every few minutes I moved between the quilt area and the crate. We were all getting tired. 10:30 turned into 11:30 which turned finally into 12:30. The quilt auction was in full swing.

The crate was moved over to the farm equipment area, near the donkey and pony, who were also up for sale. It was raining and chilly and there was a thick crowd pressed around this little crate. The Labradoodle owners were on their way.

I pushed Michael into being the bidder. The Jug went first. All we could think of as parents is what happens if we don't get "our" puppy? A little bonding had occurred after hours of guarding this crate.

We knew the owners still had two of his siblings back at the farm...but that wasn't a purchase that would benefit the Clinic. The family was generous in donating a puppy whose sale would help their community.

We could get a puppy anywhere, and we have been shelter and rescue dog owners so far.

We were bidding against someone, but it was too crowded to tell who it was. The auctioneer was going fast, and then he stopped. I thought we had lost and I didn't know why Michael had stopped before our limit. Then in the confusion we realized that we had won our pup!

No quilt for me, instead we were bringing home something that would have brought on one of Aaron's biggest smiles, the kind that would have turned into the laugh that made everyone else laugh.

On the way home, with a four month old puppy asleep on the car floor, we tossed around names. Chooch (we are Phillies fans after all) or Miles. Perhaps Odie or Finny. We couldn't decide.

The next day one of Olivia's friends said, Charlie. Our eyes popped. Charlie. Harry and Charlie. Brothers, small and medium. Light and dark. Permanent terrier nut and temporary (hopefully) puppy nut.

I'm having trouble bringing you the whole pup because he is busy, busy romping, jumping and chewing--on everything.

He's going to be a great dog. Even though he came after Aaron, he's a gift from him, and a gift from us back to a place that is very dear.

Next year, more doughnuts for certain, and maybe a quilt.