July in Saluda: 49th Annual Coon Dog Day celebration arrivesPublished 2:17pm Friday, July 6, 2012
“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.”
~ James Dent
Summer-kissed July arrives in Saluda with triple-digit temperatures, juicy slices of scarlet watermelon, cicada songs, busy shops, restaurants and new art galleries to entice locals and tourists alike. Bright-colored kayaks head to cool river water nearby, and honeysuckle breezes flutter through the Coon Dog Day banners along Main Street: our little town is all spiffed up for big Coon Dog Day celebrations!
The heat of July is when I find a good book or two to keep on hand for sultry afternoons of pure laziness: although I’ll stir myself to stroll downtown for the Coon Dog parade! Today, the heart is warm, happy: July has also brought a new love into my life. Me, the cynical tough-hearted one. To be honest, my sweetheart is a lot shorter, a lot younger than me, and only has one eye: but that hasn’t stood in the way of true puppy love.
Over the past month, I went through the Shar-Pei Rescue of Virginia’s rigorous adoption process/screening in order to bring this little guy home. While his prior story was sad, it only made me more determined to give him a fur-ever home. After a baking-hot trip to Raleigh-Durham this past weekend to meet his foster mom from Virginia half-way, I drove back to Saluda with a soft snout pressed up against my arm, and warm puppy ears to rub. “River,” my fourth Shar-Pei puppy has arrived. Generous hearts all over helped make it possible to raise funds for the rescue organization’s adoption fee/etc., helped with a crate loan, toys, donations and offered love and support. I even did an ‘open studio’ weekend for the “River” fund cause. Very few people asked “What ARE you thinking!” Well, I did think. Twice. Maybe three times. The heart won!