The title is a little misleading. Just be aware. But I'll get to it.
Sunday, we went to a flea market (swap meet in some parts of the country) near town, just off an exit on I-40. I approach these things differently now than I used to. Used to, I was always looking for something I could pick up cheap to resell, either in our booth or on eBay. We don't rent a booth anywhere anymore, and we're much more specialized on eBay these days, so I wasn't really looking for resell items. I was hoping to find some books, cheap. And I was disappointed, because besides some cook books, which are bit lacking in the plot department, there weren't any.
This is not a big flea market, but still it had space for twice as many vendors as were there. And there weren't that many customers either. Some of the vendors who were there had given up and were packing their stuff away. I can feel for them, it's hard to sell people random stuff. Even when it's cheap.
Near the end of the market was a person selling live chickens and roosters & Patti Anne wanted to go look at them. So we did. They were packing their chickens up - it was getting hot but a lot were still out. And this is where I get to the title.
In 2008 we went to a flea market in Jamestown, NC, just on the other side of Morganton and much larger than this one. There were a ton of animals for sell there, from Chihuahuas to Pit Bulls. Some were people who just had puppies they needed to find homes for, but a lot were puppy mill types I'm pretty sure. We were walking past them when we saw this black and white dog stuffed into a chicken crate - the same size we saw at the flea market yesterday. She had no room to move, period. She could not even stretch out. I was afraid the dog had been abused, and would not make a good pet, but Patti Anne has a better heart than I do, so she asked the man about it. This guy looked like he came straight out of the mountains, but he assured us that the dog was healthy & could walk and stuff like that. He warned us that she was likely to pick up stuff and carry it away (and she does). He didn't want any money, he just wanted to give her away. He said her name was "Pickles". So we took the dog, who seemed to be scared to death. First thing we did when we got her home was give her a bath, because she was caked in red dirt. She was about 9 months old, and the next day we got her to a vet for shots, because as far as we could tell she had never had any. Later that month we had her spayed. The "free" dog cost about $400 the first month. That month we had to get her used to riding in a vehicle, to being in a house (she was afraid to go in at first), used to stairs, housebreak her (took about 3 weeks before she was 100% housebroken), used to walking on a leash and so on. It took some work at first, but it's turned out ok. Just her getting a little older helps - she's not near the puppy she once was.
So, Pickles got her name because that's what that old guy at the Jamestown Flea Market said it was. She recognised it so we never changed it. I don't know if we're the best dog owners in the world, but she's part of our little family now, she gets exercise, knows basic obedience commands (sit, stay, not so great about coming when called though), gets enough to eat, and has a safe place to sleep at night. She thinks she's a "good" dog and a pretty dog, and we don't tell her any differently.