Ponder this:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pet Rescue Soapbox

Some of the most welcome comments I've received on the last several posts have been from people saying that after hearing about our experience, they've decided to get that cat or dog that they'd been thinking about. That's pretty rewarding to me. 

I've written before about how rescue animals are different. My rescued cats and my two other rescued dogs have just seemed forever grateful and devoted. As if they remembered. I'm sure they didn't, but . . . who knows. 
Molly is bearing out the tradition. She's happy for a loving look, and grins back at us. When she hears her name, her tail wags, even when she's sleeping.
As for the way Husband and I feel, you've seen the change in tone here between "petless" and "happily and completely dopey over our pets." And everybody knows that pets are good for you.

Some of the stories behind these rescues could break your heart . . . 
little Sandy and Mac, for example, 
who're being fostered by Molly's foster mom, Melissa.

where we found Molly.

All this to say: 
If you're thinking of getting a pet, Google "pet rescue" and 
take a look around at any of the shelters or rescue sites that you find in your area. 
You might be lucky enough to get a Molly. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Peace and joy reigneth

Life goes on apace here in the Season Of Happiness. The temperatures have risen to comfort level, day and night, and there is Light. There are a dog and a cat, both beautiful and living excellent dog and cat lives. There is a Husband and . . . there's me. We're all happy and comfortable.

Friday night Nephew and Wife and Darling Great Niece (DGN) came to visit. We had burgers and potato salad. I labored over the latter for many hours the night before, worried that there wouldn't be enough potatoes, enough celery and onion, enough hard-cooked eggs. And the outcome was bland unto blahness: a result of my having forgotten to put in mustard, I believe. It may have been that I do not add salt to anything anymore, having tired of puffy eyes, feet and hands. Everyone ate it, but no one asked for some to take home. A major clue. 
If you see the Russian army traveling by, please direct them to my house for a plate of potato salad. I have plenty left over.

DGN has grown since her birth two and a half months ago. To be expected, and certainly A Good Thing. But the cheeks! She could store a winter's worth of nuts in those chipmunk cheeks! Cobalt blue eyes, perfect lips, a calm and docile demeanor. A perfect child, despite having had her first vaccinations that day. Molly was interested in the small one, and very very gentle. She knows how to act around tiny helpless creatures, having had several rounds of her own in her former life. 

Here she is last January being a Mama Umbrella with her last (EVER!) brood.

Saturday was given over to the usual chores: laundry, groceries, housekeeping in general. We enjoyed potato salad with our lunch and with our supper. Watched "Running With Scissors" last night, and while the movie conveyed some of the flavor of the story, I think the book was better. I always think the book is better than movies made from the books. I do highly recommend Augusten Burroughs' books, with the caveat that one's mind must be open to finding humor in tragic situations. But then, if one could not do that, one could hardly live, could one? Or maybe that's just my life.

Last night at dusk, four wild turkeys came out of the woods above the house. But no. It wasn't four turkeys. It was three turkeys. The fourth being was Peep, stalking them. She stalked them right back into the woods. Her hunting skills haven't improved appreciably; earlier I had seen her waiting in the plum tree for one of the many perching blackbirds to fall into her paws. She does, however, continue to practice, bless her little heart.

Today, the temperature will be a humid ninety-some degrees Fahrenheit. I plan to slurp ice water and read. I have showered and am leaving my hair to drip dry. The result will not be attractive, but I'll be comfortable. 
I am old: comfort is sufficient.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pure truth

I'm sure I've used this quote before, since I so heartily believe in it. 
But here it is with a picture of a sweet-faced little mutt 
(who, incidentally, reminds me of another sweet-faced little mutt) 
so I'm sharing it once again.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Life here in Heaven

I quite clearly recall saying, many times, that I was looking forward to being dogless. I don't know what world I thought I was living in. The minute we saw the van pull around the corner toward us last Sunday, Husband and I were out of the car, leash around my neck, my hands waving merrily to let Mick know we were there. It wasn't ten minutes before we had our girl . . . she came out of the van smiling and kissing our faces with great enthusiasm.

The ride home was not without incident. 
We stopped, once out of the city, to let Molly out to take care of her . . . toilette . . . and she produced nothing. So back into the car and on to the highway for the last forty-minute drive home. Halfway there, Molly suddenly grew restless. 
Very restless. 
And squatted and emptied her bladder onto the nylon-quilted, foam-backed seat cover I'd installed for her.  I wasn't sure if Mick had stopped to let the dogs out for rest stops. I think, now: not.  
It happens.
Poor embarrassed Molly didn't want to sit on the dirty seat, so she moved her impressive bulk into the front seat onto my lap. Husband pulled to the side of the road and took her out to walk in the weeds in case there might be some kind of follow up action on the way. 
We hurried the rest of the way home.

That was a week and some hours ago.
In these few short days, the mood of our household has done a one-eighty. We are happy, thrilled, on pink clouds of new love for our girl. She is perfect. And Peep, who might have been pouty or nasty or any number of other things that cats can be when their worlds change, has been a happy little elf with her new sister. We have two perfect little female animals.

The very first evening, as Molly walked around the house with the leash dragging behind her, Peep grabbed onto the end and got a slide ride for five or six feet, showing her innate talent for skijoring. Feeling the slight resistance behind her, Molly stopped and looked . . . and continued on her way. 

She lives with a loving look on her face, she sits for treats (a skill she arrived with . . . she could not have learned that so quickly from us!). We are trying to train ourselves to always have treats with us for recall practice, but she wants so much to be with her people that it isn't much of a struggle. On three occasions she has chased deer  several hundred feet into the fields, and has come right back when called. Husband said this morning she did a herding dog crouch pose while she watched one deer before she ran for it. 
I never stop wondering what combination of breeds she is.  I do think she's mostly LoveMutt with enough husky thrown in to make her eyes icy, icy blue-white and her tail curly.

Yesterday Husband mowed a path through the hayfields so Molly can run without getting so much into the high grass. He says she likes the tall grass, but now she has a path all her own, with puddles and mud and all the good smells. They came back very wet and dirty from the inaugural tramp. She seems to dry off and get clean with no effort, so that's an added bonus!

Molly and I had a nice long relaxing session on the front lawn with her Furminator in the afternoon. Peep kept interrupting us, enticing Molly to chase her from the front yard out under the parked car. Happened three times. If Molly had wanted to catch the cat, she would have, but she just chased Peep to HomeFree and came back for more brushing. Then Peep came and sat nearby and played with the undercoat fluff that was floating by.

I think I'm in Heaven!  

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Beloved doggirl is on her way to us

If you are driving anywhere between Atlanta, Georgia and Albany, New York 
in the next twenty-four hours, and you see this van, 
please pull over and give it the right of way. 
My girl is on board.
Feel free to wave and call out, "Hi, Molly!"

At this end, preparations have been made and the two fur children's rooms await their comfort. The baby gate will remain in place at the bottom of the stairs until Peep and Molly work out their relationship. From what I know of Peep ("Oh look . . . shiny ball.....") and what Melissa's told me of sweet Molly, I'm expecting it to be a non-event. 

Peep's accommodations

...and Peep-approved Molly's room.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Week of the Fawns

Early last week I was a mile and a half into my commute to work when I looked up at the cows grazing in a pasture, and beyond them to a whitetail doe who stood at the edge of the field. Underneath her belly stood her tiny fawn. They were hundreds of feet from me, but I was thrilled all the same. In all the dozen-plus years we have lived here, I have seen only one brand spandy new fawn.

photo from Wings Over Alma

Yesterday I started out from home for work, headed down the hill road and rounded a curve to find the entire fourteen feet of road blocked by a piece of Town machinery digging out the ditches so that heavy rains won't wash out big ruts in the dirt track. It's been a long time since that kind of maintenance was done on this road, and the crew had plenty of washouts to fill in as they progressed. 

Shift into reverse, twist around and get settled in a good comfortable position to see out the back window well enough to back up half a mile of twisty road, back into an opening into somebody's hayfield, turn around, go the other way. I passed our lower driveway, went around the curve, and in the road just where the upper driveway comes out...   A doe, with the smallest fawn anybody has ever seen. The baby's legs were all at odd angles, like little weak sticks propping up his skinny little bony body. 
Mama saw me. I could feel her conflict: Run! Baby! Run! Baby! In the end of course, after three or four seconds, she leapt into the field across from the driveway. Left on his own, the rickety little baby took three very unsteady steps toward the edge of the road, and slowly, slowly, slowly, folded himself up, joint by joint, until he was as flat as he could be. The last arrangement was the forelegs stretched out in front of him, his chin on top. The little space he covered with his body couldn't have measured eighteen inches in diameter.
I opened my window and stared at him for just a second or two. His big round dark eyes looked back at me and his whole body quivered with the faintest of tremors, from fear or sheer weakness. Husband think the baby must have been just barely dry from his birth. 
I didn't want to cause any more disruption than I already had, so I went on, worrying all the rest of the day that some other driver hadn't seen him . . . that the Town mower blade had put an end to him . . . that Mama would forget where he was.

As I drove back up the road to home at the end of the day, I kept the car at a slow creep all along the road, checking for a spotty brown bony tiny deer, and saw nothing. No news is good news.
All is well. 
By now the two babies are probably gamboling and frolicking. I won't see them again until their spots are almost gone, and never again so close as these two sightings. 
But how blessed I am to have had those moments of pure natural beauty.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Ta da!

Before you read this post, a disclaimer for Peep's benefit:  We love our little Peep girl. She is soft and funny and loving and curious and beautiful. If she were a woman, she would be Elizabeth Taylor. Back when Liz was living, I mean.
She is about as good a cat as anybody could have. 
A dog is, however . . . a different animal.

On the 18th we went to meet this girl, and oh, what a sweet happy little girl she is. Redder in coat than she looks in this picture, more gold of eye. A perky little heeling dream on a leash, smiling and wagging all the way. 

We were all ready to sign the contract and bring her home, but something stopped us. Not one single thing about Carolina said "no," but something about something said, "maybe not right now." So we left the girl with her foster mom. She's small enough that she would fit into lots of homes, and she's just so sweet! 

That evening, Husband looked again at a mutt and lab rescue page . . . one of many rescue websites he'd been haunting . . . and saw again A Particular Face. Those eyes! Not just the ice blue color . . . the bold and perceptive quality of her gaze... 

...and then there was another photo that made her look 
all goofy and googly.

Melissa is her foster mom and Melissa, Husband and I have been in touch many times by phone and email . . . we have sent photos back and forth, I've sent loveletters to the dog... We have not met in person because . . . Our Girl is in Georgia, more than a thousand miles away.  Something I did not know: there is a whole transfer network for rescue dogs. There are people who sell the service of transporting animals in specially outfitted vehicles. Who knew?


Our Girl will get on the northbound bus next Saturday, June 8. Straight through, mapquest tells me the trip would take nineteen to twenty hours. I expect there will be comfort breaks, so . . . longer than that.  

But a week and some hours from now, we'll have a dog again. 
Our hearts are positively soaring! 

All that, "Oh boy, what a relief! No dog to take care of!" It all went bad on me. Apparently through thirty-plus years habit and/or by nature, we are meant to have a dog to care for and to love.

And, you know, in Carolina's write-up, it does say she would do best in a home with another dog instead of by herself....