Dogs. Walking dogs, feeding dogs, cleaning up after dogs, and playing with dogs.
I realized it had been a while since I'd talked about my dogs--heck, things have been so busy, I'm not sure how much I've even really talked about Fifi, the Australian Cattle Shepard mix (or, as I call her, the Shepard Thing) we adopted on The Kid's seventh birthday.
|Yes, her ears look Yoda-ish in certain positions.|
This is Fifi. She's not quite two; the shelter said she was a year and a half when we got her in May. She'd had a less-than-fun life. She'd been surrendered to the shelter as a puppy with her little mates and had been adopted out pretty quickly. She was cute and fluffy and adorable.
And high energy. She was returned to the shelter when she was a year old in January--much less cute, much bigger, still very high energy.
There she sat for months. Five months, to be precise. That's a long time to live in a place with concrete floors.
Meanwhile, in the Authorial Household, it had been eight months since Jake had gone to that big, soft couch in the sky. We'd put up a dog-proof fence; it was Spring, so there was no house-training a dog in the dead of winter. The Kid wanted another puppy to make up for Jake's loss. In all actuality, Gater was a little lonely, too. He was always more of a pack dog than a loner, anyway.
Jake had been a wiener dog, but our new fence was a wrought-iron thing with a 3-4 inch gap that a smaller dog could slip through. And my husband didn't want to get 'another Jake.' He had grown up with German Shepards, though, and asked if we could maybe get a Shepard.
So we went to the shelter and looked. There were a few other beagle mixes like Gater, but then I saw Fifi.
She's about 45 pounds--half the size of a German Shepard. She sure looks like one, though. I packed up my husband and Gater (because we had to make sure the dogs would play well together) and headed out to meet n' greet the new dog. It went well, and we brought her home.
Rescue dogs are a funny thing sometimes. Instead of a blank-ish slate that you get with puppies, you get a collection of weird behaviors and reactions that you have to guess as to their meaning. As far as we could tell, Fifi had never used steps before; she got up them okay, but was freaked out by going down the first few times. Either she'd never been on a couch or she'd been punished for being on the couch, because she was terrified of the darn thing for a long time and is just now getting to the point where she'll climb up and fall asleep. (It's an old, beat-up couch, so it's okay.) And, like so many rescue dogs, she needs constant reassurance that yes, you *do* still love her. Plus, she's still high energy. We have to walk her or she gets twitchy. And when that happens, she makes Gater look so calm he's positively meditative.
|They may seem like they're snuggling, but really . . .|
|It's on like Donkey Kong!|
So Fifi's been with us for about four months now, and she's really settling into the family routine well. She still thinks she's a lapdog, which can get, um, painful at times (she's got big feet--and claws!), but otherwise, she's a good dog.