Monday, September 21, 2009
We may have a problem.
Hubs and I are somewhat notorious within our circle of family and friends for being suckers for a cute animal. Mostly just dogs for Hubs, although a few years ago he was easy game for a free kitten. That's how we ended up with two cats, which didn't deal well with the Big Girl's arrival. The boys live with my parents now and find the environment much more to their liking - except when the grandkids visit.
So we have serious issues saying no to cute animals needing homes. I've often thought that I would get a big farm and have oodles of dogs with my winnings if I won the lottery. That, of course, would require that I actually play the lottery, but I digress.
We're fond of giving out advice that we can't follow so well ourselves: never to PetSmart on a Saturday. You might come home with an extra dog instead of just some dog biscuits and a grooming brush. That's how we acquired sweet Hank, who ultimately revealed that he had some serious issues with men - due to mistreatment earlier in life - and he had to find a new home.
So Big Girl came home early from school today due to the heavy rain and flooding in our area. Shortly after she came inside, she spotted a dog in the yard across the road, and she thought it looked like our yellow lab. I went out to investigate, since our lab has, in the last couple of weeks, developed a bad habit of jumping the fence and running wild through the neighborhood. I didn't think it looked like our lab, but I called to it anyway, thinking that I could check the tag and see where it should be.
So a leggy adolescent who is mostly, if not entirely, golden retriever bounded over to me. He (I think male) was only wearing a flea collar, and he looks malnourished. Not just in a "I'm skinny because I'm growing up so fast and my legs have gotten ahead of the rest" way, but seriously thin. So (cue sucker for a cute face) I gave the little guy some kibble, and he settled down on our front mat after wolfing down the food.
I was trying to restrain my emotions. I hadn't seen the dog around our neighborhood before, so I called Hubs to run the situation by him:
Me: "There's a golden retriever puppy on our front porch. He's really skinny."
Hubs: "You're kidding."
Me: "No, really. He's skinny and leggy and doesn't have a tag, just a flea collar. And fleas."
Hubs: "Put him in the back yard. Sounds like we have a third dog."
Hubs: "Yeah, our dogs get flea treatments. They'll be fine. Give it some food and water."
Me: "I already fed it."
Me: "You don't think I should call-"
Hubs: "No. You know what they do to dogs."
I kid you not. The man went from "stray dog" to "we have a new dog" right away. Not even a pause. And he thinks I'm a sentimental fool for dogs, with my Cute Overload page-a-day calendar and photos of our current and late pets around the house? So we have a temporary third dog. I'm not letting myself think that he's here for the long term. I've made that mistake before, many times, when we've taken in animals that have sought out our home as a refuge when they couldn't find their own homes.
What do our dogs think of this visitor? The lab - who was inside the fence where he should have been - thinks this new kid is neat. Our sweet old golden gave me a woeful look. Very similar to the one he gave me when we brought home a peppy young lab to interrupt his sedentary senior lifestyle, which ironically looked a lot like the look our sweet old Brittany (now in doggie heaven) gave us many, many years ago when we had the nerve to bring a tiny golden upstart into his domain.
Did I mention that this little visitor is mighty wiggly? After half a dozen attempts, I gave up trying to get a picture of his actual face.