Friday, April 11, 2008

Introducing Jerry....

I'm not a dog person. Not in the sense that Mr. B is. He lives, breathes, loves, pats, looks after, worries over, and spoils dogs. He reminds me that "dog" is "God" spelled backwards. He considers it as important to take care of "God's little critters" as some folks think it is important to tread gently on this planet, conserving the beauty of it, and the resources from it, for future generations. Dogs are his passion.

I like cats. I like fish. I like birds. I like dogs. Let me clarify. I like little, cute dogs. Like, puppies. I like dogs that are so small that if they get mad at me, I can stand up and the only body parts in danger are my shins. This all stems from a traumatic event in my childhood, at the tender age of 5 or 6, involving a raging German Shepherd that cornered me in a fenced yard and was barking in my face, so close that slobber was flying all over me and I faintly recall possibly wetting my pants. I've not been comfortable around big dogs ever since.

Which makes it all the more ironic that the dogs Mr. B has rescued over the years, have for the most part been fairly large. However, at some point a few years ago, I mentioned, with some degree of heat, "No more dogs!" And Mr. B did state clearly, that we would "never again have four, it is indeed too many." Well, when he made that statement, his beloved Cindy was nearing the Rainbow Bridge and after she died, we had "only" three.

Then Sadie entered the picture. Laurie was at that time contemplating moving out with a friend and she was given the dog by someone in one of her NA groups, as a "recovery" dog. She asked if she could keep her and then when the room mate situation didn't work out, Sadie stayed even longer. Now Laurie is with Billy and their full time jobs don't allow them to take the kind of care of Sadie that she needs, so she stays with us......and Laurie takes her on weekends for "Sadie 'n PJ parties". I'm not sure who looks forward to it more, Laurie, or Sadie! So, anyway, we're back to four.

I will be honest.....I was pretty steamed about that. I was steamed for a good while. Four dogs. Again. Then I just decided to try to be supportive and get over it. This is Michael's passion. He sometimes is late delivering packages, because he gets hung up at one of his stops, patting a dog. He sends money to a no-kill shelter here in town to help them purchase food for dogs that end up there, awaiting adoption.

(And it's not just dogs. He keeps the bird seed stocked up around here...."cos they're God's little critters too!" And I do enjoy the birds outside my office window. Despite severe allergies to cats, he picks up abandoned or hurt cats too, but those go straight to the vet, otherwise, he can't breathe. Literally.)

So I stopped belly-aching about having four. Or at least I cut down on the griping! I haven't stopped completely. I try not to, but I relapse weekly and spit nails when its time to do the floors around here......what a mess! Shaving the dogs sounds like a great idea, long about the time I finish the vacuuming up all the dog hair....

But they are his passion. Just like "cutting up perfectly good fabric into small pieces and sewing it back together again" is my passion. He supports me in this, made room for my sewing studio, and never complains about the cost of fabric. (Granted, my fabric never barks at him and wakes him from a sound sleep, panic-stricken, all sense of awareness racing from all four limbs, thundering through your heart and screeching to a pounding halt behind your eyeballs, where it blazes, red hot, for about 30 seconds while you recover from yet another episode of near Sudden Cardiac Death........but still, a passion is a passion. It is beyond reason!)

I cut back on the complaining, but I didn't change my mind about NOT WANTING MORE.

So when he called me three weeks ago, after having lunch with a friend who was moving/going through a lot.......and he said "I'm on the way home......would you please put all the dogs away?"

My heart dropped. I literally felt faint. I knew what that meant. He had found another abandoned, hurt, unwanted, abused, or sick dog and he was bringing it here. I started sputtering "no, Michael, I can't, WE CAN'T, no, no, no."

He just said again, "I know, but could you put the other dogs away?" That confirmed it....he had one, and it was coming for at least a visit. I tried backtracking and offering solutions......"Just til we can get it to a shelter? Just til we find the owner? Just til....."

His voice interrupted me, "it was on a highway, running between cars." That just broke my heart. And made me mad. Because he could have been killed trying to save the dog. Grrrrrrrrr.

Then an awful thought occurred to my formerly traumatized brain....."oh no, how BIG is it....?"

Long pause........

He said, "He takes up the whole back seat!"

I went ballistic. I was inconsolable. I don't recall details, but I know I verbalized every protest I could think of, at high speed, and high volume. I eventually hung up the phone, and I was angry, scared, teary, frustrated, sure I was being disrespected, and yet, when he had described how everyone else was just driving by this dog and ignoring it, collarless, in the middle of the highway.....I was glad he at least got it off the road.

I love animals. Darn it. Not dogs specifically, but animals in general. And a lot of them don't deserve what they get in life. The cruelty out there is unfathomable. He was in traffic. Running around in Four Lanes Of Traffic.

Again, I love animals. I just don't want to live in such close proximity MANY!!

I grabbed one of Max's food bowls and some food (Max is enormous) and a water bowl and one of our strongest leashes, and after putting all the dogs safely upstairs, I went out on the front porch to wait for Michael to arrive with The Beast.

The car pulled up and I couldn't see the dog at first. I reasoned that it was lying down across the back seat. Michael reached over to the seat beside him, and gathered his things, and then got out of the car. I thought he would open the back door and get out the dog. Instead he started walking towards me.

And I realized the dog was held in his hands. All of the dog. The dog was a pipsqueak. (Sneaky Smart man, that Michael.)

The dog was terrified too. He devoured a packet of food. He drank a lot of water. Then for the first hour all he did was dig his little face into our necks and sometimes hide his eyes.

He got a bath after I got a whiff of him close up......and he actually seemed to like it.

He finally allowed us to put him in a basket (all we could find), and he cowered in it......and finally slept, exhausted.

Michael ran off to the store and purchased a dog crate, because I was convinced Max would eat the little guy. This way, I reasoned, he would be safe until we could find him a home/shelter/option (i.e., Other Than Us!).

He loves his crate. He jumps in it willingly, and curls up in the new bed Karen got him from Ikea. I kept babbling about finding his owner (no tags, nothing online at any of the lost dog sites that even faintly resembled him). While I babbled, the rest of the household fell in love with him.

Yes, he's inside her jacket, all cozy....

Notice the "FedEx-purple" collar Mr. B bought for him?!

And then Sadie decided he was her new best friend.

They play for hours. They race around the yard and are practically inseparable.

When they're not racing, they are playing with tug toys.

We named him Jerry "for the time being." This happened the first day, when he was so skinny and undernourished his neck looked long in comparison to the rest of him. I said he looked like a giraffe.....Jerry the Giraffe.....and the name Jerry stuck.

He's not so skinny, now, three weeks later.

And I babbled less and less about finding him a home. Karene came over and fell in love with him......

He's getting the hang of the potty training, mostly. Then he chewed a cord on my transcription pedal ($111.00 to replace) and I let him live........And I let Michael live too.

Slowly it began to dawn on me......

Jerry was home. All 8 pounds of him.


Yvette said...

I can't blame you for not resisting. Whenever I see a cute little face I want to bring it home too. I can't imagine having more than 2. You and Mr. B are saints.

Jackie said...

That really is a great picture of Sadi and Jerry...need to include that in your calendar photos for Michael!! I personally think puppy dogs are for outside use only, and with adequate ventilation :) but I am glad that Jerry is home now, not a spot on the interstate!! Love the story and the pictures!

Monique said...

OMG!!! I love this story and all the pics that go with it! So happy for all of you. Glad this had a happy ending.