Dogs

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This topic deserves its own post today. I know I need a dog when I move, but who will it be?

I should explain about Mystery Dog on the 8/17 post. That was a dog at the AZ Animal Welfare League. I was drawn to him when I saw him on the website last week, and so on Saturday like a dummy I drove to the shelter to meet him. His name was Bertolli, and he was a 4 year old australian shepherd mix, about 40 pounds, and with an impeccable personality. So well-behaved, so mellow and affectionate. The kind of dog who checks back in on a regular basis when you’re out walking. Man, I was smitten. I filled out an application for him and played in the yard with him for about 20 minutes.

The problem was, I couldn’t adopt him on Saturday. They don’t allow you to “hold” dogs or even pay extra donation money to board him or anything like that. I guess I could have adopted him and taken him to a kennel and paid to board him there until the weekend, but I didn’t do that either because of the money it would cost and there’s still a piece of me that would love to take Indy with me when I go. Maybe that subconsciously held me back, I don’t know.

Either way, it doesn’t matter because Bertolli (who I would have named Bowie, of course!) was adopted yesterday anyway.

I was really bummed out when I found out. (They update their website like crazy. If you’re curious, it’s www.aawl.org.) But I had resigned myself that if it was meant to be, he would still be there by this coming weekend. At least he did get a home. That’s what’s really important here.

Still, I adopt dogs largely based on gut feelings. That’s how we got Sam, and how I found Malcolm. Heck, even Indy was that way. I don’t know what drew me to the pound that day to find him, and how it worked out that he was the only dog we took out of the kennel to meet personally and it worked out so well. I mistakenly thought it would be like that with this dog Bertolli, too. Oh well… I guess even gut instinct can be off once in awhile.

I’m sure there is a big psychological reason why I would be getting attached to a strange dog at a time of intense personal transition like this. It’s not that hard to figure out, really! But the fact remains that I know I am going to NEED a dog, soon. I’m not going to be OK living alone without one. I have only been without a dog for a couple of months in my life, total, and they’ve been very bleak months. It’s just the way I am. A house feels so strange without animals. I don’t even enjoy visiting people without pets sometimes; mostly because I’m the socially-awkward freak who will spend time petting and talking to the cat more than I do the people. 🙂

Shades, I know you asked about Indy and here’s what I think about that whole situation: He’s a good dog, getting better all the time. He hardly needs to be disciplined anymore. I know that the soon-to-be-ex has been rough, or almost mean to him in the past, but overall there seems to be an understanding between them now. The STBX has been more forgiving of his little quirks and has even said stuff to the effect of, “It’s just his personality” over the past several months or so. We’ve just accepted the fact that he is a watchdog and will always be on alert for anyone or anything coming near the property. And that likewise, Hailie could care less. What I’m trying to say is that STBX truly seems to like Indy now. I’ve seen them all out in the yard together, running around all happy and chasing each other, and STBX scooping Indy up in his arms and smiling more than he ever does around me. I guess if things were still as severe as they used to be, I’d feel more adamant about splitting up the happy Hailie-Indy couple for the best interests of Indy. This doesn’t change the fact that I truly love that dog. I love them both! In fact, it’s Hailie that makes me the saddest these past few days. She’s just so sweet. So kissy and happy when I pet her; so excited when I come home. She’s like that with STBX too, of course, but her personality is something I’ll miss so much. Indy is also sweet and happy when I come home, and is always up for a cuddle or good long head-scratching session. They are both just very good dogs. I’m proud of the work I did in my part of things to help mold them into the well-behaved dogs they are–even though, yes, Indy’s always going to be a handful just because of his breed, energy level and intelligence. He’s still GREAT. And he’s come a long way.

I think it would be fun to have Indy with me when I leave. A little piece of normality. I can picture him running in and out of the dog door a hunded times a day, his fur standing up along his spine as he patrols the property with a big smile on his face. The little policedog, loving his job. But then I picture him being without Hailie. And the picture changes dramatically. I can only imagine him with HER. And vice versa. They do every single thing together, often running through the house and out to the yard like there is a tether holding them side-by-side. All the kisses and snuggling they do, all the playing and sharing of toys…they’re just so well suited to one another! I have always been amazed by their easygoing bond. I could sit and watch them together for hours and not get tired of it. Hailie’s the alpha, and he’s HER DOG. And since Hailie is STBX’s dog, hands-down, it becomes clear what is the right thing to do. Indy needs to stay there.

But yes, like I said, it doesn’t change the fact that part of me wants him to come with me, and kind of hopes that maybe STBX will insist I take him for some reason. Maybe he really won’t want him. We will have to talk about it very, very soon. This is kind of a huge issue. These are our kids, for hell’s sake.

Stupid dogs and my stupid attachment to them. Grrr.

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2 responses »

  1. As long as leaving Indy behind is the best think for INDY, then it’s a good place for him to be. You seem confident that he will be in good, consistent hands, and that’s what matters most. So… good for you! that’s one issue resolved, at least. One you can put aside and rest comfortably with as making your decision and giving it your best shot.

    I agree that a dog will go a long way in helping you feel more settled, more normal, and more comfortable in your new place- just make sure you’re emotionally ready for that new addition, when the time comes. You don’t want to end up with an insecure, unstable dog who is trying to run the show for you because he feels the home lacks leadership.

  2. I am sorry you did not get to bring that cute puppy home. But that just means there is another better dog out there waiting for you to give him some love and a good home.

    As for Indy, as hard as it would be to leave my girls behind, I understand about not being able to split your pets up. My girls are sisters and have always been together. If there ever were an occasion when something happened we could never split them up. They come as a package deal. And while it will be hard for you, what is best for Indy is important. Because the Indy away from Hallie wouldn’t be the Indy you know and love now.

    It just sucks over all that you have to leave them.

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