Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 21, 2010 - Never Thought I'd See That


"Never thought I'd see that." I say that alot around the Shady Rest. There's always something going on that I've never seen before, never even considered that I might.

For example, we had a guest Sunday night. Saturday was Santa in September 2010. It went well - donations were down, as they seem to be everywhere, but thanks to a lot of good will and good donations, all went smoothly, everyone had a good day, and every penny we did get ($409.50) went right to the pugs. I got to spend some time talking to all the rescues that attended - good folks, rescuers. Go to some rescue fair or adoption event and visit with them, if you get a chance. Meet a few other breeds and the people that love and care for them. It'll be good for your spirit and you might learn something while you're at it.

Anyway, come Sunday, I got an email from the min pin folks, thanking us for having SIS and inviting them, and asking, too, if I knew of any place that did boarding at a discount for rescues. Seems they had a min pin boy that needed out of a bad situation in a hurry, and a place to bunk until a long-term foster home could be found. I offered the Shady Rest, if they didn't mind a pug person instead of a min pin person minding him for a bit. They didn't, and Max came to spend the night. A happy, handsome nine-year old red/rust min pin, he fit right in and got along just fine.

As I got ready to go to work Monday, I poked my head in to tell Cj goodbye (She gets up about an hour after I do). Sammie was dozing in my spot on the bed, Sherman was behind Cj's knees, and then Max's slender head and long muzzle rose from in front of her hips, to blink at me and make sure I wasn't planning on making anybody get up. I wasn't, and as I looked at that slender-as-a-deer-fawn form curled elegantly on the bed, I thought, "Never thought I'd see that."

Even more unlikely, I woke up the other day and saw Kali, the hermit-cat, sound asleep on the bed. That alone used to be as rare as hen's teeth, but what really made me shake my head in awe this time was her companion. Barely a foot and a half away, also sound asleep on the bed, lay Sherman. The cat best known for being afraid of everyone in general and dogs in particular, sleeping next to the beagle, the breed best known for trailing prey and small running creatures it thinks are prey, completely comfortable just inches apart. Never thought I'd see that.

I hate to sound like I'm boasting, especially since I don't really take any personal credit for it, but I often think there's something about this house, this place. It was here when we moved in, part of what made us want to settle here in the first place. Something peaceful. I don't know if it's the actual house, or the little patch of earth on which it sits, but something.

There are occasionally spats, sure. Whenever more than one living being inhabits a space, there will be disagreements, but no yelling, no throwing, no hurting. Max was returned to rescue because he was peeing in the house. A bit of investigation found that he'd been perfectly house trained when he was adopted, but the couple who had him argued nearly constantly. They yelled, at each other and at him, and threw things (only at each other, far as could be determined.) His sensitive system couldn't take the stress and he started forgetting his house training. I'd have been peeing on the floor too, subjected to that kind of environment. We were told Min Pins are sensitive, he's likely to be nervous at first, a little jumpy, not want to eat. Not at the Shady Rest. He walked in, sniffed around and visibly relaxed. He toddled around with the other dogs, walked fearlessly under Freya's legs, barked at the neighbors with Spencer, and ate his dinner like a champ. He was, for just one evening, one happy, relaxed, tummy-tickles-and-peace-and-quiet evening, a Shady Rest dog.

Never thought I'd see that.

Y'all take care.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

September 10, 2010 - Up and Down, Young and Old


I apologize for how long I've been silent (it's probably some kind of record for me.) What they tell you before you have bypass surgery is "you may experience some post-surgical depression." What they fail to note, and probably sensibly, is "you may experience anything from a mild case of the blues to a full-blown case of homicidal bipolar lunacy that will have you making that crazy hag from Stephen King's Misery look like Mother-flipping-Teresa." Unfortunately, particularly for Cj, I seem to have landed at the crazy-hag end of the spectrum. Bless her heart, she's trying nobly to keep up with my insane mood swings and tendency to either cry or yell for no reason she, or any other rational person, can see. Even Spencer just stares at me sometimes, head tilted, confused. "Mom? If that bowl of ice cream is gonna make you cry, I'll eat it for you." Bless their hearts, they want to help.

As you can understand, this little emotional roller coaster has made it somewhat challenging to be the laid-back, mellow observer of life that you've come to expect from the Shady Rest's Innkeeper. Hence, the big gap since my last update. Still, there are good days, stable moments, and, as always, critters to watch and help keep me semi-sane.

OPR got in a little fellow today, Kashi by name. All of twelve weeks old! Rescues don't usually get too many of those - they're still too cute and smell too much like puppy breath to throw away yet at that age. This little guy, however, was already on his third(!) home, and had already been relegated to living in the yard(!!), possibly for just being too energetic. Happily, he found his way to rescue while still happy, healthy and in good shape. As I looked at the pictures sent along by his new foster family (NOT us), I couldn't help but smile. I also couldn't help but imagine what the sedate residents of the Shady Rest would do if something that young and cute and energetic came bouncing through the door. Then I giggled so hard I almost needed to get myself a pee pad.

Really, can't you see it? You've hung out here with me, many of you, for a while. You have a fair idea of the atmosphere. Can't you imagine injecting a hyper, wall-eyed pug puppy into the place? Freya would probably be fine - she gets the concept of "cub" and would take him in paw for some doggy training.

Sherman would probably flip, wearing himself out completely just trying to keep up with the puppy and ensure he was always, always in between the puppy and Sherman's human. As it is he gets most of his exercise sliding between me and Sammie or me and Spencer. He'd probably need canine plastic surgery to iron the crinkle out of his lip by the time the puppy got adopted.

Loki wouldn't mind too much, as long as the puppy was nice to him. He's always been good about sharing - his space, his treats, his people - but he's always been a little intimidated by puppies, too. I think their energy overwhelms him a little, especially as he's gotten older.

Sammie would be interesting to watch. Most of the time, I forget just how old he is; not that he's ancient or anything, but he acts more like five or six than he does 12 going on 13. I think he'd be happy to play with a puppy, at least in spurts...as long as puppy didn't even look in the direction of Sammie's dinner.

Archie. Ah, Archie. He'd be the most fun to watch, but then, I'm not sure I could do that to him. He'd be so confused by a puppy running past every few seconds, first here, then there, never still. Archie's a seriously game little guy - age and impaired vision be damned, he'd try to keep up. In some ways, it would probably be good for him - good muscle-toning, a little more fun in an otherwise quiet life. On the other hand, I have scary visions of a puppy seeing Archie as a trampoline or something, pouncing him mid-nap and scaring him into a stroke or worse. He is nearly 14, after all.

It'd be nice to have a puppy around again, just once more before I die. But maybe, for now, it's just as well that some other foster home is enjoying the puppy breath tonight...

Ya'll take care now.