Room for a small one



I've been a bit distracted. You may have witnessed this on Twitter or Instagram.

It all started when a dog called Zeus popped up in my Twitter feed, an elderly Staffie looking for a home. For a while I've harboured a desire to foster or adopt an elderly dog - a Staffie because I love their vibe (I am now a person who uses the word 'vibe' without irony and I seem to be okay with that) and because there are just so damn many of them needing a home. I made some half-joking reference to it in a tweet and surprisingly, Charlie said,'Go for it'.

I say 'surprisingly' because while he is very fond of Zoey and Dooley, he's not an obsessive dog person like me. If he lived alone he would not have a dog. But he loves that I love dogs and, lucky woman that I am, he loves me. It is entirely mutual.

Zeus already had a home waiting for him but by then I'd been given the green light and I was 'on the trail'. It's a tricky business finding the right dog and even trickier when there are others already present. As ever, the four-leggeds were here to revisit an old lesson with me.

When I was contacted by someone who lives near us to say she was looking for a home for her elderly Staffie X, Evie and I went to meet him - sans our dogs - right away. He was (is) half Whippet and reminded me of my old girl Nell. He was gorgeous, sweet and in dire need of a new home.

We decided we'd get the dogs together a couple of days later, shook hands and paws and Evie and I drove home. She was excited and so was I but I said to her,'The annoying thing is...I've got a bad feeling. My intuition is saying no.' Her reply was,'Oh MUM you're just worrying, he's lovely, it'll be fine, I love him!' and I showed my intuition the palm of my hand. I bought ID discs. I bought a new bowl. I planned.

Wrong, wrong, a thousand times wrong.

It didn't work out. The (genuinely lovely) dog concerned hated Dooley on sight and just kept trying to get him to fight. Doo doesn't fight. Nor would I ever expect him (or his wannabe attacker) to live with that. We quickly parted ways.

I've done this before with four-leggeds and two-leggeds. Over-ridden my intuition even when it was flat out yelling at me, because its argument seemed illogical Captain (oh don't, I'll start ugly crying again). It has only EVER ended badly. Not once has that intuition been wrong.

So...despite the fact that he is not old and doddery, I kept returning to pictures of a little Staffie in rescue in South Wales. I decided to let my intuition lead and his foster carer offered to let us come and meet him - with our dogs - on Saturday. We went, we saw, we melted. This little boy has great body language, very fluent, and my years of experience mean that I can read a little of it. I asked for some time to think things over. I didn't need it but after recent events I wanted to be sure I was listening to the right voices. Over the hour long drive home Evie and I chatted, Zoey snored and Dooley howled (he feels about cars the way I feel about roller coasters). I tuned into my intuition and helpers and asked for an opinion. Instead of words I got a picture of this currently scrappy, skinny, hyper little dog who has a big bald patch on his back (I think his previous owners, who let him run stray and never claimed him, had him wear a harness and it rubbed away his fur) in two months time. Snoring on the sofa curled up with Zoey, a few pounds heavier, fur grown back, relaxed and happy. Home.

I parked up the car, rang the foster carer and said yes please. Fortunately, he was happy to recommend us and so we're in the admin stage. A dear friend (and tireless rescue worker herself) has provided a reference for us that made me a bit weepy when I read it. We will need to be home-checked. If all goes well then I hope to go and get our new boy on Wednesday evening.

My surface anxiety over the bit where the dogs are indoors together is firmly intact. I can use that to be sensible, cautious and supportive of them as they adjust. Zoey and Dooley are wonderful beings with peaceful personalities, especially Doo, so I know they will help the new boy settle in. Most importantly, my inner voice is calm and confident which means that I will be too. Dogs like that. Dogs need that.

x

P.S. If this all bites me on the arse faster than a speeding Jack Russell feel free to laugh : ) But it won't.


7 comments:

  1. yay!! he's such a cutie xoxo

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  2. Good luck, I hope your new friend is soon a member of the family. So wonderful that you are helping a dog in need.

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  3. I believe the appropriate term is 'Squee!!' Can't wait for all the photos; I fell in love with him and his hat and I will so come and loiter round your estate to catch a glimpse at some point.

    ;D

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  4. Oh dear, I seem to have something in my eye ... Squee indeed.

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  5. Oh, how I love a tail-wagging happy ending! Sending positive vibes to support what your intuition already knows :) So many memories brought up for me ... long car rides in snow storms to meet a dog that was a tad, ahem, enthusiastic (read: hyper alpha dog rescued from the reservation and unusually Big for the breed) to the miracle of how both my boys came into my life. My Moose is getting on in years and I hope we have a few more good ones left as I'm not quite up to snuff for the process to begin again. The tangle of emotions/intuition/reason ... sigh. It is wonderful when it all falls into place and pure agony when circuits get crossed. Looking forward to seeing the new family pix. And you and I, we are definitely members of the Dog Clan. (I've come to realize my main totem is Dog ... which I love but isn't funny how few publicly claim Dog as their guide? Wolf, fox, coyote but dog? Yet they are wonderful guides for teaching us how to blend the wild with the civilized? Nature and human-made? Because as much as I love a tromp in the woods, I enjoy coming home to tea, a good book and a fire.) xo

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