Counting the Days and the Blessings

Galina’s days are numbered. Well, her days with us. We knew it was coming, I mean, that’s what this is all about, right?DSC_8043

I know we will be sad, but my worry is more for Galina now. I love that her potential forever mommy referred to her as a “floppy-eared princess.” Makes me think she will be treated like royalty and that warms my soul. [NOTE: Since this was posted, Galina’s potential adopters opted for a different dog and never had their audience with our little princess. Once again, she’s left alone at the ball….]

This little dollbaby deserves nothing less, except when she’s chewing up the retainer case. Then, it’s off with her head! No, I don’t mean that, but c’mon, the orthodontist is gonna start charging me for new cases. At least the retainer was in the child’s mouth and not the case at the time.DSC_8040

At the check-out desk at our orthodontists’ office there is a mangled, half-eaten retainer inside a shadow box with a sign that says, “Dogs love retainers!” We’re on our third set of braces, so I’ve been seeing this picture for about seven years. Every time I see it, I think – What kind of person would let their dog chew up a retainer? Hard to believe I was ever that naïve!

We are savoring our little floppy-eared princess now. Snuggling more, polishing up the house-training, teaching her to fetch (she’s all about chasing down the flying tennis ball, not so much about the bringing it back).

Here’s what I will miss most. Every day that Galina has been here, she has made me laugh. It’s been a long, hard winter and my stress-level has been reaching epic proportions between my work and our son’s college search and the mess that is my house. Daily laughter has been therapeutic.

Sometimes it’s Galina sneaking off with something she shouldn’t – like this stuffed elephant that is so big she couldn’t see where she was going and wandered in circles –

more elephant(How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!)

Or my sweatshirt I just pulled out of the laundry that’s twice her size and causes her to trip repeatedly as I chase her down.

She hoards her treasures in her kennel. DSC_8032For a fresh laugh, I retrieve a few things and replace them in her toy basket only to watch her put them all back.

DSC_8034DSC_8038

And sometimes it’s just funny to see what new items she’s procured – a purple permanent marker? My favorite headband? A tube of aquafor (oh the mess)? Someone’s kindle??? (you shouldn’t leave these things on the floor!) DSC_7781  And sock after sock after sock after sock.DSC_7941

Watching her wrestle with Gracie who is at least four times her size and three times her weight creates endless entertainment for all of us. She dives for the legs, trying to take Gracie down and Gracie just sits on her. Undeterred, she goes for Gracie’s “wattle” (the extra flesh around her neck), hanging there as Gracie drags her across the room. On a recent walk, Galina darted away from the Asplundh truck and walked underneath Gracie for at least ten yards, safe in her shadow, me laughing so hard I was crying.

Her excitement when I pull out a leash and grab my coat always makes me smile and it cracks me up as she accidentally does a back flip or bounds outside running over the cat in the process. (The cats will not miss Galina. In fact, they will erase her irritating memory from their minds the moment she exits our lives.)DSC_7909

Her prairie dog imitation always makes me giggle. She’d make an excellent circus dog if this new forever home thing doesn’t work out. She can stand on her hind legs and watch a flock of thousands fly over our house, never losing her balance.

And oh my gosh, she is just the cutest little muffin. I’ve never had such a small dog. I didn’t think I cared for them, but Galina has made me a convert. There’s nothing like the warmth of her tiny self curled up next to me on the couch.DSC_7903

Today I called my OPH coordinator and got the scoop on the adoption contract. It’s long. OPH’s contracts are meant to protect the dog for life. This is a good thing. This is a good organization. I trust them and I trust their process, so I know the people coming for Galina this weekend are more than qualified to take her home to their kingdom. That’s probably the biggest reason why I’ll be able to let her go.

I’m excited to meet Galina’s new family. I hope they change her silly name. I hope they name her something that fits her better. A new name for a new life. Maybe Princess Sugar Paws or Sweetie the Sock-Eater. Okay, maybe not those names, but a forever name for her forever home.

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Cara Sue Achterberg

I am a writer, blogger, and occasional cowgirl who lives on a hillside farm in Southern York County, PA. You can find information about my books and all my writing adventures on my website CaraWrites.com.

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