Galina Gets Her Forever Family!

Galina is gone.

The house is very quiet. For the past month, whenever the house was quiet I would panic – what has she found? What is she chewing?

I have to confess that it’s somewhat nice to get dressed and not worry about setting your socks down on the chair for a minute and having them disappear to the far reaches of Galina’s crate. It’s also nice to finish writing a note and leave the pen on the coffee table with no worries about that loud crunching sound you hear a moment later.

But I miss her. I miss the happy little whimpers she made when I opened her crate in the morning and she crawled out like a soldier under fire to lay as a little fur ball of ecstasy at my feet. So happy to see me, she couldn’t even stand up.

I watched basketball last night with no little snuggle muffin to make it worth my while (and also prevent me from snacking on the couch).

There were no late night dog-chasing-dog shenanigans. Gracie went to bed uneventfully. It’s too quiet.

But…reports are that Strider, the dog formerly known as Galina, is happy as a little clam in her new digs with her forever family.  Her new mommy sent me a video of Galina rolling in the leaves of her new yard which is fenced in so she can run leash-free and reach the speeds she could only attempt while she was here which inevitably led to such a sudden end that I worried the leash would snap her neck.

It was a topsy-turvy weekend for us. We discovered Friday afternoon that Galina’s newest adopter had chosen another dog. Once again, hopes dashed. This seemed to be a repeating pattern for our little girl. But by Friday evening I received an e-mail that there was a new adopter approved! I was in the middle of a presentation at a nearby college, so I sent a quick note to the potential adopter.

I knew that Donna and Geoff were the perfect parents for Galina when in response to my honest warning about Galina’s chewing habits, Donna wrote, “We know about the chewing. Our previous beagle mix chewed through our home. I didn’t own a pair of flip-flops without teeth marks in them!”

Sometimes this world seems utterly random and at other times, like this weekend, I see fate clear as crystal.

In preparation for Donna and Geoff and Galina’s new brother, Gimli, to arrive, we put Gracie in the garage. It seemed like a cruel thing to do, but Gracie, you will recall, has social issues with other dogs. I didn’t want her to dominate the meeting of these two little soon-to-be-bestest-buds-ever. And it was too many G-dogs in one room. Kidding. Gracie seemed to sense she was about to reclaim dominance of her domain, because she was surprisingly calm and quiet in her quarantine.

Gimli was Galina-size and cute as button with those crazy taco-bell dog ears. Donna and Geoff worried he would be protective and aggressive with Galina, but she won him over in mere minutes. That’s my girl.

I was super happy to see Galina warm up to Donna and Geoff even faster. When she meets new people, Galina generally hangs back, shy and unsure, until she gets to know them. Not with these two. It was almost like she recognized them. Hey, it’s Mom and Dad! She was all over them, completely relaxed and happy to follow Geoff when I gave him her leash so we could take the dogs for a walk.DSC_8057

Now that she’s gone, I keep thinking of things I should have told Donna and Geoff. Sometimes when you’re walking her she’ll duck from certain cars and then spring after them when they pass. I did remember to warn them that she loves to eviscerate toilet paper rolls, so they should never be left loose and available. (Sadly, Galina was not able to train my children to put the roll on the holder in her time here, but I had been hoping…)

I forgot to tell them about her favorite toy – the one that you can hide a treat inside. We used it whenever we needed to keep her out of trouble and occupied for at least ten minutes.DSC_7937

Before they left, Ian selected one of Galina’s stuffies from the toy collection and her favorite sock that had not yet been completely unraveled and gave them to Donna and Geoff, along with the rest of the bag of her favorite bacon-flavored treats and the probiotic powder that OPH gave us when she arrived (my husband calls it “puppy PCP” because that’s what it looks like and he’s a Neanderthal).

DSC_8043 - CopyI’m sure it won’t be all smooth sailing, Galina is an imp, but I do believe she’s found her forever family. I had a lump in my throat all day, but no tears. I think I held on to a piece of my heart throughout our whole time with Galina because I knew this day was coming. I had to remind myself again today that Galina leaving meant we could help many more dogs. She was the first and so she’ll always hold a special place in my heart. Maybe that’s the part I was holding on to.

[New foster comes this Friday. She looks like Gracie’s mini-me!]

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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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