Fat, Happy, but NOT Permanent

The end of the school year is a crazy time. It’s doubly crazy when you have a senior. That’s my excuse for not posting this past week.

Carla is still here. She’s gotten fat and happy. Not kidding.

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I took her to uber vet/neighbor/friend/general good guy Chris to get her rabies shot. (Her records finally caught up with her and it turns out her rabies was out of date. Rabies shots are good for only three years, just so you know.)

Before giving her the shot, the technician weighed her and Dr. Chris gave her a quick lookover. She’d gained five pounds in the five weeks she’s been with us! She’s up to 75 pounds! I feel horrible about this. Chris said that the feeding charts on the dog food bags actually encourage you to feed your dog more than she needs. (That way you buy more dog food!) We agreed that I would cut her food back by a ½ a cup per day.

So she is fat, but she’s also happy. She barks a lot less. I’ve begun to realize that all that frantic barking in the first few weeks she was here must have been part of her grief and her transition. She still barks if the UPS guy comes up the driveway or the neighbor’s goats dawdle in the gap between the trees that is visible from our porch (where Carla likes to lounge away her days), but otherwise she saves her barks for important things like letting us know she needs to go out/in or as a gentle reminder that dinner is late.

I’m also happy to report that she learned the invisible fence territory super quick (smart dogs are like that), so she’s able to go outside whenever she wants to roll in the grass clippings and follow the scent of any passing varmint.

If she’s still here when school gets out later this week, I’ve got the kids lined up to make a documentary to help promote her. I’m certain that if you could see her in action, you’d all want to adopt her. She is amazing. And she needs to get adopted before my will gives out. Everywhere I go my neighbors, friends, family, and now my vet, ask, “So when are you going to decide to keep her?”

I’m not. There I said it in print.

It’s not that I wouldn’t love to keep Carla. I would.DSC_8832

It’s not that she isn’t a great dog. She is more than great. It’s not that she doesn’t fit in with our family/lifestyle/other critters. She does. (Well, the cats don’t like dogs as a rule, it’s not Carla personally….)IMG_1694

It’s not that I won’t cry when she leaves. I will. A lot.

The reason I can’t keep Carla is that the longer Carla is here, the fewer dogs we can help save. There are weekly, sometimes almost daily, e-mails asking for foster homes for so many deserving dogs, that I’ve taken to deleting the e-mails without even looking at them. It hurts too much not to be able to help. It makes me want to turn my horse pasture into a dog pasture.

I’ve tried the multiple dog thing more than once now. It was fun, but it was crazy. It’s not for me. I want to be able to focus on the dog that I am helping. Each of these dogs arrives scared and confused. He/she needs our attention and affection. When there are 3 or 4 dogs here, I feel scattered. I can’t give any of them the attention they deserve. Nevermind there are also three somewhat neglected cats and three too often ignored horses hanging around the place, too.P1000657

I know that Carla’s forever family is out there. They will find her. And it will break my heart, but that will be a good thing.DSC_8983 - Copy

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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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