Last to Go

DSC_0581And looks who’s left…..

I thought Chism would be the first one to go. I did. I figured a dog like her – gorgeous, unique with a HUGE personality – she’d be scooped up quickly. But now it’s just me and her.

Without her herd, she’s a much calmer dog. She actually sleeps. Her manners are much improved. I just checked and her morning breakfast is only half-eaten. There’s no need to gobble it all down in 20 seconds if there’s no competition. Left alone, she’s much more mellow. I may have to take back all that stuff I wrote on her profile about her being such an INTENSE, HIGH ENERGY dog. She’s taken to lounging on the Frank bed for hours at a time.

All of this behavior makes me think she’d be better off as an only dog.

Chism has gone from ADOPTABLE to ADOPTION PENDING and back two or three times now. She scared off two adopters because she has a mild obsession with cats (as in – she’d like to chase them down and lick them all over and probably won’t kill them. Probably.) If she sees or senses or even imagines a cat on the porch, she’ll bark nonstop and claw at the door until she’s put in restraints. I’ve wondered if she might chill out if she finally got to meet a real cat. Maybe she’d find out they aren’t really that interesting and they have pointy parts. My cats are not game to take part in the intervention. They aren’t interested in a relationship with Chism of any kind, at all, ever. In fact, since Chism moved in one of my porch cats has moved in with the barn cat who isn’t so happy about sharing her domain.

Chism did have an approved adopter who actually made it here to meet her, but after encountering Chism’s manic energy and watching her challenge their sweet little poodle-bichon-shitzu-small-dog-of-some-type mix dog they’d brought with them, they opted for Charm and her sweet, shy, calmness. I’m sooooo curious to hear how Charm is doing on her own outside the shadow of her bossy sister. I missed her gentle soul this morning as I made breakfast for the first time in weeks without the warmth of her leaning against my leg for protection as Chism and Rollie engaged in full-contact wrestling.

Rollie, who is now Molly, was adopted by one of my favorite little people. Shannon is the daughter of my dear friend, college buddy, and ex-roommate, so Rollie/Molly will be a part of our extended family forever. It’s been a long journey finding Shannon her perfect pup. It’s taken all summer. In August she fell head over heels in love with Texas and had been approved to adopt him. Shannon’s broken heart made Texas’ passing doubly hard for all of us.

When we agreed to foster Rollie, it was on a whim (momentary lapse in judgment – what’s another puppy?) and I never even thought of her in terms of Shannon. But soon after Rollie moved in, we all knew she was something special and I immediately texted Shannon’s mom. It was love at first sight and even Rollie’s new fur-brother, a grumpy aged beagle seemed smitten. Yay for happy endings. Yay for me getting to keep one of my fosters!12079134_10207678552906473_7047229931783610878_n

DSC_0517The house is much calmer with only the newly reformed Chism, and Gracie, who is intent on putting this upstart puppy in her place. I have to say, the change in energy is palpable, which is funny because the two calm puppies left.

It’s more peaceful. Less destruction. Less chewing. Less noise. Unless Crash turns up on the porch to torment Chism. I swear that cat knows exactly what he’s doing. I can read his mind – Hey you loser dog nobody wanted. You can’t touch me. I look down upon you and your inferior self. In fact, I think I’ll just hang around out here and take a bath. Cause I can. And you can’t do anything about it, can you? Na-ner, Na-ner, poopalot!

It just goes to show you what a powerful effect the chemistry between two animals has on everyone around them. This is true for dogs for sure. But I’m watching it play out with the cats in the barn, and even more so with the return for fall break of my college freshman. All of us are happier with him here. He lightens the mood considerably, even if he does leave his crap all over the place. But it just so happens that we have a little helper who inspires all the kids to pick up their belongings. Not sure she can reform an 18-year habit in just three days, but she’s doing her part.

As a parting shot, here’s a video of the three puppies on their last afternoon together. They were just making sure I wouldn’t be too sad about them going….

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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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