Of Puppies and Pumpkins

I just forced myself to stop playing with the puppy-doll and get back to my desk. Obie is VERY hard to resist. He loves to be held. I wish I’d kept my baby-sling because I’m positive he would be super happy snuggled in it accompanying me about my day. Being the lone puppy is not easy, even despite the bags of toys he received this weekend!

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It was just like Christmas for Obie this weekend when he finally got some new toys to play with! (thanks Mindy and OPH!)

This morning I lunged him in the side yard with my longest leash. If you’re a horse person, you might be familiar with that term. It’s when the person stands still and a horse on a lungeline works in a circle around the person. Obie lunges very well, also. He zooms around and around and around. When he really gets going, he almost looks like a rabbit because his hind legs are reaching in front of his front legs at times.

Kind of like a wind-up toy, this burst of energy expels itself fairly quickly. When he’s finished, he’d like you to pick him up and carry him around, thank you. All day, would be his preference. Obie is pretty much THE best snuggler I’ve encountered. I think that’s remarkable considering he’s a puppy (and most puppies prefer to keep moving). But if you’ll just hold him against your heart with his head tucked under your chin, he’ll be content forever. Yup, definitely a puppy-doll. He’s great therapy for this mom who is missing her oldest kiddo who just left for his second year in college.

Rooney has found her forever family, but is hanging out with us an extra week to complete a course of antibiotics to hopefully clear up the secondary infection she developed after her UTI. No one minds because Rooney is a most gracious guest. Ever since the end of the pee wars, she has been a model foster dog.

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We’ve discovered that she is a stand-out watch dog. When one of my son’s college buddies showed up in the middle of the night to camp out on our futon, she alerted the neighborhood. And then each time he coughed or got up to use the restroom, she again sounded the alarm.

All night long.

Every time.

This continued all the next day. I could track Jackson’s wearabouts in the house by Rooney’s announcements. Jackson did try to woo her with treats and attention but she never stopped considering him an interloper. The second night he was here, in the interest of all of us getting some sleep before the next day’s drive to school, we put Rooney in a crate in our room near the window AC, so she wouldn’t hear Jackson.

The boys are back at school and Rooney is back in the kitchen. She’s assumed this protective role of security guard with everyone who has come by the house. She’s skeptical and slinks around following them, shrinking from their touch but always keeping them in sight. That’s why it was really neat to see how she reacted when her adopters arrived to meet her on Friday. There was no hesitation, she went right to them, leaning in for pets and falling at their feet for belly rubs. I love it when a dog recognizes her forever family. It reminds me that we are dealing with magic here.

Lucy spent Saturday at an OPH event. She was pretty much the last dog standing by the end of the very hot day. All the others had quit early (except Shortcake, but she spent nearly the entire day in one lap or another). Lucy’s endless stamina is remarkable. She is one busy beagle. She loved the event and came home with a swollen belly full of treats since pretty much every booth there was handing out free treats. She quickly figured out where the treat bowls were at our booth, and when volunteers finished their Chik-fil-a, she licked the grass clean where that bag had been sitting.

I believe I mentioned in an earlier post that the absolute favorite toy this summer for all our foster dogs has been these small stuffed pumpkins that arrived in the goodie bags with each foster dog. As soon as the pumpkin appears the battles begin and they don’t end until the pumpkin is properly de-stuffed and de-squeaked and then shredded to little orange bits. The only surviving pumpkin we had before Saturday was Obie’s and it began leaking that morning, so I knew it was only a matter of time.

The event on Saturday was Dog’s Day in the Park. It was a fundraiser for the local Animal Rescue and they were selling used and new dog items at one corner of the event. When I went over to survey the offerings, I discovered they had literally hundreds of the same stuffed pumpkins! I was a little shocked when informed they were $1 each. Doing the math on the cost per pumpkin and the average life expectancy of a pumpkin at my house that seemed like a pretty expensive investment. So, I waited until the end of the day and then went over to see if they’d lowered the price. Nope.

When I returned to the booth, Caitlyn, another OPH foster and a very yard-sale savy teen, asked me how much I wanted to pay for the pumpkins. I would pay $2 (because that’s all I had), but I wanted a bunch of them—at least ten. So she took my two bucks and set off on a mission. She returned with an entire back stuffed to the brim with pumpkins! Here’s what happened when I showed them to Lucy:

And then we took them home to Obie:

So, big shout out to CAITLYN for making a few dogs at my house pretty darn happy.

If you like more updates on foster dogs present and past, be sure to join the Another Good Dog Facebook group.

 

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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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