Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We've been saying for months....

....that Daughter needs a dog.

The neighbor has her watch their dog when they are out of town. Daughter is in heaven, taking her for walks, feeding her, and playing with her. "She needs a dog," says my mother.

We went to see "Bolt in 3D" on Friday. She sat by Ranger and made "I love dogs" noises the whole time. "She needs a dog," says Ranger.

"She needs a dog," says Son.

"She needs a dog," says Drama Queen.

"Over my dead body," says my dad. He's sure the hassle will become his. He gets mad when we bring it up. "No dogs."

I miss having a dog. I miss my Labrador.

Yesterday, I woke up nauseous. I stayed home. Son wouldn't get out of bed, so I needed to be there to keep an eye on him anyhow. My mother took Daughter to school and promptly came home again. Her back was hurting badly.

I'm slowly getting ready in my bathroom, and I can hear getting-ready sounds from my folks' bathroom downstairs. Then I hear a god-awful racket.

A dog crying in pain. I think it's the dog next door, until my mother calls up to me. "Can you come help me? There's a dog stuck in our fence."

On one side of our house is a low fence. About hip-high on me. Looks like this pooch was trying to jump into our yard and her paw got stuck between the slats. As we approached, she freaked out. Desperately afraid of us. Growling and yelping, she yanked her foot free and ran to the neighbor's front fence.

She stayed there, close to where she could see and hear their dog in their yard. She was dirty and thin. She was pale in color, through the dirt, and a Labrador mix. We could see the ridges of her spine and ribs. If we stepped close to her, she'd bark and start to run away. We backed off.

No lost dog signs in the area. My mother called all the shelters. No one has been looking for a Labrador. We could take her to the no-kill shelter. "We don't have room today, but will in a couple of days," the woman said. "It's going to be 20 degrees tonight, though. Can you hang on to her until then? I don't want the pound to get her and she could freeze."

Okay, we developed a plan. Maybe if we fed her, she'd stick around in our yard until they had room for her. My dad would have a cow and a half, but we can't just leave her and not try.

My mom took a bowl of water, but the dog started barking when you got about 15 feet from her. She set the bowl down there. I ran and bought a small bag of food. We put some in a pie tin and set it by the water. She came close, but still barked. She wanted that food. We backed off and she scarfed it down. Poor thing was literally starving.

Next, we opened that little gate and set the food inside there. We backed off and she scarfed that food, too. She watched us, snarling as she ate if we got close. I was able to shut the gate. From the inside, though, she got a foothold and jumped the little fence.

I put a blanket by our porch, in a sheltered area, and moved the food and water there. I went in the house. A few minutes later, I checked. Much of the food was gone, but the gate had closed itself. She was at the neighbor's fence again. She watched me as I opened the gate and propped it open with a big rock.

As I placed the rock, I could see her approaching cautiously. She stretched her neck to sniff the rock. Then, she licked my hand.

I talked sweet to her and walked back to the food tin. She followed. I sat on the porch. She sat at my feet, and she let me pet her. A lot. When I moved, she followed. I'm a dog whisperer. Always have been. What can I say?

I called my mother to come out. She sat down and the dog approached her, too. We could both now pet her. She stuck close to us. This is the pic I took at that moment.

You can see how skinny she is.

The shelter called back. "We decided we can go ahead and take her," the woman said. So, we started trying to figure out how to get her in the car. I asked for Son's help, and explained what had happened.

"Can we just keep her?" he asked.

My mother stopped. "I don't want to take her to the shelter," she said. I didn't, either. But how on earth could we get around my dad? Oh, he'd be piiiissssed.

I had to call him. It had to be me. So, I did. I started explaining.

"Oh crap," he said. He knew where I was heading with this.

"We've talked," I said. "We've worked out dividing the chores and the schedule and how to do this."

"If it was up to me, I'd say no," he said. "But it sounds like I've been outvoted."

"We get a vote?" I said, laughing. He laughed, too. We couldn't believe it. He gave in.

And it was done. We have a dog.

Her name is Matsi. It's a Blackfoot word, meaning "sweet and brave." And she just hit the doggie jackpot.


muse said...

And what was your daughter's reaction? I can't wait to hear that part.

Ronjazz said...

Inside every dog grouch, there is a dog lover. I promise you. Great-looking pup, too.

Blogget Jones said...

Muse -- I forgot that part! I'll add a couple of pics and tell that story, too.

Ron -- I think you're right! And thanks!

:o) BJ

Real Live Lesbian said...

ok, i'm a wreck now!