November 19, 2017
Daisy waits patiently while our new foster dog, Rose, chews diligently on her rawhide bone. Daisy has her own bone, but what she really wants is Rose’s bone. Daisy is not aggressive, but she has sneaked and snatched a bone from Goofy, another foster dog who did not like it at all. Rose, although slightly bigger than Daisy, is not Goofy, or Daisy. Daisy waited for Goofy, sneaking in to grab the rawhide. When it looks like Rose has almost demolished her bone, Daisy walks over to her own rawhide, identical in almost every way except it is hardly gnawed upon. She will wait until Rose has finished, then grab her own bone and flaunt it in front of Rose.
Daisy and Rose are very tolerant of each other. They are about the same size – Rose, a little taller and longer, but only five pounds heavier. Only 8 months old, Rose is still a puppy. She licks Daisy’s muzzle and bites her ears. Daisy doesn’t even snap at her.
Rose is a handsome puppy, a black mouth cur with a coat that is golden and soft, like my last dog, Kodi. So much of her reminds me of him – her coloring, the wrinkles in her forehead, her energy, the way she zooms around the backyard. But with her striking black muzzle and her dark eyes she is different.
There is only so much Daisy can teach Rose and sadly, she is seriously unhouse broken. I actually had to read up on it this afternoon in my trusty “How to be Your Dog’s Best Friend” by the Monks of New Skete; I had forgotten what puppies were like and and how lucky I was to have dogs so used to being outside they didn’t need to be housebroken.
As I watch Daisy and Rose lie together under the pecan tree and sit side by side against the back fence, looking out, I worry about how much Rose will miss Daisy (and Daisy, Rose) when Rose has to return to the shelter. Rose doesn’t like being alone. Whoever adopts her will have to spend a lot of time with her and hopefully they will have another dog, active and tolerant of puppies.
November 26, 2017
The week of Thanksgiving was golden. Each morning I sat outside with Daisy and Rose, watching them race around the yard and play tug of war with Kodi’s ragged squirrel frisbee. They lied together under the pecan tree and sat side by side along the back fence; Rose even crawled into Daisy’s bed with her. On Thanksgiving morning, we warmed ourselves in front of a fire after a walk through the neighborhood. Daisy alternated between my lap and Tim’s, while Rose curled up on top of the baby pool, turned upside down. At dusk, the amber glow of afternoon slowly descended on the neighborhood, sinking into a blue-purple haze.
We brought Rose back to the shelter the next day where she trotted in the back door without the slightest hesitation. The staff member who received us took Rose’s lead with a blank face, a simple “okay,” and no “thank you.” I cried on the way home.
We comforted ourselves by hiking the trails at McKinney Roughs. The day could not have been more perfect; the sky was blue and clear and the park uncrowded. We wound our way down to the Colorado River and sat along the edge of a sandbar where Daisy waded in, stepping in up to her belly. The river drifted by, healing the wounds of the morning.
And on Saturday, Rose was adopted by a family with another dog.
– Christine Baleshta