Wheat Penny was released from quarantine on Tuesday and this was a good thing and a bad thing.
It is good because now we don’t all have to climb over the baby gate to get in the kitchen (or fall over it as the case may be).
It’s bad because now Wheat Penny can explore the entire house – finding any number of off-limits items like Ian’s soccer jersey, Brady’s tennis shoes, Gracie’s favorite toys, someone’s important mail, or the bookmark right out of my book.
It’s a good thing because now we could take her out to pee.
But it’s also a bad thing because now she can sneak up to the kids’ bedrooms and do her business. (Seriously? What is this about? Is she claiming them? This morning I spent a good twenty minutes scrubbing poop stains that had been tracked from one bedroom through the hall on an otherwise unaware foot. I think the next post needs to be “Dog fostering and poop – the untold story.”)
It’s good because now she can help me wake up teenagers who sleep through alarms in the mornings (which would be all three).
This may be her true calling. Here’s how it works: I knock, hear nothing, open the door, and Wheat Penny bursts in. She stands frozen, waiting, and then the occupant makes the mistake of rolling over or moaning some lovely greeting like “go away” or lets out a simple sad wimper. She is on them like white on rice, licking, pawing, nuzzling. There is no way to sleep through a Wheat Penny alarm. Continue reading “You Are Now Free to Roam About the Country…”→
The puppy pick up did not start out so well from our end. Friday morning, my oldest son reported that the Honda was making a weird sound. What kind of sound? A “not good” flopping sound. Flat tire? No. So I took it out for a spin and hadn’t gone a mile before I was seriously worried I wouldn’t make it home again. But I did.
Because there was no flat tire and no flames coming from the engine, I could only assume this was a problem I could not handle, so I parked it to await my husband’s return from his business trip later that day. As fate would have it (or maybe it had more to do with the fact that it’s a holiday weekend) his plane was delayed. He would not arrive home before I needed to leave for the transport (this is rescue lingo for the hand off of foster dogs to foster people).
The Pilot is our only car large enough to hold the dog crate. Wheat Penny looked small in the pictures, but I wasn’t convinced she would fit in our cat carrier and didn’t really want to jam her into it after her long ride up from South Carolina. Instead I recruited my teenage daughter Addie to come with me for the pick-up. She could hold Wheat Penny on her lap for the ride home.
This seemed like a grand plan at the time. Addie was enthusiastic about the adventure. We’re picking up a puppy late at night in the parking lot of a bowling alley? She donned all black clothing for the trip and planned to snapchat (what?) the entire thing.
The next foster dog is actually a puppy. Which complicates things. Because OPH is such a top-notch organization, there are some pretty strict guidelines in place for fostering puppies to protect everyone involved. Puppies coming from unknown origins with questionable vaccination histories can carry dangerous, hard to kill viruses. Because of this, OPH requires foster homes to take safety precautions.
That all sounded like a good idea until I read the guidelines – sheesh! This ain’t gonna be easy. When I explained to my husband that Wheat Penny (I know, the names…) would have to be quarantined in our house and wouldn’t even be able to go outside he was worried. When I told him she had to stay in an area of the house that we could potentially treat with bleach, he blanched. When I told him this might go on for as long as nine days, he asked, “What’s the return policy? Couldn’t we put this one back and chose a different one from the transport – preferably a dog?”
The thought did cross my mind, too. There were more than a handful handsome black labs available, but I’m nothing if not committed. I said we’d take this puppy and we will. Besides, she looks just like Gracie, see….
Here’s Gracie at 4 months-
And here’s Wheat Penny –
Anyone who knows me well, is probably scratching their head and saying, “Why would you want another Gracie?” The dog does drive me nuts, what with the farting and not coming when she’s called and jumping all over everyone and her inability to run with me on a leash without almost dislocating my arm. All that is true. I don’t want another Gracie, but I do want another Gracie-as-a-puppy. She was the sweetest little thing and we didn’t know she’d grow up to be Gracie-who-can’t-be-trained-to-do-anything-and-farts-all-the-time. The plan is that this adorable puppy stays with us for two weeks and then gets adopted lickity-split, before any true Gracieisms can emerge.
Silly name, resemblance to Gracie, and crazy quarantine requirements aside, Wheat Penny looks adorable. She’s a 7 month old beagle/spaniel mix. I know! The chewing! But I think of it as a way to lessen the withdrawal symptoms from Galina (aka Strider who is doing SO WELL and is SO HAPPY and SO LOVED! See video at end of this post for one last Galina laugh). I mean she’s not mostly beagle, she’s just part beagle. There is spaniel in there. Of course, the only spaniel I ever knew personally “piddled” every time she got excited and that could be a problem much worse than chewing.
The real reason I chose this puppy is the last line on her description. “Almost completely housebroken.” Now, I haven’t been in the foster system long, but even I’m not naïve enough to think that phrase will hold even an ounce of water, but….a girl can dream.
So I’m readying our guest bathroom (tile floor) for her arrival. A friend gave me some leftover puppy pads and I’m going to set the tub up as a cozy little bedroom for her. Because of the quarantine rules, she’ll be inside and contained to a restricted area until her vaccinations can be verified, but I have OPH Medical Director Jen’s word that she’ll try to spring her as soon as possible. Because she’s an older puppy that could be a lot sooner than nine days (fingers crossed, candles lit, juju sent).
The transport is again a late evening drop. This time I won’t have the company of my tire-changing husband, so I’m hoping the car will make it there and back without incident. (He’s returning home from a business trip that night and has already said, he’s not up for the late night puppy handoff.) But what a fun thing for him to wake up to on Saturday – a bathroom-bound excitable puppy! And just in time for Easter!
Bonus: Here’s a video of Galina at her new forever home with her new best bud. This is what happens when they try to take Gimli out without her!