Saturday, July 2, 2011

When Life Rains...

When things decide to pile up, they can really pile high. Right now, for instance. I was busy for a couple of days this past week with completing and turning in reports, both my Girl Scout leader reports and The Eldest's 4-H project. After that was done I was hoping for a breathing spell but it was not to be- my brother called with news that my dad was in surgery for a ruptured aorta. (He's in ICU and holding his own at this point.) That meant a long drive to the hospital, lots of worry, and hours of waiting. My brother lives close to the hospital and I don't so I spent the night at his house. I didn't grow up with my brother so this was the most time I've ever been able to spend with him. I'm so sorry about the circumstances that brought us together, but I'm so happy I got to hang out with him. He's totally awesome; everything a girl could want in a brother.

On the way home today I had to drive by the kennel where we chose our greyhound to adopt. I wanted to visit her to see if her UTI was better and find out if she would be delivered soon. The head honcho of adoptions looked at me and said "how about if I let you take her home today". Are you kidding me? HECK YEAH, I want to take her home! We've been waiting for 2 weeks, knowing she was ours but yet she was stuck in her kennel. She rode home with me and was a very good girl in the car. I drive a mini-van (go figure) and she stood behind my seat the whole way home. I was able to reach back and put my arm around her for part of the drive.

When we got home The Eldest was in the shower and the kids were playing at a neighbor's house. I had to make phone calls about my dad so DH took over. He walked her all around the house and took her outside to show her where she's supposed to go pee. The kids all straggled in one at the time and were a little on the surprised side to see our puppy waiting for them! (Understatement in use here.) I don't think we could have planned it better; the dog (hmmm, have to come up with a blog name for her) was able to deal with them one at a time.

The Wild Child has been beside himself all day. He's wanted to feed her and walk her and groom her and bake treats for her from scratch and... well, NOT clean up after her! He won't leave her alone; he's been trying to engage her in play all day unless we really lay down the law. It's exhausting to keep on top of him! She's tired now; I'm hoping all of the upheaval today will leave her tired enough to sleep through the night once we put her to bed. For the first few days "bed" will mean her cage. Racing greyhounds are used to their cages so for a while it's comforting to them because it represents the familiar. (Plus she did have one accident today so we want to get her house broken before we give her free run of the place.)

The greyhound adoption people emphasize that the first few days can be really traumatic for the dogs since everything they know has been removed from their lives. Our baby's life changed completely from the time we loaded her into my car. She was used to living in a crate with all sorts of dog friends around her 24/7, but now it's just her. She only had the most perfunctory of interactions with adult people. Now there are no other dogs, there are kids, and the people she's used to for feeding and other care are gone, replaced by new people she barely knows.

I think she's OK with it. I also think it helped that we went to see her more than once and hung out with her before all of the upheaval. I spent at least an hour with her today before we loaded her in my car for the ride home. Once in the house she's been very curious about everything, walking around and sniffing, but she's also wanted to stay with us. She seems to love the kids already, especially Martha, Jr., and will follow her around. She didn't seem to mind The Wild Child's constant attempts to play, and mostly played when he wanted her to. She still has a week's worth of pills for her UTI and I managed to get her first one down her with no problem (peanut butter did the trick) and she ate all of her dinner. We ALL took her on a short walk before dark and that went well, too. No squirrels died and she met a few of the neighborhood dogs. We walked about half the distance of my usual walks and she was tuckered out by the time we were done, but then she had a lot of exercise at the kennel before I brought her home. She's zonkered out now. DH will feed her again before he goes to bed, let her out, then put her in her cage with a Kong toy for the night, and that will be her first day at her "Forever Home".