I woke with the sun serving as my alarm clock this morning. A quick search of my sleep-fogged brain confirmed it was Sunday so I gave a contented, don’t-have-to-be-anywhere sigh, and snuggled with our still-sleeping dogs for a moment more.
With a stretch and a happy heart, I crawled out of bed and headed out to the backyard to say hello to the day. The dogs raced through the open door, all signs of our recent state of slumber abandoned as they made dark trails through the too-long grass still laden with dew. It was a golden morning with a light breeze that carried the scent of…the scent of…skunk.
Ah, country life. Sometimes it just doesn’t exactly smell great. But it’s still great. Because I can walk outside in my jammies and no one is there to care. Skunk smelly or not, it’s a good life.
Of course I did have to check to be sure the smell was just on the wind and not coming from any of said dogs. All dogs verified normal dog-smelly and not skunk-smelly (and yes, that HAS happened…in mass…one dog holding said skunk and spinning in a big circle to be sure ALL of the dogs in the yard got a good dose), I tossed a ball for a quick game of chase.
Several dogs took off after the one, lone ball bouncing to the far corner of the yard. One dog came out the victor and was immediately “it” as the other dogs vied for the prized toy. Ahhh, the struggle of being in a multi-dog household. Someone always has THE toy. The best toy.
Of course the best toy is whichever toy another dog has.
This game of fetch and the ensuing spirited game of tag brought a quick smile to my face, but not for the reason you might think. It made me smile thinking about the dog missing from this morning’s romp.
Yes, we are one dog short today. Friday night I met a very nice young man at a McDonald’s that is midway between my home and his home in a nearby city. There, my foster dog Tori officially became his dog; the dog he has been excited to welcome into his life since the moment he met her three weeks ago and passed my scrutiny (hey…you have to prove you are worthy if you want to adopt one of my foster dogs!).
I handed over vet records, a bag of her food, and gave last minute instructions as he paid his adoption fee. Then I gave Tori one last kiss on the nose as I promised her this sudden change in her life was a very, very good thing.
I’m not sure she believed me, but, with a little coaxing, she hopped in her new person’s car and off they went.
Within a couple hours of arriving back home, I received a text stating that Tori had already selected her favorite new toy and, after dinner and some playtime, was sound asleep. Asleep in her home. Asleep by her new human. Asleep with her special toy.
Now, a couple of days into her new life, the one-time stray dog has made herself right at home with her new person. She has already made lots of new friends, both human and dog. And did I mention she has a favorite ball?
So for everyone who asks how Jim and I take in so many great dogs, love them, let them live as our own, and then let them leave, this story is my answer. It’s all about letting them find their favorite new toy (you could replace the word toy with human).