Monday, October 28, 2013

Cabin weekend

Josie made her first trip to the cabin this past weekend and although she didn't come right out and say it, in the language of tail wags, I'm fairly confident that she loved every minute.

The winter months are my favorite at the cabin. The sun rises across the property with long rays that  that cut through a low-lying and ghostly mist. I like to wake early in the morning, make coffee and take the dogs for a walk through the quiet and changing light of this time of year. It's incredibly peaceful. Mornings are a big part of what I love about being there.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Now we are three

It started last week. On Facebook, no less. It's a story about more than one. Her sons were grown and had years ago moved on. She lives on a ranch in Brenham. Picturesque, rolling hills, a big pond, a green expanse with Live Oak trees spreading their branches low and wide. Her sons had been worried, she wasn't able to care for herself or the house any longer. Her memory was slipping by the day. They made the decision to move her to an assisted living facility. But what about her dogs?

The small one, a cow dog mix breed, was easy. One son volunteered to take her. The other one, a 120 pound three year old chocolate lab, wasn't as easy. A daughter-in-law contacted her vet, asking them to put the word out on Facebook and post a picture. Turns out, her vet is also my vet.

After Cheyenne died, I couldn't imagine ever getting another chocolate lab. She was the once in a lifetime dog for me and I wasn't sure how I would connect to another dog of her breed. I miss her every day. After going through the puppy years with Dixie, I couldn't imagine wanting to do that again. So, I decided Dixie and I would be a family of two. Until I saw the posting from my vet on Facebook.

I worried what would happen to this dog. I worried about the woman whose life was changing so quickly. I thought about my mom when she was moved into assisted living care. I felt such a pull to do something, for her, for her dog. I knew I could give her peace of mind by giving her dog a good home. My only concern was Dixie but I wanted to at least try. I called the vet for the contact information.

On Saturday, my friend and I drove to Brenham to meet Josie. Thirty minutes later, we were on our way to her new home, Dixie and Josie riding in the back seat not seeming to mind each other one bit. I had some concern about Dixie's alpha dog mentality, if she'd be aggressive with Josie. If she was so, I'd explained to the family that I'd have to return Josie, not wanting to put either dog through that.

Surprisingly, Dixie has done pretty well. Her main concern is that what's hers is hers, as you can see in the picture below where she is chewing on a bone while keeping one of her paws protectively on her other bone. Dixie has never been one to share. That includes me. But Josie is not an alpha dog; she's quite the opposite, docile and quiet. She has figured out her position and settled right into it. Right now? She's asleep beside me on the couch. Dixie is on her bed by the fireplace, happily gnawing on her bone.

So yeah, a two dog household once again. Josie isn't at all like Cheyenne but she opens my heart again, to the memories of Cheyenne, to my love of Labradors. I like the way it feels. It's good for me, to have her in my life, and it's good for Dixie too. Together, the three of us will be just fine.