"Move Over, Julia"
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5 December 2005
Well, even though I kept saying I was ready...that I was more than ready... Even though I kept my fingers crossed, smiled and talked with everyone who looked interested... Even though I wanted to come home empty handed...
When the family came up and started looking interested in Latte, there was that little pang.
I sidled up to the dad as he stood, looking down into the pen. There was another dog in there with Latte. ("Not that one," I thought. "Pick Latte.")
"She's been living with us for the past month," I said, pointing to Latte and thinking he might have some questions and hoping I might convince him to adopt her. I am a publicist, after all.
Turns out he has a dog that sounds a lot like Sheila, who needs a playmate and he wondered how she got along with other dogs. The other dog was kind of cringing behind the girl in the pen with them, while Latte was...well...Latte. Happy. Enthusiastic. Lively. Obviously the perfect playmate for their dog.
I told him about how well she and Sheila got along together, how actively they played together, how she goes willingly into the crate at night, and all of her other good qualities.
To my great surprise, in the back of my head there was this little pang forming. I would go home to Sheila without Latte. Sheila would start looking for her.
The man started petting Latte, who looked very happy for the attention, totally ignoring me.
"She doesn't bark at night, does she?" he asked me. I assured him that so far she has not barked at night
He casually skritched her behind the ears.
Latte not coming back home at the end of the day?
There was that little pang again. Wasn't this what I've been wanting? For Latte to have a home of her own? To have my family room to myself again (since Sheila and I know how to share the room).
I left Petco and came back home. The afternoon passed into evening and no Latte returned to us, or word of Latte. The last time a foster dog got adopted, Ashley called to tell me, and to ask if I would take another dog instead. But maybe Latte had found a home, and they didn't need another foster family.
It got later and later and Sheila was starting to let me know that it was getting time to think about doing something about her dinner. She may miss her playmate, but when it comes time for food, there are priorities to think of.
I placed a call to Ashley's cell phone and left a message asking her if I was going to be fixing dinner for two or three dogs.
I had just hung up when Sheila ran outside and began barking at the back gate.
"There is a big van in the drive way," Walt said. "I think Latte is home."
And indeed she was.
Ashley says they had come "this close" and that two different families wanted to adopt her, but she would have been an outside-only dog and Ashley didn't think that was good for Latte.
Another guy wanted her as a gift for his wife, but Ashley had to convince him to bring the wife to meet Latte first before they'd release her.
So Latte is back for another week. She and Sheila greeted each other as if they hadn't seen each other in months. Sheila had been spending time sitting in the family room looking out into the back yard. Occasionally she'd look at me as if to ask me what I'd done with her playmate.
But her playmate is back and all is right with Sheila's world--and based on how relaxed Latte is, lying across my feet as I type this, I think all is right with Latte's world too.
I have to admit there was a part of me which was happy to see her come back--and I'm amazed to admit that. But the realistic part of me knows that there will come a day when she won't come back, when she will move to her own family, and when Sheila will have to look around for a new pal, because Latte won't be here any more.
But in the meantime, it's kind of nice to have this little girl back again, even if I did just have to get her out of the dishwasher.
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