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12 November 2005
There is no coffee in this Latte, though there appears to be plenty of caffeine.
Latte is an 8 month old Lab/Shepherd whirling dervish who has come to stay for a bit. She goes off to Petco tomorrow, though she is not really eligible for adoption until she is spayed on Monday.
She was picked up by an SPCA volunteer when she wandered into the volunteer's yard, apparently a stray. Attempts to find her home were unsuccessful, so she has gone into the SPCA system and is on track to finding a permanent home of her own.
She's a very pretty little thing, with puppy-soft fur and to Sheila's delight, she loves to play. It's more fun than watching a sit-com to sit in my recliner and watch the two of them chasing each other around the yard at top speed.
Of course, the down side of this is that when they come into the family room, she leaps into the recliner on top of me and kind of banks off of my stomach, using it as a sort of trampoline to bounce her off of the chair and on to the floor, where she then lands and slides across the floor.
Lemme tell you, a Pergo floor was the best toy I could have gotten for this lively pup!
When they begin to slow down in their playing a bit, then they get a toy and do tug of war.
Latte plants her feet firmly in the folds of the dog bed and Sheila drags her around the family room.
And then, when all the playing is finished, Latte collapses on the floor, at my feet, under my desk.
As you can see, there is a potential problem with this habit of hers, and it happened yesterday, when suddenly the computer went blank. I was, at the time, trying to get a microphone to work and had been futzing around with the plugs in back of the CPU, so it took me some investigating to discover that Latte had both unplugged one of the plugs, but also had laid on the on/off button of the surge protector, so even when I got some of the power back to some of the equipment, the monitor (which is plugged into that particular surge protector) still didn't work.
Latte is going to make a great family pet. She's very loving, and very attentive. She has already attached herself to me and follows me everywhere and while she is going through the typical doggie adolescence, or perhaps in her case pre-adolescence (Slingshot was supposed to be the same age, but Latte seems much younger), she does seem to respond well to admonition. At least initially.
Sheila is doing her part to train the new pup. Latte is learning very quickly that at mealtime, she has her own bowl and Sheila has her own bowl and does not take kindly to any furry upstart sniffing out whether Sheila may have more tasty morcels. Two days ago there was a bloody battle which was so loud, Walt ran downstairs to see if somebody was being killed. Now Latte follows me into the family room when I feed Sheila, but she stands waaay back and all Sheila has to do is to growl loudly at her and she puts here tail between her legs and slinks off to her own bowl.
I learn a lot about dog behavior and society by watching Sheila with these pass-through dogs. This morning, for example, Latte did something -- I still don't know what -- that irritated Sheila and what sounded like a bloody battle began. It was directly under my feet, so I couldn't really see it clearly, but when they moved out into my sight, I was going to stop it but realized that what was happening was that Latte was on her back yelping and yelping and Sheila was on top of her, pinning her down, growling fiercely (and loudly), but Sheila wasn't doing a THING to actually hurt Latte except to bare her teeth. I decided that Latte apparently just needed a parental reprimand and so, since it stopped quickly, I didn't attempt to separate them.
It's always interesting to have a new dog around here. Sheila's toys have, over the past months, been strewn all around the yard. From time to time she'll find a toy she hasn't played with in awhile. But when there is a new dog, you never know what is going to be dragged in from the back yard.
The toy she is carrying in this picture is one I haven't seen in months and actually thought had been thrown away.
It's funny how my feelings about our various foster dogs are as much based on "chemistry" as my feelings about people. There are dogs I just fall in love with--like Pepper, Sydney, and even Slingshot. And then there are others who are just passing through, who are very nice, sometimes very loving, very cute dogs, but who just don't pull the heartstrings the way the others do. Latte is fitting into the latter category. She is very sweet. I'm enjoying having her here. Sheila absolutely loves her, but I won't feel sad about turning her over to a good family.
I guess that's probably what it is like for most foster families. You have those that you love to death and others that you just like (and some that you don't like at all), but they are all just passing through and it's helpful to realize that you are helping this dog eventually move on to its permanent family. I don't think I'm in danger of being one of those people who just collect dogs indefinitely. I just want to rent them, one at a time.
It's sort of a "Dog-flix."
PHOTO OF THE DAY