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CALLING ALL LATTE FANS
26 November 2005
I had a lovely note this morning from someone who said, in part, "Let me say the obvious (on behalf of Sheila and all your fans) You *are* going to keep Latte, right? :-)"
I had previously received another note which read, "What a beautiful doggie!! Wonder if you will keep her since Shiela loves to play with her so much!!"
Latte is a beautiful dog. She's a sweet dog. She and Sheila get along very well together. She and Kimba even get along surprisingly well. But she's also more dog than I would want even if I were in the market for a third dog, and I am not in the market for a third dog. Sheila is just going to have to enjoy the time Latte is here and adjust to things when Latte leaves.
Latte has wonderful good qualities. She also needs a strong hand to mold her more negative qualities. I don't take the time, since she's only here temporarily.
She's one of these dogs who seem bigger than they really are because she's always underfoot. That's because she loves me so much that she can't stand to be separated from me for a second, but it does make cooking dinner a challenge, since she finds the absolute WORST place and then stretches her whole body across that spot, so that whether I need to get into the refrigerator, the stove, or the sink, she is in my way. God help me if she decides to get up at an inopportune moment.
She will amuse herself for long periods of time....tearing up sticks all over the family room.
Amazingly, Kimba likes her, which means that when Sheila and Latte wrestle, which is often, especially if I've just seated myself in the family room. They take that a sign to start a full-out wrestling match under my feet. (I actually might enjoy it more if I could at least PHOTOGRAPH it, but they are under my legs, under my feet, and all I see is fur, all I feel bodies pressing up from under me as I try to hold my sore toe out of the way to prevent it from being bumped, and all I hear is growling--"all in good fun" growling, but growling nonetheless.)
Because Kimba kinda sorta likes Latte (as much as Kimba ever likes any dog), she wants to be in with all the fun. But Kimba never learned how to "play" actually so her version of play is to stand between the two dogs under my feet and bark her shrill bark. Nonstop.
They are getting along well, they are playing together, they are amusing themselves and after 10 minutes, I'm ready to shoot all three of them.
Latte is housebroken. Most of the time. I still find occasional puddles on the Pergo, which I can't figure out, since she has free in-and-out access. I get the feeling this is more a political statement than an actual bladder need.
Latte is a lovely dog and if she were my only dog, things might be different, but she is my visiting dog and that is just fine. She can stay as long as she needs to, but when some nice family comes along looking for a nice family dog, as a family did for Slingshot, we will tell her good bye happily.
There is an additional problem with even getting into the midset of adding a third dog to the mix (which I don't intend to do). I have really enjoyed this rent-a-dog ("Petflix"!) situation I have with the SPCA right now. I get big dogs and little dogs and brazen dogs and timid dogs and it's a wonderful feeling to watch them settle in here happily to be part of the family. It's also a good feeling to know that these dogs won't be seeing the inside of the local pet crematorium.
But if I ever get so attached to a dog that I can't let it go, it will effectively eliminate my ever being able to do foster dogs again, at least until one of the other dogs dies. Three dogs is a lot of dog around here, but four adult (or semi-adult) dogs is unimabinable. At least for me. (For one thing, I would be out of feet for the dogs to lie on as I work at my desk!)
It would definitely eliminate any possibility whatsoever of bottlefeeding puppies (which is my first love anyway) again. Things are confusing enough with three hungry mouths to feed without adding an additional inquisitive canine into the mix.
So Latte will not be getting an invitation to live with us permanently and each Saturday when she goes off to Petco, I will hope that it is to finally connect with her very own family.
In the meantime, I'll take her picture and play with her and enjoy her, but, like a grandchild, it will be very good to give her back when I get tired of her!
She has taught Sheila some bad habits. Sheila never tore up sticks before. Now she brings them into the family room and there are always twig droppings all over the place. Sheila also now barks when she is waiting to be fed, which she doesn't do when Latte isn't around.
Last night was the topper, though. One of the things Sheila is pretty good about is not going outside until I've given her the OK. She usually stands on the stairs while I'm at the door. Latte doesn't do that, and so when I am talking with someone at the front door, I often will just go outside and close the door behind me, but Latte is always trying to squeeze thru the door to go outside.
When she gets outside, she's very good about coming back, unlike Ms. Sheila, who is just so thrilled to be running free.
I rarely worry about Sheila when I get home from somewhere because I've gotten her into this routine of getting a dog biscuit as soon as I come home, so as soon as I come through the door, she runs to the kitchen and sits down waiting for her dog biscuit.
Last night, however, she totally shocked me by ignoring me completely and racing past me outside and right into the street. Fortunately it was late and there were no cars or she could easily have been hit--a black dog unexpectedly popping up in front of a car on a black night. It took some maneuvering to get her back in the house (it helped that it was 11 p.m. and she hadn't had dinner yet!), but she never ever did this sort of thing before Latte came along.
So I'm not sure who is good for whom. But the bottom line is that the two of them together are definitely not a good permanent situation for me, though I am enjoying the good parts of the temporary situation.
PHOTO OF THE DAY