Today in My History
While You Work
Our 2008 Holiday Letter
IN MY OPINION
Cinderella Books Read in 2008
"The Black Echo"
FUNNY THE VLOG
Obviously Brianna has inherited the family love of performing!!! (This is Laurel's video)
30 December 2008
A week ago, 60 Minutes had a segment on Kenya's Sheldrake Wildlife Trust, which rescues orphaned baby elephants and attempts to raise them and return them to the wild. During the course of the filming the segment, one of the babies died. He had been under the doctor's care for an infection, but did not survive. Daphne Sheldrake, who founded the Trust says that despite their best efforts, they lose 50% of the babies they rescue. She struggled to hold back the tears as she discussed this new loss.
Bob Simon, the 60 Minutes reporter, asked Mrs. Sheldrake how she did it. How could she stand to lose these little guys. With a helpless wave of her hand, and tears barely contained she said "because there's always the next one...and the one after that."
I related to that because it's how I can continue to foster puppies for the SPCA, despite the death of some, and watching others move on to new homes. It always hurts because you love each and every one of them, but there's always the next one...and the one after that... who need someone to love them and either comfort them as they come to the end of their lives, or prepare them to move to forever families. Without a cadre of foster families willing to love a dog and then give it up, many of these dogs would have to be euthanized.
Our little girl moved on today.
No, she hasn't found her forever family, but I heard from Ashley this morning saying that she had been doing some research and discovered that a certain type of animal massage might be helpful for her. She can't find much information on autistic dogs, but she felt this might do some good.
She also wanted to start Nicki on a rigid training schedule to see if she could find a key to helping to housebreak her, since that is probably the biggest impediment to her being adopted. She also added that if I didn't want to let Nicki go, she would try to find the time to stop by here and work with her at our house.
Much as I didn't want to give Nicki up, the most important thing is doing all we can to maximize her chances of adoption, so I agreed that this sounded like a good idea.
Since she moved here in October, we've been comparing notes on the eccentricities of Nicki and it was very helpful that Ashley was here while we were in Santa Barbara because it gave her a more intense time with her, to observe things that I may not have mentioned, or might have missed.
It bothers her, for example, that when Nicki is stressed, she shuts down. I've noticed this before. Whenever I bring her home from the Farmer's Market or from Petco, she gets into what I came to call her "depressed stance." She would sit upright in the far corner of the floor of the front seat of the car, with her head down and not move. After we got home, I would hold her in my lap until she seemed to "come to" and begin noticing that she was home again. It didn't usually take long before she was ready to go chasing Lizzie again.
When Twix was here, Walt and I had noticed that she found a "hiding place" in the living room. I noticed that I didn't see her as much with Twix around, though the two did play together well.
We also agreed that in a strange place, she might be easier to housebreak, whereas here it would involve not only training her to go outside, but also training her not to use all her favorite spots inside.
I suspect Lizzie probably isn't going to miss her, but I will miss their chasing games up and down the hall, the only time Nicki truly looked "happy." Ashley has 3 dogs at home, one other one with neurological problems, so we don't know how Nicki is going to react being in the house with the three of them.
Walt is very good with all of the dogs we have, but Nicki was one of the special ones, probably because she is one of the "special ones." Just something about this little girl. He had gone out to run errands this afternoon, but made sure that he got back in time to say his goodbyes before she moved to Ashley's house.
Ashley promises that they will come for visits and that if things seem to be too stressful for her, settling into a new house, she will move her back here. Also, her own classes start in mid-January, so it may be that Nicki will move back here again when Ashley doesn't have as much time for her any more.
But this feels like a goodbye, like we're going through the emotions of watching another of our babies move on and waiting for whoever is the next one who needs a temporary home.
There's always a plus side, though...the towels
have come off the floor and tomorrow we will do a major stream cleaning of the floor.
Maybe for a brief moment we can get the smell of doggie potty out of the house.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Goodbye, Little Girl
MILES TO NOWHERE: 89 miles