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HAVING "THE OTHER TALK" AGAIN
10 January 2011
In October, I wrote that Walt and I had had "the talk" and that, despite everybody's suggestions to the contrary, we were not going to adopt Polly.
Now we haven't actually filled out the paperwork yet and Walt hasn't actually said "OK" yet, but I have finally admitted that I want to adopt her.
As I told Kim, from the SPCA, I have grown to love the little pain in the ass. And now that I am looking at entries that I wrote a year ago when she first got here, I am remembering how scared she was and how badly she reacted to any change in her routine, and how nice it was when she finally decided to trust me...and how rewarding it was to watch her finally let that little tail wag a mile a minute when she sees Walt.
I remember how I had to lock her in a cage to feed her because she was so terrified of the other dogs that she wouldn't eat, and how funny it is to see that she now bosses them around.
She still shakes when she's unsure of something. It could be something as innocent as my reaching out for her in a way she finds threatening, or my starting to put a leash on her.
I know she's happy here and I know she feels secure here. Each night as we settle into the recliner, with her tucked firmly into my armpit, her head resting on my chest, looking up at me, licking me on the nose and giving a sigh before she goes to sleep, or going to the couch, lying down and having her instantly take her place somewhere between my waist and halfway up my side (she only weighs 8 lbs, so I hardly notice her), where she sleeps until I get up, I think about how difficult it will be for me to give her to someone new and how she's going to feel going to a strange new home.
I think about how she's still not housebroken and wonder how it would be for her to have someone start being strict with her about that.
I thought about this every day for the past month and I finally told Walt I want to adopt her. He didn't say no. (He also didn't say yes.) Each day I'm letting myself think about her as having found her forever home and trying not to be irritated about her little irritating quirks. I didn't take her to Petco this week.
If anybody ever told me I would want to adopt a chihuahua, I would have told them they were nuts.
I also told Kim that I'm taking a break from adopting. I keep saying this is the longest time we've gone without a foster dog (obviously I don't consider Polly a foster dog any more). Sheila and Lizzie are absolutely delighted.
Sheila had stopped interacting with me throughout the day. She just kept to herself, staying at her post all day, guarding the house from mailmen, bikers, high school students and dog walkers.
Lizzie was Lizzie, but once we got rid of the puppies and didn't bring any new dogs into the house, things underwent an amazing change.
Suddenly mealtime became a ritual again. Where Sheila rarely showed up for mealtime, but would eat at some point throughout the day, now she's back at her food bowl spot, jumping up and down excitedly as she waits for me to fill it.
She has actually brought toys for us to play with with her. We can't remember the last time she did that.
She and Lizzie are wrestling with each other again and chasing each other up and down the hall. She she seems to have stopped chewing on her backside.
As for Polly, the scared little skin and bones dog who wouldn't eat when any other dog was around her, who spent her first weeks in my chair peeking around the corner at me, trembling is now the queen bee. She sits on my lap while the others are wrestling and when she thinks they are getting too rough, she leaps down, barking and separates them. If either of them wanted to they could pick her up and throw her over their shoulders, but they just separate and go off on their way again.
I dunno. It just feels right. Jeri told me at Christmas time that I was going to adopt Polly and that Polly was meant to be our dog ("C'mon, Mom...you know she's your dog..."). I adamantly said that I absolutely was not going to adopt her.
Jeri was obviously right.
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