I know it was Mate's idea to get Chiquita, even if the dog came with another cat. (Ah, Emmett, I miss you too!) It was my idea to get Johnnie, but Mate was totally on board. When our friend's dog had a litter of absolute adorability, I asked Mate if he wanted a puppy, and he was SO into that.
And of course (OF COURSE!) the teenagers each needed their own cat.
So this afternoon, Mate went to a soccer board member's house to drop off some paperwork. When he came home he said, "So, she's got a rescue dog--so thin. It looks a little like a Chihuahua, but it's lets are super long, and it's really thin, but she is SO SWEET. My friend does rescue dogs all the time, but she's got Labradoodles, and this dog is so much smaller, she's afraid to let her in."
I looked at him sideways. "So, are we going to get a new dog?" You could hear the suppressed excitement in my voice.
"I told her I'd ask my wife."
When we went to fetch her, she hadn't eaten at all. She was curled up on a blanket, under a tool bench in the garage, looking sad and woebegone, but oh, she got so happy when Mate bent down to get her. Mate was her FRIEND. And then I took her (gently!) and I was her FRIEND! And then--
Well, we had a mishap on the way home--Mate hit a curb just right and we popped a tire on a busy road and as we were trying to find a place in the dark to pull off, Chicken called. "What are you doing?"
"Oh! Can I help?"
"Uhm, do you want to take the new dog to her new home?"
"Sure! I'll bring Carl the 5 lb. Chihuahua."
And she did.
Mate fixed the tire, we pulled into a gas station to air up the spare, and he said, "Can anything else go wrong tonight," and I HIT him because that is just ASKING for it, and then when he was getting back into the car he said, "Wait. Where's my phone?"
So we had to go back to where he changed the tire and it was still on the ground but UNCRUSHED, which, you know, WITCHCRAFT!
Anyway--we got home, and the kids had fed the dog some soft food, and she was ensconced on a blanket on the couch, and she looked so happy. The kids and Mate and I took turns holding her (while the other dogs jumped from empty lap to empty lap, should we forget that THEY were here first!) and generally?
She seems content.
I need to take her to the vet and get her some flea meds. Her feet were walked on until they were bloody--and she needs to eat a lot of soft food until she fills out a little.
But she didn't mind the other dogs, or the kids, or the cats. She just sat in the middle of all the noise and the hubbub and accepted love. At one point in time, Squish got up to go find her a dog sweater (because she was shaking--she's so thin) and the dog followed them into the other room. As I type, the dog is in their room, curled up on an old blanket because apparently Squish is this dog's human.
And I"m boggled--so easy--SO EASY to show this dog some love. All my fears when Chicken brought her home--will she be aggressive, will she be frightened, will she eat too much and throw up, is this a bad idea--and she was just so happy to be in the front room. She knew this place--maybe not this EXACT place, but someone's place. She knew people, she knew other dogs--the soccer board member had put up signs, posted in Next Door and the other local apps and gotten no response.
This dog's feet are bloody from wandering and she's still young.
The soccer board member said, "People abandon dogs all the time around here--we're between two schools and I think they hope somebody will take the animals."
Chicken said, "People in apartments often abandon animals because their next apartment won't take them, and it costs too much to put them in a shelter."
And I know this happens, and still. I'm heartbroken at the idea of this absolutely sweet animal sitting so happily in my living room, like she belongs there because she has BEEN in a living room and she KNOWS she belongs in one, because THIS is where she is happy.
And somebody just left her behind.
She still has some hoops to jump through. A trip to the vets, a nail trim, a flea bath, some good nutrition. She wouldn't touch dry food--sometimes that's what happens when dogs get so hungry they try to eat rocks. We may be buying a lot more wet food, and not the pricey stuff they get now.
But she looks healthy besides the emaciation. And she sure does seem to want to stay.
It would feel good to know that as imperfect as my house is, it managed to be the perfect place to take this furry little person in. I now she certainly doesn't deserve to be left behind.