Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Care and Feeding of Azure

The house sitter was not entrusted with the care and feeding of Azure.

Azure is a special case. Since she is Deaf and we do not have all of the Farm fenced off, she joins in on our walks and outings on a leash. Although she has earned the privilege of overnight furloughs from her crate, when we leave the house for more than an hour, she is crated. She goes into the crate quite happily, with the sign-command for “home” – which we prefer to the sign-command for “jail,” although it may be a more appropriate location for our little delinquent. Sometimes, she expresses her consternation with being crated by giving the door a good lunge. So far, the door always wins. The combination of restricted freedoms and foreign language for communication, along with an overall high-strung-ness results in her time away from us being spent at a kennel.

When I retrieved Azure from the kennel, I had Coffee-dog with me. The heat here has been unrelenting, and even with the car running, I did not want to leave him outside waiting for me as I completed paperwork, wrote out checks and waited for the kennel people to gather Azure and her belongings. I snapped a leash on Coffee, just for looks, and in we went. There were other people in the waiting area as I was finishing up the paperwork and payment portion of our visit, so I asked if I could go to the back to collect Azure. Giving me a knowing look, the kennel tech agreed.

I could see through the window in the door as the kennel tech was jerked around the corner and began hurtling down the hall towards us, a white bag with Azure’s puzzle ball, Charlie Bear treats, and the only other remaining chew we sent along, a cow hoof, flailing around in the air. They burst through the door, and when Azure saw me, she started jumping and twisting and jerking the young woman around like a rag doll. With her hair flying in all directions, the woman looked me in the eye and promptly let go of Azure’s leash.

I dropped Coffee’s needless leash, and placed my hands all over Azure, working to calm her, get her attention, and focus her so she would look at me and begin the process of taking commands. By the time I was able to render some sanity to the area, the leashes were a tangled mess, but Azure was following her “sit” command, and I was knelt on the floor holding her in what may look to uninformed third parties like a head-lock, rubbing her head and chest. Now, my hair was flying in all directions and I was lathered into a nice sweat. Glad to have his one true love back, Coffee was sitting with his hip pressed to hers, wagging his tail maniacally with his tongue lolling out from the effort of trying to stay above the fray.

The kennel tech continued to look stunned. I apologized and explained that she gets a little hyper. She responded with a derisive laugh which sounded a lot like the air being squeezed out of a chew-toy, “When I brought her out and she saw you, that was actually the calmest she has been all week. I had no idea she was capable of this.”

Oh yeah, she is capable of plenty. In between naps, that is.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ahhh!!! Can you feel the love? That girl, crazy as she is, will always own two very loving hearts. The boy who belongs to her sweatshirt and the mother who cried behind a gas station when she let her go. You two are the bravest women I know. Glad she is home safe and sound with her pack and all the v-techs maintained their limbs:) Ev.