Tuesday, July 07, 2009

What We Keep

It is a point of grave concern that I do not receive proper credit for the things I do NOT say or do.

Because most people are NOT professional communicators, I cannot readily rely on others to recognize those infrequent instances when I have exercised enough self-restraint to NOT say something that is on my mind. It vexes me that this rare revving of my internal editor goes mostly unnoticed. I have worked very hard to remember that the correct response to a disingenuous, “It’s so nice to see you,” is NOT “Well, it is nice to be visible.” It has been almost two weeks since I referred to someone’s mouth as a pie-hole. Not a single solitary person has said to me, “You know I’ve noticed you haven’t told me to shut my pie hole this week. That has been refreshing.” Even after I pointed this oversight out to K, I was met with a thoughtful, although labored silence.

And that time I was gunning the truck, wholly intending to run the Johnson County jerk in a Camry who just gave me the finger off the right shoulder of the road and down into a ditch to perish in an explosive fire ball, no one thanked me for my restraint in allowing a cooler head to prevail and instead righting the vehicle and going on my merry way. Not a single person acknowledged the herculean effort of will required in that instance. Although the rider in my vehicle was laughing nervously, or perhaps hysterically, she never once said, “Hey, good job not committing vehicular homicide.”

So maybe, in trying to help out the Great Dane rescue, we agreed to try fostering a few wayward Danes while they were awaiting the perfect home for adoption. And maybe, we ended up with a few we just weren’t able to let go to anyone else. We are just talking a few – three tops, and at least one of those wouldn’t have been adoptable in any circumstance, but mostly because she was as rash and impulsive as me. And so we earn the hairshirt of “foster failures,” even though I counted up last night and at least twice as many Danes have left here on adoption as have stayed. That’s six, not that anyone’s keeping count.

Monday, July 06, 2009


It is almost rule number one in Dane rescue that no one is ever up-to-date on shots. And failing positive proof otherwise, even if the person handing you the leash says the dog she is relinquishing is up-to-date on shots, the dog is not up-to-date on shots until we make him or her so.

We took The-Dog-Formerly-Known-As-Princess to see Dr. Kevin to bring her up-to-date on shots, to have her tested for heartworms and other less severe worms, to get his general appraisal of her overall health, and to solicit his opinion or intervention with some other items of interest, namely a festering, oozing stye in her left eye, a growth that was large enough to fill the area between the pads on her rear-driver’s side paw, large skin tags strategically located all over her body, and what was hopefully just a fatty deposit the size of a golf ball on her belly. A short 24 hours later, The-Dog-Formerly-Known-As-Princess had emerged from general anesthesia sans stye, skin tags, and fatty deposit, and with bright shiny teeth to boot.

The extreme makeover must have done her a world of good, because since then she has become more and more interested in kibble, and more and more concerned about everyone else’s kibble. By the next day, she was feeling good enough to run right out of the protective wrap on her paw, depriving me of the opportunity to use my surgical shears. We are learning to communicate with one another, to the extent both a whine and a single, sharp bark are necessary to rouse us for her middle-of-the night bathroom outing.

So, now that we are up-to-date on our shots and feeling our oats, all there is to do is to wait for the absolute-perfect-made-to-order forever family. Until then, we will have to do.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

No Doubt

I was having those last-minute doubts and recriminations – it is one thing to go to visit a friend and meet her family, impose upon them to suffer a major disruption to their schedules and priorities, ask them to entertain you and help you negotiate their city; but it seemed like perhaps a bit much to ask to also provide you with accommodations for the weekend. So, even if out of nothing but a misguided notion of proper manners and genteel upbringing, I felt compelled to ask, “Are you sure you don’t want us to get a hotel?”

But from a hotel, we would have missed the talk and laughter until 2 a.m.

We would not have been able to stumble from our room for early morning snuggles with the MajorDanes.

We would have missed spontaneous outbursts of tug-o-war.

We would have been terribly overdressed for breakfast at Hell’s Kitchen.

No one would have been able to warn us about the teeter-totter crossing.

So in the end, the loving embrace and hospitality of friends won us over, and gave us new reasons to appreciate the joy of the MajorDanes family.