Sunday, October 27, 2013

Finally, some HAPPY news to report :)

On October 19, PAWS, the rescue from which I got Mini, had their annual big fundraiser, the Mutt Strut. I walked it in honor of Mini's memory. I asked Mark to go, too, but he had made arrangements to start cleaning out his mom's house with his sister. I warned him that he was leaving me unattended among a bunch of adoptable PAWS dogs, and that I wasn't responsible for the consequences. :-)

After visiting all the vendor booths and walking the course, I stopped by the tent where the adoptable dogs were returning. I loved them all, of course. And then I saw this little smiley face.

I was trying to get a picture of his widdle smile, but the photo doesn't really do it justice. His name is Baxter, he is a 6-year-old Chihuahua mix, and every time someone paid him attention or petted him, he had a happy little doggy smile on his face. I was hooked. I filled out the adoption application on the spot. Then came the agonizing wait to be approved.

When I got home, I called Mark and let him know that I had, in fact, met a dog that I wanted to adopt. He wasn't looking to add a dog to the family, especially not so soon after Mini, but he agreed to let it happen.

PAWS called me on Tuesday and we made an appointment for Thursday, October 24, for me to see Baxter. At least, that's how they phrased it. So I was more than a little surprised that they were about to let me take Baxter home on the spot. If I'd known, I'd have had a carrier ready for him. I would have had a leash, too; fortunately, PAWS has leashes and collars coming out their ears, so they were able to give me one. As it was, he wanted to sit in my lap while I was driving home. Oh, dear, lol. See, this is WHY I insist on using a carrier to transport pets in cars. I kept shifting him to the side when he started climbing in my lap. Eventually, he parked himself between the two front seats and rested his head on my leg, and that's how we drove the rest of the way home. :-)

Captain and Stanley were wary, when they saw a new dog come in the door, but not hostile. This is the two of them taking a look at the dog (out of the frame and on a leash). Captain (orange) has got his Kitty Glare firmly in place. Baxter has respected The Glare, and has not tried to interact with Captain yet at all. This is good, because I'm 99.999% sure that The Glare is a big bluff and Captain is a big wimp. Baxter, however, doesn't have to know that. ;-)

Baxter did sniff noses with Stanley, at which time I discovered what PAWS meant when they said he was "rude" with cats during his cat-compatibility test. Baxter sniffed a few times, then got over-exuberant and shoved his whole face into Stanley's face. Stanley responded by doling out one bop upside the dog's head, and Baxter immediately backed up. The next time he went to sniff Stanley, a few hours later, he stood somewhat back and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d his neck way forward to reach the cat. He wasn't going to risk getting too close again, lol! They've sniffed noses a few more times in the ensuing three days, and there have been no more bops, nor any need for bops.

Since Thursday, we have been reaching landmarks gradually. I have been able to leave Baxter and one/both cats unattended on the sofa when I have had to use the Smallest Room in the House. No growls, hisses, nor hostilities have ensued; they have all ignored one another. Yesterday, Baxter went on a walk with his tail horizontal, instead of drooping down; tonight, that tail was up and waving like a banner. SomeDoggy is getting happier. I also got the first full-fledged belly display a little while ago.

And of course, there are the little smiles that made me melt into a puddle of mush in the first place. We are starting to see those, more and more. And that makes ME smile.

So as you can see, we finally have got GOOD things to report, after having multiple losses in a row (Mark's mom and Mini on 9/22, and three weeks later, Mark's aunt, who was my MIL's older sister). No one can replace those loved ones. But happy events can help turn our attention toward LIFE instead of bereavement. So Baxter, in his own little way, is providing some much-needed therapy. We're all good for each other. He gets a new home and lots of doting to make up for the loss of his brother (who was surrendered along with him but was adopted by someone else), and he makes us smile. Winning. And I will gladly take those WINs any way we can get them.

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