Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Social Hour

          Laina’s sleepover weekend with friends left only two of us to take care of the dogs.  Because they cannot be left home alone, we take them with us almost everywhere we go.  Saturday morning I ran Lexi to work, and Sam and Thorin rode along. 
A friend suggested I take them to the dog park at Wickham Park, so I decided to attempt it, though I was scared.  Would they get along with the other dogs or would they fight?  What would happen?  Would I ever get them back in the car again?
          I parked and let them out.  Thrilled with new smells, nearby dogs, and a novel place, Sam pulled and jerked, trying to take off.  I held him tight and got them into the large waiting area where signs told me to take them off of their leashes.  Concerned, I followed the rules and opened the gate into the big dog park.  They galloped off.
          Sam spent an hour exploring, sniffing, and playing with other dogs, though one smaller dog kept barking and nipping at Sam.  Altogether, he was a good boy and played nicely with his new friends.

Reincarnated, Thorin ran like a five-year-old dog and, undaunted by size, proceeded to hump any large dog he could find. 
          Both dogs had a blast, and I was shocked that they willingly and quietly left with me.  I stopped to hose them down before we picked Lexi up from work. 
          That afternoon, we wanted to go to the library for an hour, so we decided to put both dogs in the large kennel.  We wouldn’t be gone that long but long enough for Sam to destroy something in the house yet too long to leave them in the hot car, so kennel it was.  I had to pick Thorin up and carry him in.  Once Sam noticed, he hid beneath the benches, and I had to upend them to get him out.  Then, he pushed and pulled until his collar came off.  He did not want to go in the kennel at all and wanted only to go with us.  If I were president, I would make a law that pets could go anywhere, anytime.  Not really, but the dogs would sure love that!  In order to get in him the kennel, I had to literally grab his skin and push him in.  So not fun.
          On Sunday, we stayed home from church so that the dogs wouldn’t be left alone and again took the dogs for social and activity time at Wickham Park. 
          Once Laina arrived home, we went to a family friend’s house to introduce him to the dogs.  His house sits on a golf course, so he got out his golf cart.  Laina rode with him, carrying Thorin on her lap, and Lexi ran behind with Sam.  Finally, she let go of Sam, and he raced alongside and then pulled ahead.  Once he was in the lead, he took off; however, once he saw the cart again, he returned for more fun.  Thorin peed in our friend’s house.
That afternoon, we found out that Sam would not be moving to the Gulf, and while glad, I felt stressed about another week of trying to figure out what to do.  Lexi was excited and set about finding someone to pet sit on Tuesday and Thursday.  It relived my mind to have a plan in place for the next week.

We’d been so busy with work, school, and spending time with the dogs that the house was an embarrassing disaster, so we spent the early evening cleaning.  While folding clothes, I left the bedroom door open, and the cats ventured out.  We watched carefully, but the cats and dogs tolerated and were even curious about each other.  The cats peek around the corner, stare at the dogs, and then race to a spot on the couch where they sit until they decide to brave it again.  It’s hilarious to watch.  Sam wags his tail when the cats risk getting close, but Thorin mostly ignores them.  Finally, the cats, dogs, and teens are all together in the condo. 

          With a clean and harmonious house, I wonder if I could keep doing it, but then I remember that we are having to have pet sitters come in twice a week, which is not feasible long-term.  Still, I feel more calm and peaceful than I have since this started.  More hopeful. 
          This week’s Nehemiah study begins with confession and having a faithful heart.  I confess that I am grateful for this experience and for all those who have helped, that I have learned so much, that I have struggled and despaired, and that I have not been patient.  Yet I also confess that I have never doubted God’s help and plan.  I trust that a positive solution will come in the end, even if it’s not on my timetable.

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