More dog tales. What does this have to do with being childless? For some of us, our dogs are our only children.
I was right about not bringing my exiled dog Chico back home. He immediately jumped the fence again, shaking off his sister’s eager gestures to stay and play. I left the gate open and he eventually came back. Now I’ve got both dogs in the house, but they aren’t getting along. I don’t know what Chico told his smaller sibling in dog talk, but first she was hiding in the kitchen while he took up all the warm space in front of the pellet stove. Then, while I practiced piano music for Christmas, she disappeared. I found her on my bed in the dark. Hiding. Suddenly my alpha dog, the one I intend to keep, is slinking around the corners with her tail tucked between her legs.
The two used to be inseparable, but the bond seems to have broken during their time apart. Chico, distant with me at first, is now following me everywhere. I find myself suddenly defensive of Annie and anxious to ship him off to somewhere else. I have no more motherly feelings for him. He’s an animal and a problem. They still have room for him at the kennel, and I’m thinking of taking him there for Christmas Eve and Christmas. After that, I hope my prayers for a new owner are answered. He can’t live at the kennel forever.
On the way home from the kennel, we visited one woman who was interested. She had an old black Lab and four cats. I had my doubts. As soon as I opened the car door, Chico jumped out and pounced on the Lab. That was the end of that.
Folks at the kennel tell me that aside from destroying his blanket, Chico behaved well. He even took his first bath peacefully.
Now he’s sleeping on the floor next to my desk. Annie is still on my bed. What will happen when I try to feed them? Dare I leave them together in the laundry room tonight? What about tomorrow, when I have to go out?
Ring, phone, ring.